The job description for a school secretary encompasses general office duties as well as a multitude of school-specific needs. School secretaries are typically assigned to work either in an administrative office setting, or in a designated grade-level school building. School secretaries are assigned to work solely during the school year, on a full twelve-month contract. Computer skills are necessary for all school secretaries, with some school systems supplying annual training for the office staffers.
Elementary School Secretaries
Elementary school secretaries can work for the building principal or the building staff as a whole. Common duties would include recording school absences, filing student forms, processing the daily attendance and lunch counts, greeting visitors and answering telephones. Elementary school secretaries who primarily supply aid to the building principal type correspondence, use the copy machine, sort mail and schedule school activities in accordance with the principal's direction.
Middle School Secretaries
Middle or junior high school secretaries provide similar services as an elementary school secretary. Depending upon the size and budget of the school district, the secretary may be assigned to work for specific building administrators. Typical middle or junior high administrators include assistant principal, athletic director, school counselor and technology staff.
High School Secretaries
High school secretaries provide filing, telephone and record-keeping services as well. Due to the complex nature of most high schools, multiple secretaries are often needed to provide office services to administrators, the athletic department and the student activities department. High school secretaries are often the first person a parent of a student will see when walking into a school office for assistance or with a problem. Directing office foot traffic and scheduling appointments for parents to meet with the appropriate school staff members are among the primary duties of a high school secretary.
Secretaries who work for upper-level school staff are often referred to as administrative assistants. In addition to general office duties, the school secretary relays information to school building principals, and distributes general information to building secretaries and local media outlets concerning lunch menus, school board meetings and school cancellations and delays due to inclement weather.
Wages for School Secretaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school secretaries typically earn $28,120 annually. The salary varies depending upon the number of months worked by the secretary, and the budget of the school district. In rural and economically impoverished areas, the annual salary may be much less than that of a more affluent district or a private school. Administrative assistants commonly earn more than a building secretary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of $38,190 for administrative assistants in public schools. School secretaries, who work a nine-month contract, will commonly have their pay prorated, and receive a paycheck during the summer school break.