In elementary and secondary schools, deputy principals (also known as assistant principals) help the principal manage the school. Their duties can include faculty management and administration, supervising academic instruction and student discipline. For many professional educators, deputy or assistant principal is a step to becoming a full principal of a school.
In many U.S. schools, deputy principals are referred to as assistant principals. The title of deputy principal is more common in other countries, including Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Whether the job is called a deputy or assistant principal, the duties are similar in that both positions require aiding the principal in campus management.
The duties of deputy or assistant principals vary according to the campus. In general, deputy principals' duties include scheduling classes, ordering textbooks and other instructional supplies, coordinating services such as food service and student transportation, supervising the teaching staff, and managing student discipline and attendance. Deputy principals usually do not have teaching duties, but may assist when necessary, such as when a teacher is ill. Deputy or assistant principals may exercise other responsibilities at the discretion of the principal.
According to a report on educational administrators by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in campus-based management (also known as site-based management) means that assistant principals have assumed a greater role in areas previously exercised by principals, including teacher evaluation, curriculum development and community relations.
Depending on the number of students enrolled, a school may have several assistant or deputy principals. Some urban high schools in the United States, for example, have multiple assistant principals, with each having different responsibilities. One assistant may be responsible for student discipline and attendance, while another may be responsible for campus personnel management.
In the United States, assistant principals generally must have a master's degree in education or educational administration. Often, they have experience as classroom teachers before becoming assistant principals. Many assistants hold the position for several years before becoming full principals. Most states require principals and assistants to hold school administrator licenses. State licensing requirements do not apply to deputy and assistant principals in private schools.
A survey of public schools by the Educational Research Service, cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stated that in the 2006-2007 school year, assistant principals in high schools earned an average of $75,121 a year; in middle schools, that figure was $73,020; in elementary schools, $67,735.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mychal Stanley
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