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Instructional Coaches Position Description

At DCPS, we know that the Instructional Coach, a position which is placed in every public school within the DCPS system, plays a critical role in ensuring student success. We are currently creating a culture where Instructional Coaches:

  • Understand their impact on student achievement;
  • Understand the importance of their role in changing teacher practice;
  • Understand what defines excellence in their work;
  • Are provided with constructive and data-based feedback about their performance; and
  • Receive support to increase their effectiveness.

Position Overview

Pay Plan: ET (Instructional) (10-month)
Grade: 15
Step/Salary: 1-16 / $55,209 - $108,262, commensurate with education level and relevant work experience. Salary listed is for Fiscal Year 2012.

DCPS will continue to implement LEAP (Learning together to Advance our Practice), a research-based professional development model designed to foster collaboration between and for the development of teachers. The Instructional Coach, along with other school-based LEAP Content Leaders (generally Assistant Principals and Teacher Leaders) will be the primary drivers of this professional development model in order to improve teacher practice and increase student achievement. At its core, LEAP is about creating content specific, school-based learning teams that engage in a weekly cycle of lesson planning, content knowledge development, formative observations, and student work analysis. The LEAP cycle is grounded in DCPS curricular resources and facilitated by a content specific leader. This position is a safety-sensitive position. As a result, throughout employment this position will be subject to the Employee Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy.

The Instructional Coach will report to the Principal.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The below statements are intended to describe the general nature and scope of work being performed by this position. This is not a complete listing of all responsibilities, duties, and/or skills required. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Leads content specific professional learning communities through LEAP (Learning together to Advance our Practice); depending on school placement, the Instructional Coach will serve as a LEAP Content Leader that will be responsible for leading cycles of lesson planning, content knowledge development, formative observations, and student work analysis tied to the DCPS curriculum.
  • All Instructional Coaches at the Elementary and Middle School level will be responsible for serving as a LEAP Content Leader for one of the following content areas: Elementary Literacy, Elementary Math, Secondary Literacy, and Secondary Math.
  • Depending on school placement, Instructional Coaches at the High School level may be responsible for serving as a LEAP Content Leader for one of the following content areas: Secondary Literacy and Secondary Math.
  • Supports teachers’ achievement of goals, as needed, by effectively employing coaching strategies that gradually release responsibility for implementing instructional practices to the teacher (for example, co-planning, modeling, and observing).
  • Analyzes teacher practice through ongoing classroom observations, data analysis, and examination of student work.
  • Provides clear and direct feedback to teachers based on analysis of practice and tracks student and teacher progress to assess the effectiveness of coaching.
  • Develops teachers’ capacity to collect and analyze multiple sources of data to improve student learning.
  • Articulates a clear instructional vision alongside the principal with a school-wide focus on teaching and learning that is data-driven, standards-aligned and rooted in a belief that all students can achieve at high levels.
  • Fosters collaboration and teacher leadership.
  • Participates actively on the school’s Academic Leadership Team and their content specific district LEAP team.
  • Attends professional development meetings, trainings and all events led by the DCPS Office of Instructional Practice.


The successful candidate is motivated by the mission to transform the District of Columbia Public Schools into the nation’s highest performing public school system. This position offers the opportunity to have a profound and lasting impact on student learning and achievement. Candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Valid teaching license (or eligible for DC licensure).
  • At least 3 years of successful teaching experience.
  • Internal DCPS applicants must be at the appropriate LIFT level (Established or higher) AND receive an overall rating of Effective or higher on their most recent IMPACT evaluation.
  • Proven track record of student achievement.
  • Strong organizational and strategic planning skills; ability to balance multiple priorities in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in a specific content area of focus based on a content assessment administered by the LEAP Content Leader Selection Team.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of how to use instruction to reach student achievement goals.
  • Able to identify and describe effective instructional practices and how to provide feedback, coaching and professional development to teachers to improve the quality of instruction throughout the school.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of educational theory and practices, including focus on standards-based instruction.
  • Knowledge of adult learning theory, and experience facilitating professional learning communities and professional development sessions.
  • Exemplary interpersonal skills.

Personal Qualities of Top Candidates


  • Commitment to Equity: Passionate about closing the achievement gap and ensuring that every child, regardless of background or circumstance, receives an excellent education.
  • Leadership: Coaches, mentors, and challenges others to excel despite obstacles and challenging situations.
  • Focus on Data-Driven Results: Relentlessly pursues the improvement of school leadership, instruction, and operations, and is driven by a desire to produce quantifiable student achievement gains.
  • Innovative Problem-Solving: Approaches work with a sense of possibility and sees challenges as opportunities for creative problem solving; takes initiative to explore issues and find potential innovative solutions.
  • Adaptability: Excels in constantly changing environments and adapts flexibly in shifting projects or priorities to meet the needs of a dynamic transformation effort; comfortable with ambiguity and non-routine situations.
  • Teamwork: Increases the effectiveness of surrounding teams through collaboration, constant learning and supporting others; sensitive to diversity in all its forms; respects and is committed to learning from others
  • Dependability: Does whatever it takes to consistently deliver with high quality under tight deadlines; successfully manages own projects through strong organization, detailed workplans, and balancing of multiple priorities.
  • Communication and Customer Service Skills: Communicates clearly and compellingly with diverse stakeholders in both oral and written forms; anticipates and responds to customer needs in a high-quality and courteous manner.
  • Compensation and Benefits: Instructional Coaches are members of the Washington Teachers Union and are 10-month employees in Traditional Calendar Year Schools, or 11-month employees in Extended Calendar Year Schools. They are compensated on the teacher salary scale and receive full benefits.