Principals Entry Plan

A mastermind member moved from New York City to southern California, chasing a principal’s position. After 2 months of being there, learned it was failing and in jeopardy of closing, the staff was in the process of unionizing and it was a charter school.

The school was also up for state accreditation in 1 year.

It was a small school with CTE pathways, surrounded by massive comprehensive high school seen as traditional sites. The school was the 3rd lowest performing, and an entry plan was evident.

Principals Entry Plan

Read my latest best-selling book!

Learn why the ABCs of powerful professional development® work – Grow your skills by integrating more Authenticity, Belonging, and Challenge into your life and leadership.



The following, exemplifies the norms of an entry plan for principals or any leader walking into a situation, where change needs to be made.

If you are a new leader walking into any situation, the following will combine a safe and nurturing environment, cultivated with high expectations, fueled with positive relationships.

Where does a new principal begin?

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

To begin, identify where your starting place is. Surveying the stakeholders within the community is a one of four major areas to survey.

Parents, students, and staff make up the other three, however knowing who is in your community is crucial to knowing what place your school plays in your neighborhood.

By at least September of that school year, have a survey ready to go out to at least 3 of the 4 major groups that equals your school community. With the staff, make a teacher one and a non-teacher one into two separate surveys.

Goals Should Be Based On Problems

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

Sydney J. Harris

With the feedback you obtain, foster goals that connect expressed challenges. The surveys will provide important information based on the schools review, providing opportunities for next steps.

What are crucial areas to focus on within your site?

Some areas you might explore and evaluate:

  • Academics
  • Attendance
  • Discipline
  • Culture
  • Communication
  • And so on …

Identifying Patterns as Foundations

However also look at parent involvement, which are community connections that provide resources for your students. Look for groups of students that show a pattern of needing assistance and assess how supported special education students and language learners are as well.

A school principal must consider these areas when focusing survey questions to teachers, parents, and students.

A new school leader in their first year should evaluate the results of the survey with committees of staff and stakeholders as well. Doing so will ensure focus attention on select areas expressed.

A new principal will want to view what has been successful for celebration and what has not as information for opportunities.

So What, Now What…

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.

Chinese Proverb

How this is communicated is a major element in achieving your goals. If you wait until an end of anything to interject, you have missed the chance to play a factor.

Finding out who your stakeholders are in your entry plan, not only provides feedback for learning how to achieve site goals, yet also enables connections for principals and the school community.

Utilize your data as a basis for making points. Data includes survey feedback, as well as a review of previous year’s statistics comparing students in the surrounding community as well.

Share your responsibility of leading academic performance by establishing universals. Drive student centered planning and collaboration as standard for delivering instruction.

Look for a sign to engage staff and students by playing on their passions. Select learning goals that can begin in Sept. or when your schools begin and end when your schools view it to be so.

Be flexible with your realism of what can be accomplished, as the process is just as important as your products. Create measurable goals that although move on a timeline, are transparent, inclusive, are relevant to expressed concern, yet will drive your school entry plan.

It Doesn’t Always Have to Be Negative!

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Jeff Rich

A school principal should always make every effort to champion every cause within the schools walls. Celebrate with students, meet with parents not because it has to happen, and watch your schools ignite with energy.

Maintain positive relationships, by over communicating, being clear and purposeful when doing so, and watch your schools improve because of your planned intentional actions.

Could You Use Help With Your Entry Plan?

One of our most popular 5-day challenges in 2021 was something we called the “Back to School Boot Camp.” We didn’t LOVE the title, but we certainly ADORED the content.

Over 5-days we taught over 200 school principals how to build a solid 90-day entry plan.

Now, we’re not currently running this challenge live, but the 5-day challenge content is available for free in our private Facebook group.

You can join our private Facebook group here.

Once inside, click on “Guides” and look for Guide #5 and you’ll be good to go.

We plan to update this post in the future with other principal entry plan examples.

Want To Join Us In Costa Rica?

Maybe the best opportunity to work on your entry plan (and optimize your leadership) is to join us in Costa Rica this Jan 13-15, 2023.

This Live Mastermind Event is focused on teaching a brand-new framework we have called the Leadership Optimization Compass.

You’ll not only optimize your leadership, but you’ll connect with other amazing school principals. Growing your network and collaborating on “the work” in paradise is an opportunity too good to pass up!

(Visited 117 times, 1 visits today)