Crafting a Successful 30/60/90 Day Plan: A Guide for New Principals

Stepping up as a new principal in a familiar setting offers a unique blend of opportunities and challenges. While you already have insights into the school’s environment, it’s pivotal to present a structured plan that highlights your vision and understanding. A 30/60/90 day plan can be your guiding light. Let’s delve into crafting an effective one that ensures a smooth transition and a promising start.

Why a 30/60/90 Day Plan?

This type of plan provides clear milestones for your first three months. It aids in:

  • Establishing clear priorities.
  • Demonstrating your leadership vision.
  • Building trust among staff, as they’ll see a proactive approach.

Breaking Down the 30/60/90 Day Plan:

First 30 Days: The Observation and Understanding Phase

  1. Meet & Greet: Initiate one-on-one meetings with staff, teachers, and student representatives. Even if you know them, these meetings set the tone for your leadership.
  2. School Culture Review: Observe the school culture and dynamics, noting areas of potential improvement.
  3. Systems & Processes Audit: Review current administrative processes, academic systems, and extracurricular activities. Identify inefficiencies.
  4. Feedback Collection: Use anonymous surveys to gather insights about what’s working and what isn’t.

Days 31-60: Strategy & Planning Phase

  1. Analyze Feedback: Go over the feedback and observations to identify major areas of focus.
  2. Goal Setting: Define clear, measurable goals for academics, administration, and school culture.
  3. Resource Audit: Assess if the school has the necessary resources (human, material, and financial) to achieve these goals.
  4. Draft Initiatives: Start drafting initiatives based on goals set. For example, if improving reading levels is a goal, one initiative could be setting up a weekly reading hour.

Days 61-90: Implementation & Adjustment Phase

  1. Roll Out Initiatives: Begin implementing the initiatives, ensuring all staff understand their roles.
  2. Monitor & Review: Closely monitor the progress. Is the new reading hour effective? Are more resources needed?
  3. Feedback Loops: Establish regular feedback mechanisms to know how changes are being received.
  4. Adjustment & Tweaking: Make necessary tweaks based on feedback and initial results.

Templates and Tools:

Several online platforms, like Trello or Asana, can help in creating visual 30/60/90 day plans that are easily adjustable and shareable with your team.


Creating a 30/60/90 day plan as a new principal in a familiar environment requires a balance of leveraging your prior knowledge and approaching issues with fresh eyes. This plan will not only guide your early days but also establish a foundation for your leadership journey. Remember, the objective is continuous growth and improvement for both you and your school community.

Bonus Tips:

  1. Stay flexible. While it’s essential to have a plan, be ready to adapt as you gather more information.
  2. Involve others. Engage experienced teachers, other administrators, and even students in your planning process. Their insights can be invaluable.
  3. Celebrate small wins. This will boost morale and create a positive atmosphere.

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