Every April, NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators honor assistant principals (APs) by announcing National Assistant Principals Week. This April 6–10, communities across the country will acknowledge APs for their many contributions to ensuring student success. To help celebrate the week, we provide an e-card platform (www.nassp.org/apweek), lead the social media conversation with #APweek20, and redouble our efforts to raise the public profile of APs by announcing the 2020 NASSP National Assistant Principal of the Year—all of which is eclipsed in importance by the many donut breakfasts, pizza lunches, and other signs of appreciation APs will receive in their own schools.

But AP Week 2020 is more than just a celebration. It is an occasion to consider how we principals are intentional about preparing the next generation of principals. This month, NASSP and the Learning Policy Institute will release the results of a major study on principal attrition. One big reason for high principal turnover: Preparation programs and experiences have left us unprepared for the realities of school leadership. In the mix of all the celebration, let’s remember the best way a principal can show appreciation to an AP is to contribute to their success and growth. We must empower APs by providing them genuine opportunities to lead, reflect, and continuously develop into confident, effective leaders. That’s a celebration we can continue year-round.

APs, we are delighted to dedicate this week to your hard work, leadership, and ongoing commitment to your students and schools. Thank you for everything you do, and thank you for allowing NASSP to play a small part in the great work you perform each day.

Happy AP Week!