End-of-Year Checklist for Principals
Use these tips and resources to stay organized and make a smooth transition from school year to summer break.
- Schedule end-of-year evaluations/assessments. Give yourself and your staff adequate time for performance reviews. First, ensure that teachers have time for self-assessment. Then set up individual appointments to discuss performance with each staff member. Allow time for feedback and provide strategies for professional development.
- Plan your summer program. Ideally, preparations for summer school begin in the fall, but there are tasks to complete up until the last minute. Now is the time to put the finishing touches on class size and teacher selection. Also, get feedback from parents and students on how to best adapt summer schedules, and outline a strategy to keep students motivated and on a path to succeed during the summer session.
- Preplan for next year. Lay the groundwork now for a smooth start next fall. Develop the ideas you've collected during the year and address possible challenges your school might face in the future.
- Contact parents. Principals aren't the only ones with an end-of-year "To-Do" list. Let parents know what they need to take care of before the last day of school, including:
- Registering children who will start PreK or Kindergarten.
- Notifying the school if they are moving and working with the administration to prepare their child's records to be sent to the new school.
- Picking up leftover mediation from the nurse's office
- Returning library books and/or other school property that was borrowed during the year.
- Review security. Student and teacher safety is always a top priority, but you may need to attend to additional areas of security during the transition and over the summer vacation. Some things to keep in mind:
- If classes are taking fieldtrips, ensure there are sufficient chaperones and that students understand restrictions and protocols.
- Implement extra surveillance or monitors during end-of-year activities such as commencement ceremonies, and inform your local law enforcement of activities where large crowds are expected.
Set up a system for collecting room and building keys from staff who do not need to access the school during vacation.
- Update your equipment inventory. You should have an account of all computer hardware, furniture, and other expensive items that were purchased during the past year and prior. All items should have identity theft tags and be labeled with your school's information.
- Meet with your staff to review procedures for early dismissal days and end-of-year events.
- Be alert to unusual behavior from students. Some may not want the school year to end while others may be angry with the school or a teacher. Be sure that your staff is trained to spot possible threatening behavior or the need for intervention.
- Plan for next year's staff. Post open positions now and research ways to better train your current staff. Have a bad apple? Be aware of the steps you need to take to deal with underperforming teachers.