Table of Contents
PESS Principal Handbook
Introduction ............................................................................................................................1
Texas Principal Standards ................................................................................................ ...2
Domain 1..................................................................................................................................6
Domain 2..................................................................................................................................8
Domain 3.................................................................................................................................10
Domain 4.................................................................................................................................12
Domain 5.................................................................................................................................13
Table of Contents
© TE 5/18/20200
© TEA 5/18/2020
T-PESS Principal Handbook
The Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System (T-PESS) rubric is aligned to the Texas
Principal Standards and the Effective Schools Framework. The rubric clarifies what effective
principals should know and be able to do leading to increased consistency and rigor in their evaluation
and development processes. The comprehensive T-PESS rubric includes specific domains, indicators,
descriptors, and performance levels. An in-depth understanding regarding how principals will be
observed and appraised using this rubric is essential for them to thoroughly engage in the T-
PESS process and align actions and behaviors to these effective principal practices. It is
important for principals to know how each indicator is reflected in practice and applied in
multiple leadership contexts. T-PESS is intended to enhance communication between the
principal supervisor and principal with transparency, fairness, and constructive feedback.
Through the use of the T-PESS resources, all principals are able to chart a course for professional
growth, including the novice principal just beginning the journey of development to the experienced
and effective school leader seeking to expand the scope of influence in the profession.
This handbook is designed to assist in clarifying and unpacking the rubric, including how the
indicators and descriptors are represented through essential leadership actions. It assists both
principals and principal supervisors in understanding how these essential leadership actions may be
carried out in day-to-day practices. These clarifications allow for deeper dialogue between the
principal and principal supervisor regarding effective principal practices, the district’s
expectations for performance, the connections to practices that are embedded in the rubric, and
alignment to local policies and operating procedures.
The rubric’s design presents a continuum of implementation through clearly defined performance
levels: distinguished, accomplished, proficient, developing, and needs improvement. These
performance levels may be differentiated as follows using preponderance of evidence to establish
performance ratings.
Distinguished – Describes an exemplary level of performance that has a profound impact on both
campus- and district-level performance. These exhibited practices serve as an exemplar for other
principals and campus leaders and represents a distinct group of principals. Direct comment is
Accomplished – Describes highly skilled level of competence and automaticity with practices and
performance that exceed proficiency.
Proficient – Describes demonstrated competence with practices and performance with expected
proficiency of the standard.
Developing – Describes basic competence with practices and performance and requires direct
oversight and/or growth to
ward achieving the standard at the proficient level.
Needs Improvement – Describes sub-par competence with practices and performance and
requires immediate growth. Direct comment is required.
© TEA 5/18/2020
The clarifications in this handbook are provided through sets of essential actions that primarily
address the ‘Accomplished’ level of performance in the T-PESS rubric and are ideally used to further
self-assess how the principal’s practices are evident. These essential actions are tied to the Texas
Principal Standards and the Effective Schools Framework’s school-level essential actions which
describe what the most effective schools do to support powerful teaching and learning.
Texas Principal Standards
Standard 1- Instructional Leadership. The principal is responsible for ensuring every student
receives high-quality instruction.
Effective instructional leaders:
(I) prioritize instruction and student achievement by developing and sharing a clear definition of
high-quality instruction based on best practices from research;
(II) impleme
nt a rigorous curriculum aligned with state standards;
(III) analyze the curriculum to ensure that teachers align content across grades and that
curricular scopes and sequences meet the particular needs of their diverse student populations;
(IV) model instructional strategies and set expectations for the content, rigor, and structure of
lessons and unit plans; and
(V) routinely monitor and improve instruction by visiting classrooms, giving formative feedback
to teachers, and attending grade or team meetings.
In school
s led by effective instructional leaders, data are used to determine instructional decisions and
monitor progress. Principals implement common interim assessment cycles to track classroom trends
and determine appropriate interventions. Staff have the capacity to use data to drive effective
instructional practices and interventions. The principal's focus on instruction results in a school filled
with effective teachers who can describe, plan, and implement strong instruction and classrooms filled
with students actively engaged in cognitively challenging and differentiated activities.
(i) Rigorous and aligned curriculum and assessment. The principal implements rigorous
curricula and assessments aligned with state standards, including college and career readiness
(ii) Effective instructional practices. The principal develops high-quality instructional practices
among teachers that improve student learning.
(iii) Data-driven instruction and interventions. The principal monitors multiple forms of student
data to inform instructional and intervention decisions and to close the achievement gap.
Standard 2--Human Ca
pital. The principal is responsible for ensuring there are high-quality
teachers and staff in every classroom and throughout the school.
Effective leaders of human capital:
(I) treat faculty/staff members as their most valuable resource and invest in the development,
support, and supervision of the staff;
(II) ensure all staff have clear goals and expectations that guide them and by which they are
(III) are strategic in selecting and hiring candidates whose vision aligns with the school's vision
and whose skills match the school's needs;
Principal Standards
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
(IV) ensure that, once hired, teachers develop and grow by building layered supports that
include regular observations, actionable feedback, and coaching and school-wide supports so
that teachers know how they are performing;
(V) facilitate professional learning communities to review data and support development;
(VI) create opportunitie
s for effective teachers and staff to take on a variety of leadership roles
and delegat
e responsibilities to staff and administrators on the leadership
team; and
use data from multiple points of
the year to complete accurate evaluations of al
l staff,
using evidence from regular observations, student data, and other sources to evaluate the
effectiveness of teachers and staff.
In schools with effective leaders of human capital, staff understand how they are being evaluated and
what the expectations are for their performance. Staff can identify areas of strength and have
opportunities to practice and receive feedback on growth areas from the leadership team and peers.
Staff evaluation data show variation based on effectiveness but also show improvement across years
as development and retention efforts take effect. Across the school, staff support each other's
development through regular opportunities for collaboration, and effective staff have access to a variety
of leadership roles in the school.
(i) Targeted selection, placement, and retention. The principal selects, places, and retains
effective teachers and staff.
Tailored development, feedback, and coaching. The principal coaches and develops
teachers by giving individualized feedback and aligned professional development opportunities.
(iii) Staff collaboration and leadership. The principal implements collaborative structures and
provides leadership opportunities for effective teachers and staff.
(iv) Systematic evaluation and supervision. The principal conducts rigorous evaluations of all
staff using multiple data sources.
Standard 3--Executive Leadership. The principal is responsible for modeling a consistent focus
on and commitment to improving student learning.
Effective executive leaders:
(I) are committed to ensuring the success of the school;
(II) motivate the school community by modeling a relentless pursuit of excellence;
(III) are refl
ective in their practice and
strive to continually improve, learn, and grow;
view un
successful e
xperiences as learning opportunities, remaining focused on solutions,
and are not stymied by challenges or setbacks. When a strategy fails, these principals analyze
data, assess implementation, and talk with stakeholders to understand what went wrong and
how to adapt strategies moving forward;
(V) keep st
aff inspired and focused on the end
goal even as they support effective change
(VI) have strong commu
nication skills and understand how to communicate a message in
different ways to meet the needs of various audiences;
(VII) are willing to listen to others and create opportunities for staff and stakeholders to provide
feedback; and
(VIII) treat all members of the community with respect and d
evelop strong, positive
relationships with them.
In schools with effective
executive leaders, teachers and staff are motivated and committed to
excellence. They are vested in the school's improvement and participate in candid discussions of
Principal Standards
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
progress and challenges. They are comfortable providing feedback to the principal and other school
leaders in pursuit of ongoing improvement, and they welcome feedback from students' families in
support of improved student outcomes.
(i) Resiliency and change management. The principal remains solutions-oriented, treats
as opportunities, and supports staff through chan
Commitment to ongoing learnin
g. The princi
pal proactively seeks and acts on feedback,
reflects on personal growth areas and seeks development opportunities, and accepts
responsibility for mistakes.
(iii) Communication and interpersonal skills. The principal tailors communication strategies to
the audience and develops meaningful and positive relation
(iv) Ethical behavior. The principal adheres to the educators' code of ethics in §247.2 of this title
(relating to Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators), including following
policies and procedures at his or her respective district.
Standard 4--School Culture. The principal is responsible for establishing and implementing a
shared vision and culture of high expectations for all staff and students.
Effective culture leaders:
(I) leverage school culture to drive improved outcomes and create high expectations;
establish and implement a shared vision of high achievement for all students and use that
vision as the foundation for key decisions and priorities for the school;
(III) establish and communicate consistent expectations for staff and students, providing
supportive feedback to ensure a positive campus environment;
(IV) focus on students' social and emotional development and help students develop resiliency
and self-advocacy skills; and
treat families as ke
y partners to support student learning, creating structures for
communication and regular updates on student progress. Regular opportunities exist for both
families and the community to engage with the school and participate in school functions.
In schools with effective culture leaders, staff believe in and are inspired by the school vision
and have high expectations for all students. Staff take responsibility for communicating the
vision in thei
r classrooms and for implementing behavioral expectations throughout t
he building,
not only in their own classrooms. Teachers regularly communicate with the families of their
students to provide updates on progress and actively work with families to support learning at
home. Members of the broader community regularly engage with the school community.
(i) Shared vision of high achievement. The principal develops and implements a shared vision
of high expectations for students and staff.
(ii) Culture of high expectations. The principal establishes and monitors clear expectations for
adult and student conduct and implements social and emotional supports for students.
Intentional family and community engagement. The principal engages families and
community members in student learning.
(iv) Safe school environment. The principal
creates an atmosphere of safety that encourages
the social, emotional, and physical well-being of staff and students.
(v) Discipline. The principal oversees an orderly environment, maintaining expectations for
student behavior while implementing a variety of student discipline techniques to meet the
needs of ind
ividual students.
Principal Standards
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Standard 5--Strategic Operations. The principal is responsible for implementing systems that
align with the school's vision and improve the quality of instruction.
Effective leaders of strategic operations:
(I) assess the current needs of their schools, reviewing a wide set of evidence to determine the
schools' priorities and set ambitious and measurable school goals, targets, and strategies that
form the schools' strategic plans;
(II) with thei
r leadership teams, regularly monitor multiple data points to ev
aluate progress
toward goals, adjusting strategies that are proving ineffective;
(III) develop a year-long calendar and a daily schedule that strategically use time to both
maximize instructional time and to create regular time for teacher collaboration and data review;
(IV) are deliberate in the allocation of resources (e.g., staff time, dollars, and tools), aligning
them to the school priorities and goals, and work to access additional resources as needed to
support learning; and
(V) treat central office staff as partners in achieving goals and collaborate with staff throughout
the district to adapt policies as needed to meet the needs of students and staff.
In schools with effective leaders of strategic operations, staff have access to resources needed to meet
the needs of all students. Staff understand the goals and expectations for students, have clear
strategies for meeting those goals, and have the capacity to track progress. Members of the staff
collaborate with the principal to develop the school calendar. Teacher teams and administrator teams
meet regularly to review and improve instructional strategies and analyze student data. Throughout the
year, all staff participate in formal development opportunities that build the capacity to identify and
implement strategies aligned to the school's improvement goals.
(i) Strategic planning. The principal outlines and tracks clear goals, targets, and strategies
aligned to a school vision that improves teacher effectiveness and student outcomes.
Maximized learning time. The principal implements daily schedules and a year-long
calendar tha
t plan for regular data-driven instruction cycles, give students access to
diverse and
rigorous course offerings, and build in time for staff professional development.
(iii) Tact
ical resource management. The principal aligns resources with the needs of the school
and effectively monitors the impact on school goals.
(iv) Policy implementation and advocacy. The principal collaborates with district staff to
implement and advocate for district policies that meet the needs of students and staff
Principal Standards
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Five Domains of the T-PESS Rubric
Each of the T-PESS Domains and Indicators are clarified in the tables that follow and bulleted boxes
are provided for the principal to self-assess the essential actions for each respective indicator. This
handbook is used in conjunction with the rubric to make connections between the language and
practices in both documents.
Domain 1 – Strong School Leadership and Planning
Alignment to Practice – Research consistently shows that school leadership is ranked as the second factor
in impacting student achievement. Per the Texas Principal Standards, the principal is responsible for
modeling a consistent focus and personal responsibility for improving student outcomes. Domain 1,
therefore, ensures that campus principals demonstrate clear leadership roles and responsibilities and well-
defined planning processes are incorporated to reach school improvement goals, identify and implement
effective instructional programs and services, and improve student outcomes.
Essential Actions for Core Leadership – The Principal:
Adheres to and applies the Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators as a consistent and
professional means of behaving and interacting both personally and reinforces this expectation for staff.
Ensures that leadership teams and staff consistently engage in ethical behaviors, model high expectations
for self and others, and implement quality practices that are professional and student-centered.
Has clear, written, measurable, and transparent roles and responsibilities, and core leadership tasks and
instructional priorities are defined and scheduled on weekly calendars.
Communicates and monitors an expectation for others to establish instructional priorities and create their
own calendar systems.
Uses consistent written protocols and processes to lead teams and other areas of responsibility, e.g.,
norms, agendas, meeting protocols, team processes, etc.
Ensures that campus instructional leaders meet on a weekly basis to focus on student progress, formative
data, and other instructional priorities.
Essential Actions for Planning – The Principal:
Incorporates focused planning processes that engage all staff and multiple stakeholders, address root
causes of current performance, and lead to focused school priorities, clear timelines, milestones, metrics, and task
Establishes the school priorities based on multiple quantitative and qualitative sources of disaggregated
data and ensures coordinated actions that lead to teacher effectiveness and ambitious student achievement and
Ensures that the plan is comprehensive to address all identified needs, includes rigorous actions, and is
instructionally focused to communicate instructional expectations and how the priorities will be carried out.
Allocates resources in a deliberate manner, aligning them to the focused school priorities in the plan.
Identifies strategies to monitor the implementation of the plan and holds staff accountable for execution of
the work; with the leadership teams, regularly monitors multiple data points and other evidence to track progress
towards intended outcomes and frequently revisits the status of progress.
Domain 1
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Consistently uses the plan to make decisions by staying focused on the key priorities, timelines,
milestones, and metrics; makes timely modifications when the actions are not leading to desired results and
communicates these changes.
Essential Actions for Change Facilitation – The Principal:
Empowers leadership teams and staff to remain solutions-oriented and productively manages the change
process and initiatives so that they lead to improved student outcomes.
Challenges the status quo to instigate and lead necessary change.
Facilitates dialogue regarding change using data to establish the need and establishes agreement about
necessary change and best practices.
Involves staff in the change process and manages forward movement through clear and concise smaller
actions that build on one success after another; uses this momentum to lead larger change initiatives.
Essential Actions for Coaching, Growth, Feedback and Professional Development – The Principal:
Demonstrates self-awareness, reflection, and a growth-mindset by proactively seeking coaching and
feedback from supervisors, peers, and staff and uses this information to adapt and learn new leadership practices
that will improve overall outcomes; strives to continually improve and refine professional qualities and leadership
Strategically plans for professional development opportunities that enhance outcomes for the campus,
leadership team, staff, and students.
Targets professional development and ongoing self-analysis that positively impact school priorities,
personal growth, and student outcome goals.
Self-Reflection – Growth Opportunities
How would you describe your implementation of these essential actions? What is the impact of your essential
actions on teacher and student outcomes?
Domain 1
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Domain 2 – Effective, Well-Supported Teachers
Alignment to Practice – The research consistently shows that the primary factor that impacts student
achievement is a high-quality, effective teacher. The principal, therefore, is responsible for ensuring that
there are high-quality teachers and staff in every classroom throughout the school. Domain 2 focuses on
how the principal retains effective, well-supported teachers by strategically recruiting, selecting, assigning,
supporting, and building their capacity.
Essential Actions for Human Capital – The Principal:
Implements ongoing and proactive recruitment strategies that include multiple sources to assess high
quality candidates.
Incorporates a comprehensive interview process that includes clear selection criteria, hiring protocols,
onboarding, and induction processes that results in the hiring of top candidates and align with the school’s vision,
mission, values, and goals.
Implements targeted and personalized strategies to support and retain staff, particularly high-performing
Strategically reviews student needs, teacher strengths, staffing patterns, existing assignments, team
dynamics, and other aspects of the culture and system when assigning staff to specific positions.
Essential Actions for Talent Management – The Principal:
Ensures that grade-level and content area teams have strong, supported teacher leaders who are trained
in adult learning facilitation, team dynamics, and local expectations for teacher and student performance.
Uses a mentor teacher program to train mentors, assign mentors to beginning teachers or others in need of
support, conduct meetings with assigned teachers, and track personalized support and progress throughout the
Promotes a clear culture of systemic support and uses various strategies to consistently gather feedback
and support the retention of teachers, including the development of targeted professional development plans.
Allocates resources in a deliberate manner to align with necessary capacity building strategies with
mentors and beginning teachers.
Identifies preferred substitutes who are recruited, trained, and retained.
Essential Actions for Observation, Feedback, and Coaching – The Principal:
Uses normed tools and processes to conduct observations, capture trends, and track progress over time
through a data management system.
Conducts rigorous and calibrated observations with the leadership team that are evidence-based, tied to
student outcomes and teacher practices, and include follow up feedback and coaching.
Ensures that ongoing calibrations are conducted to identify high standards for instructional practices,
compare evidence, and promote inter-rater reliability.
Engages in professional development to refine one’s personal coaching skill set.
Schedules the observation debrief conversations within 48 hours of the observations to monitor
implementation of feedback; conducts follow up observations after coaching sessions to monitor the
implementation of feedback within agreed-upon time frames.
Builds teacher capacity through observation and feedback cycles; conducts targeted observations,
including walkthroughs, based on the analysis of formative student data and follows up with actionable feedback
and coaching that leads to rapid improvement in teacher practices and student learning.
Domain 2
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Essential Actions for Professional Development – The Principal:
Serves as the lead learner for the campus; models and promotes a schoolwide culture of learning,
reflection, and growth to develop high-performing staff.
Trains, develops, and supports a high-performing instructional leadership team to cultivate a diverse skill
set of effective practices; develops professional development calendars that are shared with all staff and are
modified based on teacher and student needs .
Analyzes performance data, goal-setting data, and growth plans to customize professional development
that is research-based and leverages expertise to train, develop, model, and coach high fidelity practices with all
Strategically plans for professional development opportunities that are frequent, reflective, and recursive to
enhance outcomes for the campus, leadership team, staff, and students as cycles of continuous improvement and
Self-Reflection – Growth Opportunities
How would you describe your implementation of these essential actions? What is the impact of your essential
actions on teacher and student outcomes?
Domain 2
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Domain 3 – Positive School Culture
Alignment to Practice – A positive school culture requires compelling and aligned vision, mission, goals
and values, explicit behavioral expectations and management systems, proactive and responsive student
support services, and involved families and community. Domain 3 focuses on how the principal
establishes and implements a shared vision and culture of high expectations that drive improved
outcomes for adults and students.
Essential Actions for the Environment and High Expectation – The Principal:
Engages leadership teams and stakeholders in creating and continually refining the school’s mission,
vision, and values.
Establishes, creates, and models practices and policies that demonstrate high expectations and shared
ownership for student success, and challenges low expectations.
Creates a common understanding of the mission, vision, and values where others can explain how they are
present in the daily life of the school, and initiative and decisions are connected to the vision.
Incorporates strategies to assess and measure adult and student experiences with the environment and
levels of expectation.
Essential Actions for Behavioral Expectations and Management Systems – The Principal:
Systematically involves staff and students in learning, practicing, and reinforcing behavioral expectations to
establish common language and that promote the school’s mission, vision, values, and goals.
Implements and executes the student code of conduct as routine practice; communicates, applies, and
faithfully upholds schoolwide routines and procedures that support the code of conduct and visioning process.
Communicates and fairly implements a system of rewards and consequences, including restorative
practices, with fidelity; embraces equity, diversity, and implications for behaviors as a result of these areas.
Consistently implements data management systems to track discipline referrals, attendance, and
interventions; regularly reviews the data to identify trends and adapt, accordingly.
Essential Actions for Proactive and Responsive Student Support Services – The Principal:
Works with the leadership team and support services personnel to establish and implement multi-tiered
systems of support and establishes systems to identify individual student’s support needs as a means of providing
targeted support services.
Ensures that students are provided with the support services, e.g., counseling, mentoring, mental health,
and other internal and external services, that address their needs.
Ensures that mental health and wellness, and/or social and emotional learning strategies and
methodologies are proactively taught to students; ensures that individual student’s are identified and works with
staff and service providers to support and monitor individual progress, behavior, and mental health needs of
students over time.
Provides coordinated internal and external support services for students and families to proactively respond
to all students’ needs and creates the conditions to maximize their learning potential.
Establishes systems to case manage student support services when services are provided internally and
involves relevant personnel, as appropriate.
Essential Actions for Involving Families and Community – The Principal:
Empowers teachers and staff to establish an inclusive and welcoming school environment and consistently
engages and connects all families in critical aspects of student learning.
Domain 3
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Models and messages the importance of school-home connections and positive interactions with all
families and community members.
Establishes systems, processes, and protocols for staff to explicitly share critical aspects of student
learning, including parent meetings, data shares, student showcases, and other forums, in a positive, constructive,
and personalized manner.
Establishes and empowers staff to use multiple communication platforms and strategies to communicate
with families and includes families and community roles in decision making to support student and school
Strategically collects and uses productivity and achievement data to foster authentic engagement from
family and community members and promotes shared responsibility for student outcomes through their involvement
as partners.
Self-Reflection – Growth Opportunities
How would you describe your implementation of these essential actions? What is the impact of your essential
actions on teacher and student outcomes?
Domain 3
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Domain 4 – High Quality Curriculum
Alignment to Practice – All students should have access to rigorous curricula and assessments that are
standards-based and tied to the college and career readiness standards. Domain 4 focuses on how the
principal works with both district and campus staff to ensure that all students have access to a TEKS-
aligned, guaranteed and viable curriculum, assessments, and resources to engage in learning at
appropriate levels of rigor.
Essential Actions for Standards-based Curricula and Assessments – The Principal:
Ensures that all teachers have access to a standards-aligned, guaranteed, and viable curriculum and
scope and sequence and that systems are established for all teachers to consistently review and internalize how
these documents are correlated and support teaching and learning at expected levels of rigor.
Engages teachers in deep dialogue to unpack the standards, clarify what students are supposed to know
and be able to do, and focus instruction from week to week.
Ensures that teachers engage in intentional planning and create unit and lesson plans that are standards-
based, aligned to the scope and sequence, include exemplars, and incorporate assessments with the appropriate
level of rigor to assess learning.
Establishes systems to support teachers in developing, administering, and analyzing formative
assessments with the expected level of rigor and analyzes assessments to determine instructional needs and
Establishes calendars with clear checkpoints and expects the use of data to determine embedded
corrective instruction, and spiraling for all students.
Implements ongoing systems and processes for teachers to review and refine unit and lesson plans based
on students’ learning outcome data.
Essential Actions for Instructional Resources and Professional Development – The Principal:
Facilitates and establishes processes for teacher discourse, collaboration, and coaching that includes
strategic alignment of instructional materials and resources with expected rigor, key ideas, essential questions, and
content-rich texts.
Ensures that instructional materials, resources, and decisions address the instructional needs of all
students and individual student groups.
Ensures that data is consistently used to determine professional development needs and provide ongoing,
content-focused, and job-embedded professional development.
Builds the capacity of staff to effectively develop, modify, and implement rigorous and differentiated
curriculum, instruction, and interventions.
Creates professional development calendars that reflect high quality, ongoing professional development
within and across key concepts and curriculum areas.
Self-Reflection – Growth Opportunities
How would you describe your implementation of these essential actions? What is the impact of your essential
actions on teacher and student outcomes?
Domain 4
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Domain 5 – Effective Instruction
Alignment to Practice – Students have rigorous learning experiences based on the design and delivery of
data- and objective-driven daily lessons, classroom routines, and formative monitoring systems that yield
the data necessary to reflect, adjust, and deliver instruction that meets the needs of each student. Domain
5 focuses on how the principal is responsible for ensuring that every student receives high-quality
instruction that leads to student growth and achievement.
Essential Actions for High-Performing Instructional Leadership Team – The Principal:
Incorporates written protocols and processes, e.g., data protocols, lesson planning processes, instructional
walkthrough processes, and other instructional leadership resources that are consistently used to lead, manage,
and build capacity various instructional leadership teams and other instructional functions.
Incorporates systems to track instructional leadership functions over time, e.g., agendas, minutes, follow
up, etc., and can articulate the relationship between these functions and the strategic impact on outcomes.
Builds capacity with other campus staff at all levels to lead and manage instructional initiatives, including
clear roles and responsibilities for leadership, observing and coaching leadership practices, defining expected
knowledge and skills for specific leadership functions, and communicating accountability/expectations for leaders
(Who will do what by when?).
Monitors and provides feedback to other leadership members regarding their ability to lead highly
productive meetings and tasks with clear outcomes, assesses these outcomes in relation to the impact on staff and
student performance, and encourages other leaders to take risks while supporting/coaching the process.
Essential Actions for Objective-Driven Plans – The Principal:
Incorporates a systematic approach for all teachers to collaboratively internalize, modify, create, and
submit daily lesson plans with clear learning objectives and other essential components, e.g., essential questions,
opening activities, time allotments, key vocabulary, instructional strategies/activities, assessments, closing
activities, extensions, differentiation, etc.
Implements ongoing systems for leadership teams to use daily lesson plans when conducting walkthroughs
and observations and provides teachers with feedback and lesson planning support based on evidence of student
Establishes systems for leadership teams to frequently review lesson plans for alignment to the standards,
scope and sequence, expected level of rigor, and the impact of the lesson plans on student learning and
Ensures that unit and lesson plans include instructional materials, resources, and decisions that address
the instructional needs of all students and individual student groups, including clearly defined curricular goals, paths
to address student groups, and formative assessments with understood exemplar responses.
Essential Actions for Effective Classroom Routines and Instructional Strategies – The Principal:
Leverages and builds capacity with leadership teams and teachers to model and implement high-leverage
classroom routines and instructional strategies at both the campus and classroom levels; maximizes instructional
time, ensures seamless transitions, and maintains a focus on instruction as a top priority.
Ensures that classroom instruction incorporates rigorous, high-quality experiences that promote complex,
critical-thinking skills, higher-order thinking, problem solving, and real-world applications; provides differentiated
and scaffolded supports for students with disabilities, English learners, and other student groups with diverse
learning needs.
Inspires teachers by providing real-time feedback as instructional strategies are practiced and
implemented; breaks down the practices into smaller actionable steps to assist with mastery; assesses the impact
of these strategies on student outcomes.
Domain 5
T-PESS Principal Handbook
© TEA 5/18/2020
Ensures that teachers maximize instructional time through consistent, efficient, and visible structures, e.g.,
posted agendas, opening activities, within-class transitions, formative assessments, etc.
Consistently observes and coaches teachers to facilitate mastery of research-based, high-leverage
instructional practices and implementation of expectations.
Essential Actions for Data-Driven Instruction – The Principal:
Leverages all staff to consistently disaggregate multiple sources of student-level data, including student
work, to track, monitor, inform, and prioritize student-specific instructional needs; provides evidence-based
feedback to teachers using data results.
Uses data to inform how teachers, students, and strategies are matched to maximize growth; learning
outcomes are directly linked and formatted with assessment measures that most accurately assess student
Facilitates corrective instruction action planning processes with teachers both individual and in teams to
analyze data, identify trends in student misconceptions, determine root cause as to why students may not have
learned the concept, and create plans to reteach.
Ensures that teacher teams have protected time built into the master schedule for frequent, in-depth
dialogue about formative and interim student data, effective instructional strategies, and possible adjustments to
instructional delivery for both struggling and accelerated learners.
Uses data with staff to ensure that student progress towards measurable goals is evident in every
classroom and for every student to foster student ownership and goal setting.
Essential Actions for Response to Intervention – The Principal:
Utilizes leadership teams to systematically lead and monitor diagnostics and data.
Ensures all staff are engaged in coordinated and proactive planning to identify students who have
significant learning gaps or who lack key foundational skills and provide them with timely, targeted, and data-driven
interventions throughout the year.
Incorporates flexible schedules, student groups, and varied resources to respond to students with varied
learning needs; establishes process to track and monitor student progress and how they respond to specific
Involves teachers in using student tracking systems that include assessment information, course grades,
teacher referrals, attendance, and other relevant data to monitor each student’s progress and the intensity and
schedule of intervention.
Creates and maintains systems at varied levels within the campus, e.g., teacher, grade level/department,
student groups, etc., to set goals and consistently monitor and track students, their growth, and the impact of
Expects and support teachers to consistently communicate with students and their families and share
timely and comprehensible data and assessments in relation to expected learning goals.
Self-Reflection – Growth Opportunities
How would you describe your implementation of these essential actions? What is the impact of your essential
actions on teacher and student outcomes?
Domain 5
T-PESS Principal Handbook