To test emerging narratives of principals’ direct effect on student outcomes on a large scale, this study investigates whether school principals’ time use for interacting with individual students is associated with academic achievement and student safety at school. Built on recent research on principals’ time use, this study explores whether economic, sociocultural, and institutional features of societies influence the amount of time principals spend interacting with individual students. This time use, in turn, is assumed to be associated with academic achievement and safety at school. To explore the linkages, the study utilizes the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) with multilevel modeling. Implications of the findings are offered for an emerging inquiry on principals’ direct effect on student outcomes and for US education policy. Copyright © 2021 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.