Principals: How Are You Preparing For the Start of a New Year?

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The city's 1,700 principals and many of their school staffers are officially back to work this week, readying for the return of students on September 6th.

These supervisors are reviewing rosters, registering new students, going over budgets and sorting through plenty of paperwork to get their ducks in a row for the start of classes. They're also preparing for changes coming to the 2012-2013 school year, including special education reform and expanding the Common Core learning standards.

"We've been using all of our summer time really well, so this week it sort of feels like it's more of a logistical week," said Sara Dingledy, principal of Westchester Square Academy in the Bronx. The high school is one of 54 new schools opening this fall, and this is Ms. Dingledy's first year as a principal.

She said that she and her staff are spending time setting up classrooms and ensuring that the school has made contact at least two or three times with all 122 of its incoming ninth grade students.

"You want your families and your staff and your students to walk into a place that they're thrilled to be at," said Ms. Dingledy. "Whether it's visual and making sure our signs are up, and making sure the rooms are all set up. Also, whether it's cultural and making sure that staff are on the same page about what we're saying and how we're teaching and what we're doing."

SchoolBook wants to hear from more principals on preparing for the new school year -- and it's a conversation we'd like to keep going. We know some charter schools already opened.

Visit your school page and tell us what is going on at your school. Respond to our articles. Become a commentator, to discuss issues such as college readiness, or to offer an essay on leadership for our "Principal's Office" series. And please encourage your teachers and families to join our conversations on Schoolbook.

Email us at to learn about how to get involved. And you can begin by joining the discussion below.