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Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Ed.D. Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Kathy Beaudoin

Second Advisor

Rich Knuth

Third Advisor

James Hager



Demands on school principals in the 21st century are highly complex. Ever-increasing pressures include accountability for student achievement; creating systems and structures to close the achievement gap of underrepresented students; implementing Federal, State, and District initiatives; implementing a more complex evaluation system for staff; being responsible for all stakeholders that create the school community; and being an instructional leader that makes learning happen for all students every year. In the State of Washington, a majority of districts have adopted the AWSP Leadership Framework as a standards-based model to evaluate principals and also provide targeted supports.

The purpose of this research study is to identify principals’ perceptions of the adequacy of supports provided by districts. Furthermore, this study seeks information about supports that enhance their effectiveness as instructional leaders. In an effort to inform district level administrators and policy makers, this study seeks to identify supports from principals directly. This information will lead to recommendations for district administrators for improving the process of supporting principals.

This quantitative study used data about principals’ perceptions and conducted a descriptive analysis to report findings. The data revealed that principals’ perceived needs for the supports was more critical to their effectiveness than the access they had from the district to those supports. The data also exposed the need for differentiation in providing supports to principals by using contextual information. This study found that principals indicated a need to examine the complexity of supports in context of other school-level factors like socioeconomic levels and years of administrative experience.