District of Columbia School Superintendent Vincent E. Reed met with school principals yesterday to discuss a proposal that employes of the system -- "from the superintendent on down" -- give up 10 day's holiday pay next year.

Such a move, Reed said, would save 400 teaching jobs and trim an additional $8 million from the schools' 1981 budget.

If approved by the city school board the action would cut into the paychecks of 9,600 school employes. Reed said individual losses in pay had not been calculated.

According to Reed, 500 administrators who attended a meeting at Logan Community Center in Southeast Washington supported the suggestion to avert the risk of more teacher layoffs.

Last week more than 350 teachers, most of them women and many of them single parents, were fired as part of an effort to reduce the school system's 1981 budget to a $244 million spending limit imposed by Mayor Marion Barry. School officials have said that the layoffs could affect as many as 800 teachers.

"This [the meeting] was nothing but a feeler to the principals," Reed said in an interview last night. "They all felt they would rather lose 10 days pay than lose more positions."

Details of how to enforce the pay cuts and furlough the employes for 10 days have not been worked out, Reed said. Nor has he talked with Washington Teachers Union president William Simons about the proposal, He said. However, a final plan will be presented to the D.C. school board this month, but may differ substantially from the one discussed yesterday.

Simons could not be reached for comment last night.