The term principal is used to describe a school level leader and includes charter school directors who serve as school level leaders.

Principals have a significant impact on student achievement. Studies have shown that after teachers, principals have the second highest in-school effect on student learning. 

Examples of Principal responsibilities:

  • Principals guide the development and implementation of a school mission, vision,  values, and goals.
  • Principals ensure equitable educational opportunities for all students.
  • Principals guide the creation and implementation of sound school-wide systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
  • Principals create a safe and caring school community .
  • Principals develop the capacity of teachers through job-embedded professional learning structures (mentoring, coaching, professional learning communities, data meetings).
  • Principals engage families and community in meaningful ways.

Educational Leadership Standards

The Utah State Standards for Educational Leadership Standards (UELS) were updated in 2018. The goal behind the revised standards was to better articulate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that Utah educators need to develop as they prepare for and serve as principals. The standards are intended to be used as a tool to guide the ongoing and continuous professional development of principals. They are also a required component of a principal evaluation system.

Utah State Standards for Educational Leadership

In addition, the Utah Leading through Effective, Actionable, and Dynamic (ULEAD) Education has created a series of Leadership Toolkits to support the implementation of Utah Educational Leadership Standards (UELS). There is one toolkit for each of the seven strands within the UELS. Other resources that may be helpful to Principals and Local Education Agencies can also be found on the Utah State Board of Education ULEAD Education website.

Strand 1

Visionary Leadership

Practicing Visionary Leadership Toolkit

Strand 2

Teaching and Learning

Promoting Effective Teaching and Learning Toolkit

Strand 3

Management for Learning

Managing to Support Learning Toolkit

Strand 4

Community Engagement

Engaging Families and Communities Toolkit

Strand 5

Ethical Leadership

Committing to Ethical Leadership Toolkit

Strand 6

School Improvement

Driving Continuous School Improvement Toolkit

Strand 7

Equity and Cultural Responsiveness

Emphasizing Equitable and Culturally Responsive Practices Toolkit

Principal Evaluation

The Utah State Board of Education was asked by the Board to develop a model educator evaluation system to support Local Education Agencies in the development and implementation of an effective educator evaluation system (Refer to the Utah Office of Administrative Rules R277-531: Public Educator Evaluation Requirements (PEER) and R277-533: Educator Evaluation Systems). The Utah Teaching Observation Tool (UTOT), a tool designed to help support the effective evaluation of teachers, has been in place for many years (with revisions). The Utah Model Principal Evaluation System was released in December 2019. It is designed to help support the effective evaluation of principals.

The Utah Model Principal Evaluation System includes three components:


You can learn more about the Utah Model Principal Evaluation System through a series of presentations created by David Smith in December 2019.


Model Principal Evaluation 1 Overview

Model Principal Evaluation 2 Core Design Principles

Model Principal Evaluation 3 Leadership Practice Component

Model Principal Evaluation 4 Leadership Practice Scoring

Model Principal Evaluation 5 Academic Growth Measures

Model Principal Evaluation 6 Stakeholder Input