A principal’s job is endless. School holidays are no exception. The winter break typically occurs in the middle of the school year. This is the perfect time to make some adjustments and improvements that will be beneficial for the remainder of the year. There are several little things that a principal can do over the winter break that will make a positive impact on the remainder of the year while you likely cannot initiate sweeping changes. Meet with teachers individually before the break. Meeting with your teachers on an individual basis is always tremendously beneficial. It allows you an opportunity to get valuable insight into how their school year is going, what is working for them, and it gives them an avenue to express any concerns that they may have. Also it gives you a chance to offer suggestions and encouragement that they can apply in the second half of the year. This can be particularly valuable to teachers who are still trying to get their feet under themselves during their first year. Most of the teacher evaluators will be conducted in the second half of the year, so these meetings can provide an informal opportunity to go over areas where improvement is needed, which gives them time to improve before the formal evaluation occurs.

Tips for principals during winter break

Contact parents of struggling students. It is essential that you effectively communicate with all parents, but especially with those of struggling students. Continuously updating them on their child’s progress has many benefits. Primarily it does not allow those parents to have the excuse that didn’t know their child was struggling. it shows that you genuinely care and that you want what is best for that student furthermore. It also gives you a chance to evaluate strategies that were used for that student in the first half of the year. You can determine what worked, what did not, and make adjustments accordingly as a team. This approach will hopefully lead to increased academic growth for the student over the course of the remainder of the year. Analyze student data trends. It is always fascinating to look at student data in the middle of the school year. Two forms of data that can prove to be interesting are student discipline reports and student attendance reports. Student discipline reports are useful especially in that they can tell which teacher is referring the most students, which students are repeat offenders, where the majority of discipline problems are occurring, and what types of problems are showing up the most. You can make many adjustments based off these trends that will ultimately make your job easier. Comparing beginning and middle of the year benchmark scores is exceedingly useful as well. It gives you an overall feel of how effective your teachers are. You know you need to pay more attention to the latter in the second half of the year to determine why there is such a vast difference in case you have two third classes, and one teacher has 22/25 students improve and the other teacher only has 11/25 students improve.