Advice from an Administrator: How to Prepare for Reviews

Kelly Muic
Kelly Muic
Grade School Principal; Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration, Point Park University, PA
Wall with sign that reads principal's office

Summer has always been the most contemplative time for principals and school administrators. Many hours are spent evaluating, discussing, and reflecting on the past year’s student achievement goals and initiatives in order to effectively plan for the upcoming school year. These administrative activities are not only necessary to advance the improvement of a school district and a school, but to prepare for individual growth as a school leader. Knowing how to prepare for these reviews is crucial.

How do you determine what data and artifacts to use to set priorities and define expectations for yourself and your faculty? How do you effectively prepare for an administrative performance review? The starting point would be conducting a self-assessment based on the previous year’s goals in accordance with the professional standards for school leadership for your specific state. Next, you should review the data that was included in the measurable goals. Make connections of how these goals are linked to the district’s overall comprehensive plan, mission and vision. Take a look at current research findings and white papers for information that supports the areas of student achievement that focused on your efforts for improvement. Here are a few more suggestions for preparing for a review:

Showcase Student Work 

The best way to connect school improvement goals to the data is to show the products of student learning. Make sure you show various types of assessments which should include performance-based assessments such as projects and portfolios. Include examples from all types of learners’ and ability levels.

Prove Your Worth with Data

Goals must be measurable. As educators, we know that was is measured must be important. Summarize the data in a variety of ways, taking note to show what was achieved over time. Include a variety of data sources. Include a summary of the progress achieved, and discuss how you intend to improve in areas of weakness.

Forecast for the Rest of the Year

The data review and reflection will identify areas in need of improvement and highlight successes. Make sure you put aside time to conduct regular data reviews with your faculty and develop an action plan for any area of improvement to show how you intend to make student growth a reality. Ensure the action plan is achieved by enlisting teacher leaders to assist in completing tasks and monitoring the action plan. Do not forget to include ongoing, high-quality professional development opportunities that will assist in achieving student achievement goals. These are not necessarily costly. There are many free resources that can be beneficial toward professional growth for all educators, teachers and administrators. Most of all, do not forget to clearly communicate the student achievement goals to all school community members.

Performance reviews should not be a stressful event but one that can be useful in generating ideas, highlight successes, and learning from failures. In the end, your review will showcase your efforts and how you will become a better school leader.

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