What Does an Assistant Principal Do? Exploring Assistant Principal Duties

What does an assistant principal do? Explore the wide variety of assistant principal duties involved in working in this educational leadership role.

Tags: Career Advancement Career Advice Career Exploration Career Planning College of Education and Social Services Education Education Programs Elementary Education Secondary Education
11 January 2023 - By Saint Leo University
A photo showing a sign that says 'Assistant Principal' for the blog article answering the question, 'What does an assistant principal do?' and exploring assistant principal duties

It can be rewarding working in the education field. While some people desire a teaching or instructing role, others feel more drawn to a leadership position. If you fall into the latter category, one option to consider is that of assistant principal, also sometimes referred to as a vice principal. But what does an assistant principal do?

Assistant Principal Duties

Assistant principals often perform a wide variety of duties. Some of these duties relate to the day-to-day operations of the school while others involve either the students or staff.

A few of the most common assistant principal duties include:

  • Ordering any necessary supplies and equipment for school operations
  • Ensuring that the buildings and grounds are properly maintained
  • Creating and/or updating safety policies and procedures
  • Developing curriculum standards
  • Setting class schedules
  • Working with school-based organizations to make the facilities available for special events
  • Coordination of student transportation to and from the school
  • Monitoring and enforcing student attendance requirements
  • Meeting with parents to handle student discipline concerns
  • Working with parents to resolve student learning issues
  • Hiring new school staff, ensuring that they have access to any required training
  • Evaluating teachers and their learning materials, making changes where needed to improve their results

Additional duties may be required depending on the individual school. For example, if the school wants to create a certain educational program, a grant may be required to help fund that initiative. Writing this grant may be one of the assistant principal’s duties.

So, answering the question “What does an assistant principal do?” isn’t always easy since someone in this educational leadership role can be responsible for several duties that expand well beyond this list. Keeping this in mind can help you set realistic expectations should you decide that this is a good career path for you.

Performing Assistant Principal Duties at Varying Levels of Education

One of the benefits of becoming an assistant principal is that you can work at different levels of education. This enables you to choose the student demographic or level of education that interests you most.

For example, assistant principals can be found in elementary schools, which are generally kindergarten through grade five. If you like the idea of performing assistant principal duties for kids aged five to 12, this may be a good fit for you.

Or maybe you have a greater desire to work with older students, or those aged 12 to 18. In this case, you may find it more satisfying to perform assistant principal duties at the middle school or high school level.

Each level of education has its own nuances or unique responsibilities. If you decide to pursue an elementary school assistant principal position, for instance, you may have more interaction with parents who are actively involved in their child’s academics. They want to know how to set their child up for success, or they need to know what can be done for a child with a learning disability.

On the other hand, by serving as an assistant principal in a middle or high school, you may find that your involvement with parents is less about academics and more about handling discipline or behavior issues. This creates a much different parent-assistant principal interaction.

How to Become an Assistant Principal

If you’re interested in pursuing an assistant principal role, a master’s degree is often required. This makes earning your bachelor’s degree in education a good first step. The instruction provided in an undergraduate program helps prepare you for a teaching role, along with preparing you to fulfill any state-mandated testing and certification requirements for working in the education field.

After getting a few years of experience in a teaching position, the next step is to continue your education and attain your master’s degree. This higher-level program provides the education and skills needed to serve in an educational leadership role. This helps prepare you to perform your duties as an assistant principal.  

Saint Leo University Can Help Prepare You for Your Assistant Principal Duties

Ready to start your assistant principal career path? Saint Leo University offers several education degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

This wide variety of programs enables you to choose the one that is best suited for your desired career path and goals. It also makes it possible to earn both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the same educational institution, allowing for greater educational continuity as you pursue the knowledge needed to serve as an assistant principal.