Principal Selection

The following state regulations apply to School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils when they select a new principal for their school:

KRS 160.345(2)(a)

2.    If the vacancy to be filled is the position of principal:
       a.    The superintendent shall fill the vacancy after consultation with the school council consistent with paragraph (i)11. of this subsection;
       b.    Prior to consultation with the school council, each member shall sign a nondisclosure agreement forbidding the disclosure of information shared and discussions held during consultation;
       c.    A person who believes a violation of the nondisclosure agreement referred to in subdivision b. of this subparagraph has occurred may file a written complaint with the Kentucky Board of Education; and
       d.    A school council member found to have violated the nondisclosure agreement referred to in subdivision b. of this subparagraph may be subject to removal from the school council by the Kentucky Board of Education under subsection (9)(e) of this section;
3.    Notwithstanding subparagraph 2. of this paragraph, if the vacancy to be filled is the position of principal in a county school district in a county with a consolidated local government adopted under KRS Chapter 67C, then:
       a.    The outgoing principal shall not serve on the council during the principal selection process. The superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall serve as the chair of the council for the purpose of the hiring process and shall have voting rights during the selection                process;
       b.    The council shall have access to the applications of all persons certified for the position. The principal shall be elected on a majority vote of the membership of the council. The school council shall receive training in recruitment and interviewing techniques prior to                    carrying out the process of selecting a principal. The council shall select the trainer to deliver the training; and
       c.    Notwithstanding the requirement that a principal be elected by a majority vote of the council, the selection of a principal shall be subject to approval by the superintendent. If the superintendent does not approve the principal selected by the council, then the                                  superintendent may select the principal;
4.    No principal who has been previously removed from a position in the district for cause may be considered for appointment as principal in that district;
5.    Personnel decisions made at the school level under the authority of subparagraph 1. of this paragraph shall be binding on the superintendent who completes the hiring process;
6.    Applicants subsequently employed shall provide evidence that they are certified prior to assuming the duties of a position in accordance with KRS 161.020; and
7.    Notwithstanding other provisions of this paragraph, if the applicant is the spouse of the superintendent and the applicant meets the service requirements of KRS 160.380(3)(a), the applicant shall only be employed upon the recommendation of the principal and the approval         of a majority vote of the school council;

SBDM: Selecting a Principal Guidebook

Some of the most common errors during the principal selection process are violations in open meetings and open records laws. SBDM Council meetings are open meetings; however, councils may go into closed session to review written material, to conduct interviews, and to discuss candidates. The decision to recommend a principal candidate to the superintendent must be made in open session. If a council is not convening at its regularly scheduled meeting, the meeting is considered a special meeting. Special meetings require an established agenda and written notice to all council members and to the media 24 hours in advance.

To comply with open record laws, councils must take time to review meeting minutes and make sure they accurately reflect action taken. Principal selection is one of the most important decisions a council makes. Beginning the process by following correct procedures will reap positive results. For more information on principal selection training, contact JCPS Administrative Recruitment and Development at (502) 485-3114 or Dr. Shawna Stenton, SBDM specialist, at (502) 485-3056.