Roles and responsibilities of public middle school, junior high school, and high school assistant principals in the state of Mississippi

Charles Robert Frazier


The purpose of this study was to determine the roles and responsibilities of middle school, junior high school, and high school assistant principals in the state of Mississippi. In order to build a database for determining the roles and responsibilities of the assistant principals, an 83 item survey with a demographic section was modified and developed from a previous study (Ancell, 1987). There were 300 surveys mailed out. Of the 300 surveys that were mailed out, 4 of them were returned to the researcher, leaving 296 surveys. 135 surveys were returned giving a 45.6 percent return rate. The results of the study indicated that there were no roles and responsibilities that the assistant principals did not perform. The areas wherein the assistant principals reported the most responsibilities were staff, administration and management and students. The areas that they had least responsibility were student activities and finance. The majority of the participants had a masters degree. The assistant principals either worked in an urban district or a rural district. They were, for the most part, using the position to train for future advancement. Conclusions of the study showed that there was a large disparity between males, females, blacks and whites in the assistant principal position. The black female assistant principal is in the minority. There seems to be a shift in the traditional roles and responsibilities of the principal being the sole "instructional leader" to allowing the assistant principal to play a role in supervising instruction in the building. Recommendations were that the role of the assistant principal should be clearly written and understood. The school districts should actively recruit black female assistant principals. There should be a study done to look at the roles and responsibilities that an assistant principal will need to prepare for the principalship. Lastly, the information gathered from this study needs to be included in the curriculum for educators that are seeking an advanced degree to enter into the realm of school administration. It would be particularly useful in the master's cohort program that is offered in the public and private universities and colleges in Mississippi.