Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators

Because effective school leadership is critical to student achievement, the Department is committed to ensuring principals have the support they need to reach their goals through CESSA.

​​​​​​​​​​​What is CESSA?

The Comprehensive Evaluation System for School Administrators was finalized through a joint effort between the Department and the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA), which represents public school principals. It is an evaluation, feedback and support system based on short- and long-range goals for principals’ professional improvement efforts. View the manual​.

CESSA implementation began with 81 schools in August 2012 as principals and their supervisors, the Complex Area Superintendents, jointly set goals for the year. As we worked through the implementation, and as part of our shared commitment to continuously improve and to provide supports aligned with the system, it made sense to expand the implementation to all schools. Feedback from school principals was also taken into account.

CESSA was designed to support and improve principal effectiveness, thereby boost teacher and student performance. This is aligned with Goals 1 and 2 of the Department's Strategic Plan. The Department and HGEA worked together to provide school principals with guidelines, training and support in advance of successful implementation of the CESSA Department-wide starting in School Year 2013-14.

CESSA components

Each principal receives a rating in which 50 percent is based on Student Outcomes and the other half on Principal Leadership Practice. The latter includes the following five leadership and performance areas (called domains):

  • Professional growth and learning
  • School planning and progress
  • School culture
  • Professional qualities and instructional leadership
  • Stakeholder support and engagement

Contact Information

EES Help Desk

Phone: 808-586-4072


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