School & District Management

Across Charters and District Schools, Long Work Weeks for Principals

By Sarah D. Sparks — November 10, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Leading a school is not a 9-to-5 job, by a long shot.

Last week I looked at a federal study of principal time which found that school leaders regularly clock 60-hour work weeks. While the study didn’t dig into many details of what principals were doing from day to day, a handful of school leaders helped us fill in the blanks through a video diary one day last week. As you can see in the timeline below, principals wear a lot of hats—and sometimes even a wig or two—in the line of duty:

A separate new study of South Carolina charter schools finds that the size of that workload goes for charter school leaders as well as those in traditional district schools.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast found the charter principals studied in South Carolina worked 60 hours a week on average, but leaders of newly opened schools clocked 70 hours a week.

The charter leaders reported spending the most time on parent communication and school regulations (about 5.5 hours a week on each), and the least time on lesson planning and providing professional development to teachers. That may differ slightly from traditional district principals, who reported in the national study that they spent the most time on administrative tasks and curriculum and teaching leadership.

However, there may be differences in the ways the national and South Carolina studies defined categories of tasks. For example, charter leaders still reported spending 5.4 hours a week on classroom observations and 4.9 hours a week on mentoring teachers, both tasks that were considered curriculum and instructional tasks in the national study.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips
Getty