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Placement on LIFT

Teachers New to DCPS

Teachers who are new to DCPS (and current staff members who have moved into teaching positions after serving DCPS in other roles)will be placed according to their years of teaching experience:

  • 0–1 years of experience: Teacher stage
  • 2+ years of experience: Established Teacher stage  
  • Capital Commitment Fellows: Advanced Teacher stage


Let’s look at another example. Consider a teacher with four years of teaching experience in a neighboring school district who joins DCPS at the start of the 2014–2015 school year. Because he has two or more years of experience teaching outside of DCPS, he will be placed at the Established Teacher stage at the start of the 2014–2015 school year.

Why do experienced teachers enter DCPS at the Established Teacher stage?

Experienced teachers who are joining DCPS from other districts will be placed in the Established Teacher stage. This placement both recognizes these teachers’ prior experience and provides them with an opportunity to demonstrate their effectiveness in DCPS through a full set of IMPACT observations. However, like all Established Teachers, after one year of Highly Effective performance (or two consecutive years of Effective performance), these experienced teachers will progress to the Advanced Teacher stage, where they will be eligible for reduced IMPACT observations and other benefits.

Why are Capital Commitment Fellows placed at the Advanced Teacher stage?

The Capital Commitment Fellowship is a selective cohort of experienced educators who are new to DCPS and who are motivated to work to close the achievement gap by continuing their teaching career in a high-needs classroom. Capital Commitment Fellows are individuals who have a track record of success with students and will become teacher leaders in DCPS, and therefore are placed at a higher LIFT level than other incoming teachers.

Teachers Returning to DCPS

All teachers were placed at a LIFT level at the start of the 2012–2013 school year according to their prior IMPACT ratings. Teachers who earned an Effective or Highly Effective rating at the end of the 2012–2013 school year made progress toward the next LIFT level, according to the advancement rules outlined on page 10. Returning teachers can view their current LIFT level in mid-September by visiting the IMPACT database at http://impactdcps.dc.gov.

If I have not taught in DCPS since before the 2012–2013 school year, what is my LIFT level?

You will be placed at a LIFT level according to the IMPACT ratings you have earned in the past as a teacher.

  • Established Teacher: Two years of IMPACT ratings at or above 250 OR one IMPACT rating at or above 350
  • Advanced Teacher: Three years of IMPACT ratings at or above 300
  • Distinguished Teacher: IMPACT ratings at or above 350 for the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 school years OR two years of IMPACT ratings at or above 350 and one other score at or above 300

You can learn more about your LIFT level and how it was determined by emailing [email protected] or by calling the IMPACT/LIFT helpline at (202) 719-6553.