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Assistant Principal Position Overview and Application Process

What qualifications do I need to apply for an Assistant Principal position with DCPS? 

Candidates for Assistant Principal positions with DCPS have a variety of past professional experiences that have prepared them for the DCPS Assistant Principal role. To qualify to be an Assistant Principal, applicants must have or obtain an Administrative Services Credential (ASC) through the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) prior to receiving an official offer of employment. In order to be considered for an Assistant Principal position with DCPS, candidates must meet the qualifications listed below:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree; and
  2. Completed master’s degree or higher, OR a completed state-approved educator preparation program in school leadership and supervision; and
  3. At least two years of full-time, teaching experience.

*Internal candidates are preferred to have an Advanced, Distinguished, or Expert LIFT level. Candidates are encouraged to check their LIFT level prior to applying.

PLEASE NOTE: Meeting the minimum educational and experience requirements for the position, or being placed in the hiring pool, does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited to interview for a position.

What skills does the ideal candidate possess? 

Ideal school leader candidates possess all six standards based on the Leadership Framework (LF) and Equity Centered Leadership Principles (ECLP). These standards are below and can be reviewed in more detail at

What type of Assistant Principal roles exist at DCPS?

DCPS offers several types of Assistant Principal roles based on instructional levels and content areas. General AP positions are available in both the elementary and secondary level; additionally, content-specific roles are available in some schools based on school priorities, as well as 6th Grade Academy and 9th Grade Academy AP positions in some middle and high schools.

When candidates complete their initial application, they will indicate which LEAP role(s) they are interested in. Candidates can select up to six LEAP content roles that align with their area(s) of strength. Candidates may also indicate their interest in 6th or 9th Grade Academies in their initial application.

Elementary AP Roles

Secondary AP Roles

Assistant Principal - General

Assistant Principal - General

LEAP Content Specific AP Roles

  • ELA (K-5)
  • Math (K-5)

 Assistant Principal - 9th Grade Academy

 Assistant Principal - 6th Grade Academy

 LEAP Content Specific AP Roles

  • ELA (6-12)
  • Math (6-12)
  • Science (9-12)
  • Social Studies (9-12)


When is the Assistant Principal application generally open for candidates to apply and how can I receive more information on the process?

While the exact day of the application launch and close-out is slightly different each year, the Assistant Principal application generally opens in early spring and closes in mid-summer. 

What are the steps in the DCPS Assistant Principal selection process?

The Assistant Principal selection process contains the following steps: 

1. Initial Application

During the online application you will be asked to provide the following:

  • Resume
  • Overview of your educational background and work experience

We suggest that you are prepared to complete the application in one sitting because you will not be able to make any edits or changes to your application after you have submitted. The entirety of the application should take no more than 30 to 45 minutes. After submitting the application, candidates that meet all pre-qualifications will be sent an email to begin the Instructional Video Activity.

2. Instructional Video Activity

Once you have completed the initial application you should receive an email with the Instructional Video Activity. You will watch a video of classroom instruction and answer a series of questions regarding the video. Candidates cannot continue to the next stage of the selection process if they have not submitted the Instructional Video Activity.

The School Leader Recruitment, Selection and Development Team will review your online application within 10-15 business days, and you will be notified via e-mail of your application status. If you do not receive a status update within 15 business days, please email [email protected].

3. Performance Task

The next stage in the Assistant Principal selection process focuses on instructional leadership and coaching skills. Applicants are also asked to submit 2 professional references at this stage. 

4. One-Way Video Interview

Qualified Assistant Principal pool candidates will have an asynchronous one-way video interview on Spark Hire, which is an online video interview platform.  This interview will measure the candidate's strengths through the lens of professional leadership standards.

Candidates can engage in this stage of the interview on their own schedule to capture their best responses. Your video responses from this stage of the process will be reviewed by multiple leaders within the DCPS leadership team. The interview process will measure the candidate’s strength through the lens of the Leadership Framework (LF) and alignment to the Capital Commitment.

5. Candidate Pool

After the phone interview, candidates are placed in the General AP approved pool. Being placed into a hiring pool confirms one is eligible for hire but does not guarantee a position.

6. 6th Grade or 9th Grade Academy Interviews (If Applicable)

Once interested candidates are in the Approved AP General pool they will be contacted by an Instructional Superintendent or the Director of 6th or 9th Grade Academies for an additional interview. Please note that choosing 6th or 9th Grade Academy AP during your application does not guarantee an interview.

7. School Based Selection

Once you are placed in the approved candidate pool, principals with Assistant Principal vacancies will have access to your resume. As every campus has unique needs, Principals will conduct school-based selection activities based on the needs of their campus. Principals will reach out candidates directly to schedule school-based selection activities. As part of their school-level hiring process, school hiring teams will also interview candidates for possible LEAP positions.

School leaders confirm final candidate selections with Instructional Superintendents before moving forward; Instructional Superintendents and other senior leaders within DCPS may ask for the opportunity to meet with final candidate(s) and hiring Principals before a final selection is made. 

8. Hiring & Onboarding

Once the final candidate has been determined, Principals initiate communication with the Office of Leadership Development, who will work with the Staffing team to provide the candidate with an official offer of employment. Candidates cannot receive an official offer from a school or begin work until the security clearance process has been completed and candidates have an official Administrator Services Credential from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

For more information about school leadership at DCPS, visit If you have questions about the Assistant Principal selection process, please reach out to the DCPS School Leader Recruitment, Selection, and Development Team (SLRSD) team at [email protected]. We would be happy to assist you.