Chapter 241. Principal Certificate


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Chapter 241 issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.003(a); 21.041(b)(2)-(4), and 21.046(b)-(d), unless otherwise noted.


241.1. General Provisions.

(a)  Due to the critical role the principal plays in campus effectiveness and student achievement, and consistent with the Texas Education Code (TEC), 21.046(c), the rules adopted by the State Board for Educator Certification ensure that each candidate for the Principal Certificate is of the highest caliber and possesses the knowledge and skills necessary for success.

(b)  As required by the TEC, 21.046(b)(1)-(6), the standards identified in 241.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the Principal Certificate) emphasize instructional leadership; administration, supervision, and communication skills; curriculum and instruction management; performance evaluation; organization; and fiscal management.

(c)  An individual serving as a principal or assistant principal is expected to actively participate in professional development activities to continually update his or her knowledge and skills. Currency in best practices and research as related to both campus leadership and student learning is essential.

(d)  The holder of the Principal Certificate issued under the provisions of this chapter may serve as a principal or assistant principal in a Texas public school.

Source: The provisions of this 241.1 adopted to be effective March 14, 1999, 24 TexReg 1616; amended to be effective September 2, 1999, 24 TexReg 6751; amended to be effective July 13, 2004, 29 TexReg 6646; amended to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


241.5. Minimum Requirements for Admission to a Principal Preparation Program.

(a)  Prior to admission to an educator preparation program leading to the Principal Certificate, an individual must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(b)  An educator preparation program may adopt requirements for admission in addition to those required in subsection (a) of this section.

(c)  The educator preparation program shall implement procedures that include screening activities to determine the candidate's appropriateness for the Principal Certificate as identified in Chapter 227 of this title (relating to Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates).

Source: The provisions of this 241.5 adopted to be effective March 14, 1999, 24 TexReg 1616; amended to be effective September 2, 1999, 24 TexReg 6751; amended to be effective June 10, 2001, 26 TexReg 3929; amended to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


241.10. Preparation Program Requirements.

(a)  The standards identified in 241.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the Principal Certificate) and Chapter 228 of this title (relating to Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs) shall be the curricular basis for an educator preparation program preparing candidates to be principals. The educator preparation program shall establish benchmarks and structured assessments of the candidate's progress and needed growth throughout the educator preparation program based on the standards identified in 241.15 of this title.

(b)  The principal preparation program shall include a field-based practicum whereby a candidate must demonstrate proficiency in each of the standards identified in 241.15 of this title.

(c)  An educator preparation program may develop and implement specific criteria and procedures that allow a candidate to substitute related experience and/or professional training directly related to the standards identified in 241.15 of this title for part of the preparation requirements.

Source: The provisions of this 241.10 adopted to be effective March 14, 1999, 24 TexReg 1616; amended to be effective June 10, 2001, 26 TexReg 3929; amended to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


241.15. Standards Required for the Principal Certificate.

(a)  Principal Certificate Standards. The knowledge and skills identified in this section must be used by an educator preparation program in the development of curricula and coursework and by the State Board for Educator Certification as the basis for developing the examinations required to obtain the standard Principal Certificate. The standards also serve as the foundation for the individual assessment, professional growth plan, and continuing professional education activities required by 241.30 of this title (relating to Requirements to Renew the Standard Principal Certificate).

(b)  School Culture. The principal:

(1)  ensures that a positive, collaborative, and collegial school culture facilitates and enhances the implementation of campus initiatives and the achievement of campus goals;

(2)  uses emerging issues, recent research, demographic data, knowledge of systems, campus climate inventories, student learning data, and other information to collaboratively develop a shared campus vision;

(3)  facilitates the collaborative development of a plan in which objectives and strategies to implement the campus vision are clearly articulated;

(4)  supports the implementation of the campus vision by aligning financial, human, and material resources;

(5)  establishes processes to assess and modify the plan of implementation to ensure achievement of the campus vision;

(6)  acknowledges, recognizes, and celebrates the contributions of students, staff, parents, and community members toward the realization of the campus vision;

(7)  models and promotes the continuous and appropriate development of all learners, including faculty and staff, in the campus community;

(8)  uses strategies to ensure the development of collegial relationships and effective collaboration of campus staff;

(9)  develops and uses effective conflict-management and consensus-building skills;

(10)  establishes and communicates consistent expectations for staff and students, providing supportive feedback to ensure a positive campus environment;

(11)  implements effective strategies to systematically gather input from all campus stakeholders, supporting innovative thinking and an inclusive culture;

(12)  creates an atmosphere of safety that encourages the social, emotional, and physical well-being of staff and students; and

(13)  ensures that parents and other members of the community are an integral part of the campus culture.

(c)  Leading Learning. The principal:

(1)  creates a campus culture that sets high expectations, promotes learning, and provides intellectual stimulation for self, students, and staff;

(2)  prioritizes instruction and student achievement by understanding, sharing, and promoting a clear definition of high-quality instruction based on best practices from recent research;

(3)  routinely monitors and improves instruction by visiting classrooms, engaging in formative, evidence-based appraisal processes and conferences with teachers, and attending grade or team meetings;

(4)  facilitates the use of sound research-based practice in the development and implementation of campus curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs to fulfill academic, developmental, social, and cultural needs;

(5)  facilitates campus participation in collaborative school district planning, implementation, monitoring, and curriculum revision to ensure appropriate scope, sequence, content, and alignment;

(6)  implements a rigorous curriculum aligned with state standards, including college and career readiness standards;

(7)  analyzes 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;

(8)  monitors and ensures staff uses multiple forms of student data to inform instruction and intervention decisions to maximize instructional effectiveness and student achievement;

(9)  ensures that effective instruction maximizes growth of individual students and student groups, supports equity, and eliminates the achievement gap;

(10)  ensures staff have the capacity and time to collaboratively and individually use classroom formative and summative assessment data to inform effective instructional practices and interventions; and

(11)  facilitates the use and integration of technology, telecommunications, and information systems that enhance learning.

(d)  Human Capital. The principal:

(1)  invests and manages time to prioritize the development, support, and supervision of the staff to enhance student outcomes;

(2)  ensures all staff have clear expectations that guide them and by which they are assessed, including the use of and familiarity with evidence-based appraisal rubrics, where applicable;

(3)  uses data from multiple points of the year to complete accurate appraisals of all staff, using evidence from regular observations, student data, and other sources to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and staff;

(4)  coaches and develops educators by conducting conferences, giving individualized feedback, and supporting individualized professional growth opportunities;

(5)  facilitates the campus's professional learning community to review data, processes, and policies in order to improve teaching and learning in the school;

(6)  creates opportunities for effective staff to take on a variety of leadership roles and appropriately delegates responsibilities to staff and administrators on the leadership team;

(7)  collaboratively develops, implements, and revises a comprehensive and on-going plan for professional development of campus staff that addresses staff needs based on staff appraisal trends, goals, and student information;

(8)  ensures the effective implementation of a continuum of professional development by the appropriate allocation of time, funding, and other needed resources;

(9)  implements effective, legal, and appropriate strategies for the recruitment, selection, assignment, and induction of campus staff; and

(10)  plans for and adopts early hiring practices.

(e)  Executive Leadership. The principal:

(1)  reflects on his or her practice, seeks and acts on feedback, and strives to continually improve, learn, and grow;

(2)  engages in ongoing and meaningful professional growth activities to further develop knowledge and skills and to model lifelong learning;

(3)  uses strong communication skills, understands how to communicate a message in different ways to meet the needs of various audiences, and develops and implements strategies for effective internal and external communications;

(4)  develops and implements a comprehensive program of community relations, which uses strategies that will effectively involve and inform multiple constituencies;

(5)  establishes partnerships with parents, businesses, and other groups in the community to strengthen programs and support campus goals;

(6)  demonstrates awareness of social and economic issues that exist within the school and community that could impact campus operations and student learning;

(7)  gathers and organizes information from a variety of sources for use in creative and effective campus decision making;

(8)  frames, analyzes, and creatively resolves campus problems using effective problem-solving techniques to make timely, high-quality decisions;

(9)  develops, implements, and evaluates change processes for organizational effectiveness;

(10)  uses effective planning, time management, and organization of work to maximize attainment of school district and campus goals; and

(11)  keeps staff inspired and focused on the campus vision while supporting effective change management.

(f)  Strategic Operations. The principal:

(1)  assesses current campus needs, reviewing a wide set of evidence to determine the campus's priorities, and sets ambitious and measurable school goals, targets, and strategies that form the campus's strategic plan;

(2)  outlines and tracks meaningful goals, targets, and strategies aligned to a school vision that continuously improves teacher effectiveness and student outcomes;

(3)  allocates resources effectively (e.g., staff time, dollars, and tools), aligning them to the school priorities and goals, and works to access additional resources as needed to support learning;

(4)  establishes structures to regularly monitor multiple data points with leadership teams to evaluate progress toward goals, adjusting strategies to improve effectiveness;

(5)  implements appropriate management techniques and group processes to define roles, assign functions, delegate authority, and determine accountability for campus goal attainment;

(6)  implements strategies that enable the physical plant, equipment, and support systems to operate safely, efficiently, and effectively to maintain a conducive learning environment;

(7)  applies local, state, and federal laws and policies to support sound decisions while considering implications related to all school operations and programs;

(8)  collaboratively plans and effectively manages the campus budget;

(9)  uses technology to enhance school management;

(10)  facilitates the effective coordination of campus curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs in relation to each other and other school district programs; and

(11)  collaborates with district staff to implement district policies and advocates for the needs of district students and staff.

(g)  Ethics, Equity, and Diversity. The principal:

(1)  implements policies and procedures that encourage all campus personnel to comply with Chapter 247 of this title (relating to Educators' Code of Ethics);

(2)  models and promotes the highest standard of conduct, ethical principles, and integrity in decision making, actions, and behaviors;

(3)  ensures that reports of educator misconduct, including inappropriate relationships between educators and students, are properly reported so appropriate investigations can be conducted;

(4)  models and promotes the continuous and appropriate development of all learners in the campus community;

(5)  ensures all students have access to effective educators and continuous learning opportunities;

(6)  promotes awareness and appreciation of diversity throughout the campus community;

(7)  implements special campus programs to ensure that all students are provided quality, flexible instructional programs and services to meet individual student needs;

(8)  articulates the importance of education in creating engaged citizens in a free democratic society;

(9)  communicates productively with all audiences through strong communication skills and understands how to communicate a message in different ways to meet the needs of various audiences; and

(10)  treats all members of the community with respect and develops strong, positive relationships with them.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 241.15 issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.003(a), 21.041(b)(4), and 21.046(b)-(d).

Source: The provisions of this 241.15 adopted to be effective August 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 6202.


241.20. Requirements for the Issuance of the Standard Principal Certificate.

To be eligible to receive the standard Principal Certificate, a candidate must:

(1)  successfully complete the appropriate examinations required under Chapter 230, Subchapter B, of this title (relating to Assessment of Educators);

(2)  hold, at a minimum, a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education that at the time was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;

(3)  hold a valid classroom teaching certificate;

(4)  have two creditable years of teaching experience as a classroom teacher, as defined in Chapter 153, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules on Creditable Years of Service) and the Texas Education Code, 5.001(2); and

(5)  successfully complete a principal preparation program that meets the requirements of 241.10 of this title (relating to Preparation Program Requirements), 241.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the Principal Certificate), Chapter 227 of this title (relating to Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates), and Chapter 228 of this title (relating to Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs).

Source: The provisions of this 241.20 adopted to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


241.25. Requirements for the First-Time Principal in Texas.

(a)  A principal or assistant principal employed for the first-time as a campus administrator (including the first time in the state) shall participate in an induction period of at least one year.

(b)  The induction period should be a structured, systemic process for assisting the new principal or assistant principal in further developing skills in guiding the everyday operation of a school, adjusting to the particular culture of a school district, and developing a personal awareness of self in the campus administrator role. Mentoring support must be an integral component of the induction period.

Source: The provisions of this 241.25 adopted to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


241.30. Requirements to Renew the Standard Principal Certificate.

(a)  An individual who holds a standard principal or mid-management administrator certificate is subject to Chapter 232, Subchapter B, of this title (relating to Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements).

(b)  To satisfy the requirements of this section, an individual must complete 200 clock-hours of continuing professional education every five years directly related to the standards in 241.15 of this title (relating to Standards Required for the Principal Certificate).

(c)  An individual who holds a valid Texas professional administrator certificate issued prior to September 1, 1999, may voluntarily comply with the requirements for continuing professional education in this section.

Source: The provisions of this 241.30 adopted to be effective March 14, 1999, 24 TexReg 1616; amended to be effective September 2, 1999, 24 TexReg 6751; amended to be effective June 10, 2001, 26 TexReg 3929; amended to be effective June 21, 2005, 30 TexReg 3581; amended to be effective October 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 7200.


For more information, email sbecrules@tea.texas.gov.