School Administration Manager Project (also known as SAMs)

SAMs at Work

Additional Resources

SAMs Overview 

Principals are called to be instructional leaders. While we know principals cannot and should not get rid of all management duties, there are many things that principals do (address building maintenance problems, scheduling, minor discipline issues) that eat up lots of their time. They live interruption-driven lives. A study commissioned in 2002 by The Wallace Foundation reviewed the impact of time on the principalship and sought to answer five questions: 

  • Can management duties be separated from instructional ones?
  • Can a School Administration Manager handle many of management duties? 
  • If principals have more time, will they spend more time in classrooms?
  • Will it improve relations with teachers? 
  • Will it have an impact on achievement? 

The study found that time was a huge factor and that having someone as a SAM can significantly affect the amount of time the principal has to be an instructional leader.

SAMs by the Numbers 

  • 68 teams currently participating
  • Project is 8 years old in Iowa - initial pilots were 3 schools in Linn-Mar CSD
  • 3 models are being used: full-time additional staff member, re-configured role or existing position with additional SAM responsibilities
  • Key components: Readiness, data collection, training, software, coaching, annual conference-state supported services

Interested in Learning More?

Contact Iowa SAMs coordinator, Carol Lensing.