Doing What’s Best for Kids

Personnel and Employee Relations AP 430: Role of the Principal


The Principal influences the quality of instruction, relationships among people, acceptance of or resistance to change, morale, and efficiency of general operation.

The Division expects the Principal to be an evaluator, a facilitator, coordinator, and change agent. The Principal must possess the necessary training, experience, and personal qualities to serve as a stimulator and leader capable of moving organizations and people in a desired direction. This implies that the talents of the Principal in working with, and coordinating, an administrative or professional team toward the achievement of goals and the improvement of the total teaching-learning situation become a prime requisite.


The Principal will:

  1. Perform the duties assigned in section 52 of the Education Act;
  2. Provide instructional leadership in the school;
  3. Ensure that the instruction provided by the teachers employed in the school is consistent with the courses of study and education programs prescribed, approved or authorized pursuant to the Education Act;
  4. Evaluate or provide for the evaluation of programs offered in the school;
  5. Ensure that students in the school have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister;
  6. Direct the management of the school;
  7. Maintain order and discipline in the school and on the school grounds and during activities sponsored or approved by the Division;
  8. Promote cooperation between the school and the community that it serves;
  9. Supervise the evaluation and advance of students;
  10. In conjunction with the Head of Human Resources, evaluate the teachers employed in the school.
  11. Subject to any applicable collective agreement and the Principal’s contract of employment, carry out those duties that are assigned to the Principal by the Division in accordance with the requirements of the School Council and the Superintendent.
  12. Develop or oversee expenditures and stewardship of an annual school budget funded from resources assigned by the Division.  
  13. Develop an annual school improvement plan that focuses on student achievement, high quality teaching and learning and is aligned with goals, objectives and outcomes set by Alberta Education and the Division.
  14. Perform other duties as assigned by the Superintendent
  15. Show concern for staff morale; set a school tone conducive to good learning.
  16. Take steps to protect school property and ensure that it is kept in a good state of repair and cleanliness.
  17. Keep parents informed of programs and services offered by the school and the progress made by their students.
  18. Develop in co-operation with school personnel and the School Council a school handbook.
  19. Make certain that appropriate duties and responsibilities are delegated to vice-principals, department heads, and other personnel, and provide whatever assistance and encouragement may be necessary to ensure that the duties and responsibilities are carried out in a satisfactory manner.
  20. Be at work on the organization for the year by mid-August of each year unless prior arrangement is made with the Superintendent.
  21. Student Personnel
    The Principal is to promote an atmosphere conducive to student growth and development and will carry out the following tasks as part of his efforts to obtain this:
    1. Forecast needs of students;
    2. Establish and maintain a system to evaluate, record, and report on student progress;
    3. Communicate the needs of students to people and agencies who can provide resources;
    4. Provide for student security and safety;
    5. Communicate with students about rules and regulations;
    6. Establish a fair and just system for student discipline;
    7. Involve students in decision-making processes as appropriate; and
    8. Promote high student morale.
  22. School Program
    Within the framework of the Board’s foundational statements and with staff and the School Council the Principal develops a statement of his/her school's philosophy.
    1. Development and articulation of each school program giving consideration to:
      1. The needs of individual students;
      2. The needs of the community which the school serves; and
      3. An opportunity for input where appropriate for many sources, including students, staff, parents and other community members.
    2. Identification of specific objectives;
    3. Integration of school program with the needs of the community;
    4. Ensuring the effectiveness of school-parent reporting;
    5. Communication with parents about the special needs of students;
    6. Ensuring resources are obtained for implementation of school goals;
    7. Scheduling of the school timetables;
    8. Ensuring that each program area is provided with assistance necessary for an effective teaching process;
    9. Communicating with staff members regarding program implementation and improvement; and
    10. Assessing programs.
  23. Staff Personnel
    The Principal promotes an atmosphere conducive to good relations and the professional growth of staff by:
    1. Being sensitive to the human needs of individual staff members;
    2. Planning for staff development;
    3. Being involved in the selection of school-based staff for designated positions;
    4. Assigning teaching and non-teaching duties; and
    5. Communicating with staff, including:
      1. Involving staff in decision-making processes as appropriate;
      2. Promoting high staff morale;
      3. Coordinating the work of all staff;
      4. Assisting staff with performance improvement;
      5. Evaluating teacher effectiveness; and
      6. Encouraging professional initiative, creativity and experimentation.
  24. School Management
    The Principal develops and maintains, an overall plan for the management of the school, including:
    1. Involving appropriate persons in decisions which affect them;
    2. Identifying and obtaining resources to meet the needs of the school;
    3. Communicating to appropriate authorities the school's needs regarding facilities;
    4. Ensuring effective allocation of resources;
    5. Acting with authority when the situation demands it;
    6. Maintaining acceptable operating policies and practices;
    7. Communicating with staff concerning school needs;
    8. Delegating management tasks to appropriate personnel and, in particular, assigning specific responsibilities to the vice-principal(s); and
    9. Monitoring management tasks to eliminate unnecessary and wasteful activities.