13 SMART Goals Examples for School Principals

A school principal acts as the leader of a school. They are responsible for the school’s operation, including hiring staff, curriculum development, and student discipline. But with a plan, it may be easier to fulfill these responsibilities.

Creating SMART goals is an excellent approach to becoming a successful principal. You’d be able to assess progress over time and accomplish more work.

As a principal, you must strive to encourage school success to the best of your ability. This article will contain the definition of SMART goals and several examples of SMART goals for school principals.

What is a SMART Goal?

Goals for principals should be developed in tandem with the SMART method. SMART is an acronym standing for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

  • Specific: When setting your goals, try to be as precise as possible.
  • Measurable: Principals should make their goals trackable; this criterion is crucial to schools.
  • Attainable: Ensure your goals and objectives are reasonable but also challenging.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your personal values. That way, they are tied to a bigger picture.
  • Time-based: You need a goal completion date to foster a sense of urgency.

By following these 5 criteria, you’ll be able to successfully realize academic success in the school.

13 SMART Goals Examples for School Principals

Below you’ll discover 13 examples of SMART goals for principals:

1. Increase Student Attendance

“I’ll increase student attendance by 10% in the next school year using a reward system for students with perfect or near-perfect attendance. This will include regular reminders and incentives for those who adhere to the attendance policy.”

Specific: The goal is clear and focused on increasing student attendance by 10%.

Measurable: Verify attendance in order to measure the goal’s success.

Attainable: This goal is feasible with a reward system and regular reminders to encourage students to attend classes.

Relevant: Increasing student attendance is an important goal for any school and is pertinent to the principal’s job.

Time-based: The goal should be accomplished in the next school year.

2. Develop a Positive School Culture

“By the end of 9 months, I’ll create a positive school culture by establishing a student-centered environment that focuses on respect, acceptance, and collaboration. This will include setting a positive example for teachers and students and creating opportunities for students to be involved in school activities.”

Specific: You’ll establish a positive school culture focusing on respect, acceptance, and collaboration.

Measurable: You could evaluate the attitude of students and faculty to measure success.

Attainable: Creating a positive school culture is absolutely doable.

Relevant: A positive school culture encourages a healthy learning environment.

Time-based: The goal should be completed by the end of 9 months.

3. Reduce Suspensions and Expulsions

“To improve student outcomes, I will reduce the rate of suspensions and expulsions by 20% for this school year. I’ll create counseling programs to address the underlying causes of student behaviors and train faculty on de-escalation techniques.”

Specific: This statement explicitly defines a reduction rate for suspensions and expulsions.

Measurable: You could use tracking tools like software apps or charts.

Attainable: This is an achievable and realistic goal with the right strategies in place.

Relevant: This goal is directly relevant to student outcomes, a critical issue for school principals.

Time-based: Goal attainment is expected after this school year.

4. Foster Professional Development

“I will create opportunities for professional development by the end of three months. This is designed to encourage teachers and staff members to continue their education and grow professionally. Regular workshops, seminars, and online classes will allow employees to stay at the top of their game.”

Specific: The goal is easy to understand. The principal knows they need to create opportunities for professional development.

Measurable: The principal will create opportunities for professional development by the end of three months.

Attainable: This is realistic and achievable with time and directed effort.

Relevant: The goal is appropriate for the individual’s desire to foster professional development within their school.

Time-based: Goal achievement will be met within three months.

5. Improve Test Scores

“I’ll strive to increase the overall test scores of all students by at least 10% in two years. I will accomplish this by implementing improved curricula, assessing our current teaching staff, and providing appropriate training for teachers to help them better meet the needs of each student.”

Specific: You have a clear action plan: implement improved curricula, assess staff, and provide appropriate training.

Measurable: You have an objective success metric—a 10% increase in test scores.

Attainable: With the right strategies, this is a very achievable goal.

Relevant: This is directly related to the principal’s mission of improving student performance on tests.

Time-based: You have a realistic timeline of two years to reach this goal.

6. Promote School Safety

“I will create and implement a school safety plan within three months to ensure the safety of all students, staff members, and visitors. The plan will focus on crisis management, emergency response, communication protocols, and creating a safe environment for all.”

Specific: This SMART goal is straightforward because the person will create a school safety plan with clearly outlined focus areas.

Measurable: Ensure the plan is comprehensive, practical, and includes the necessary protocols.

Attainable: Creating a school safety plan is achievable if you spend the necessary time researching and creating a plan.

Relevant: Promoting school safety is an essential goal for any school principal.

Time-based: Goal attainment is expected within three months.

7. Implement New Programs

“To ensure students have access to a well-rounded education, I will implement two new programs at the school within 5 months. The programs will focus on teaching life and social skills in addition to traditional academic subjects.”

Specific: The principal aims to introduce two educational programs within 5 months.

Measurable: Follow the results of each program and determine its success.

Attainable: This goal is possible within the given time frame as long as the necessary resources are provided.

Relevant: The programs will focus on teaching life and social skills in addition to traditional academic subjects, providing a holistic learning experience for students.

Time-Based: The goal must be achieved after 5 months.

8. Create a Positive Working Environment

“I’ll implement strategies and techniques to create a positive working environment over the four months ahead. This involves setting clear expectations, recognizing good work, and offering support for professional development. The goal is ensuring everyone feels valued, respected, and supported in their work.”

Specific: The aim is to create a positive environment for staff members.

Measurable: Success can be evaluated by monitoring how staff members feel about their work.

Attainable: Implementing strategies to support staff members long-term is feasible.

Relevant: As a principal, you must ensure everyone feels comfortable and supported.

Time-based: There is a four-month deadline for this particular goal.

9. Facilitate Student Engagement

“With the help of faculty, staff, and parents, I want to create a plan to increase student engagement within three months. I hope to involve students in decision-making, provide additional training and resources, and foster a sense of belonging among our student population.”

Specific: The principal wants to create a plan that involves students in decision-making, provides additional training and resources, and promotes a sense of belonging.

Measurable: The goal is measurable because it has a specific timeline (three months).

Attainable: This is achievable because the principal works with faculty, staff, and parents to create a plan.

Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it addresses student engagement.

Time-based: This is time-bound because it has a three-month timeline.

10. Encourage Collaboration Between Departments

“I will facilitate collaboration between departments by hosting monthly interdepartmental meetings and encouraging informal dialogue and exchange of ideas. I want our school to be where people feel welcome to reach out and get support from their peers.”

Specific: The goal involves holding meetings and encouraging discussion between departments.

Measurable: You could determine the amount of collaboration taking place by tracking the number of meetings and informal conversations between departments.

Attainable: This goal is realistic since it involves setting up monthly meetings and providing an environment of support.

Relevant: This will foster a collaborative environment throughout the school.

Time-based: There is no specific timeline mentioned, but it is implied that the goal is ongoing.

11. Facilitate Community Outreach

“To better engage with the wider community, I will establish an outreach program for our school over the following two months. This program will include educational seminars, mentoring, and volunteer support activities. I’ll coordinate these activities regularly and work with our staff to ensure we make a meaningful contribution to the community.”

Specific: This goal outlines how the school principal will engage with the community.

Measurable: Set up the outreach program and record how many people attend each event.

Attainable: The goal is achievable as it outlines a clear plan and timeline for the outreach program.

Relevant: Engaging with the community is essential to school leadership, making this a reasonable goal.

Time-based: The completion of this goal is expected after two months.

12. Establish Transparent Communication

“To facilitate a healthy work environment, I’ll facilitate and implement policies that ensure transparent communication between faculty and administration by the end of 6 months. I want to establish an open-door policy and offer workshops on effectively communicating with each other.”

Specific: You have precise actions available—implement policies and offer workshops.

Measurable: Assess your results by having faculty and administration follow the policies.

Attainable: This is achievable if you can identify and implement the necessary policies.

Relevant: This relates to your primary objective of fostering a healthy work environment.

Time-based: Your goal should be accomplished by the end of 6 months.

13. Boost Staff Morale

“I will work to raise staff morale by organizing two out-of-school activities for faculty and staff each semester. These activities should be fun and engaging, such as a team-building scavenger hunt or an outdoor adventure. I’ll measure the success of these activities with anonymous surveys sent out to staff members.”

Specific: The statement is well-defined. The principal will organize two activities for faculty and staff each semester.

Measurable: You should measure these activities through anonymous surveys.

Attainable: This is reasonable if you put in enough time and effort.

Relevant: Your desire to raise staff morale is an appropriate goal.

Time-Based: The reoccurring goal could be attained every school semester.

Final Thoughts

The principal is responsible for providing leadership and ensuring that the school runs smoothly. They set the tone for the entire school and help lay the groundwork for student success.

As the head of a school, setting SMART goals will ensure principals create a positive school culture and climate. They will be able to manage the day-to-day operations of the school effectively.

Take inspiration from the 13 SMART goals examples. It may very well determine the success or failure of the school.

Photo of author

Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.