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​CSPG 95 - Principal (PK-12)

​Administrative Code 1115
Modified: October 1, 2019

The School Principal certification qualifies the individual to provide instructional leadership and administrative supervision of any school when working with students in grades PK-12 within a school entity.

Grade Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate as a PK-12 Principal is qualified to serve at the elementary, middle and secondary levels (grades PK through 12).

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid Pennsylvania certificate as a PK-12 Principal is qualified to perform the following:

  1. Instructional leadership focusing on teaching and learning.
  2. Supervision and direction of certified and non-certified staff persons required for school operation exclusive of directing health services controlled by the Nurse Practice Act.
  3. Supervision of the district’s curriculum and instructional program or pupil personnel services program.
  4. Assessing performance of certified staff persons.
  5. Provision of direct input to school superintendent, regarding matters which substantially affect the employment, assignment, transfer, promotion, layoff, discharge or other similar personnel actions of certified professional-level employees.
  6. Coordination of school interactions with school boards, community organizations, special interest groups, parents/family members and other members of the community.
  7. Strategic planning for fiscal operations and resource and technology management for school building.
  8. Serve as the supervisor of a single instructional or single pupil service area.

Certificate Clarification

Older Pennsylvania public school certificates which are applicable for these duties include the following: K-6 Elementary School Principal and 7-12 Secondary School Principal may serve as an administrator within the grade level scope of their administrative certificate, as well as the principal of a middle level (5-8) building. Individuals may also serve as a Director of Elementary Education or Director of Secondary Education under the appropriate administrative certificate.


Program Specific Guidelines for Certification.

2 PA Code: Chapter 4: §4.22, §4.23, §4.31;

Chapter 49: §49.11

PA Public School Code: §1202, §1212, §1604, §1101


Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #95
​10/2019​Updated grade scope for consistency and clarification.
​8/2013​Removes the requirement for a principal to serve five years in an instructional or educational specialist certificate area in order to be assigned as a Single Area Supervisor.
​6/2010​An Elementary K-6 certified Principal or a Secondary 7-12 certified Principal may serve as a Principal or Assistant Principal in a 5th-8th grade middle school building.
  • Addresses Principal K-12, Elementary Principal K-6, Secondary Principal 7-12 certificates only.
  • No. 95:8 – A certified Principal K-12 (or an educator who is certified as an Elementary K-6 Principal and a Secondary 7-12 Principal) may serve as a Single Area Supervisor if he/she has served at least five service years on a single area instructional or educational specialist certificate.
  • A certified Elementary K-6 Principal may serve at the 7th and 8th grade level in a middle level building.
  • A certified Secondary 7-12 Principal may serve at the 6th grade level in a middle level building.
​5/1992 CSPG #60

​No. 69:6 – The policy is discontinued and effective with the beginning of school year 1987-88 that those holding a Principal’s certificate or Vocational Administrative Director’s certificate and a teaching certificate or educational specialist certificate, who, in accordance with Department of Education policy, were assigned to a supervisory position in their area/field of specialization. Persons assigned as a supervisor of a single curriculum or pupil service area must hold the appropriate supervisory certificate.

​1975 CSPG #69
  • ​Certified Elementary and Secondary Principals may serve as Principals or Assistant Principals at approve middle schools.
  • Certificates no longer issued but still valid for service (No. 69:2): Director of Vocational Education; Supervising Principal; Comprehensive Principal; Assistant to the Superintendent – Business Affairs; and Assistant to the Superintendent-Instruction.
​1956​Addresses the following Principal certificates: Elementary Principal; Secondary Principal; and Comprehensive Principal (issued as Provisional or Permanent).