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Principal Position Overview and Application Process

DCPS is seeking talented, dedicated leaders who have the skills and experience to lead our schools and the desire to help transform DCPS into the highest performing urban school district in the nation.

We believe that all students can achieve at the highest levels. To do this, we need inspiring leaders who:

  • Are passionate about student achievement and closing the achievement gap.
  • Believe that the urgency of closing this gap is too great to accept excuses of any kind.
  • Motivate and support their teachers and staff while holding all adults in the building accountable for ensuring student success.

The principal job description provides a more detailed description of the position role and responsibilities.

The DCPS principal application process consists of 7 steps:

The 7 steps of the DCPS principal application process, outlined below.

1. Online Application:

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

  • Resume
  • Overview of your educational background and work experience
  • A written response to an instructional video – please note that during this exercise, candidates will be asked to score instruction on a total of five components across three of the DCPS Essential Practices (EPs) [PDF]:
    • EP 2 - Challenge students with rigorous content
      • EP 2.A: Rigorous content
    • EP 3 – Lead a well-planned, purposeful learning experience
      • EP 3.A: Skillful design
      • EP 3.B: Skillful facilitation
    • EP 4 - Maximize student ownership of learning
      • EP 4.A: Cognitive work
      • EP 4.B: Higher-level understanding

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

2. Phone Interview

Qualified candidates are scheduled for a 45 minute phone interview with current DCPS Leaders.

3. In-Person Interview

Candidates who pass the phone interview will be invited to an in-person interview day with various DCPS executive leaders. The in-person interview will be approximately two hours long.

4. Chancellor Interview

Based on recommendations from the in-person interviews, specific candidates will be invited to interview with the Chancellor. At this point in the process, the School Leader Recruitment & Selection team will also check each candidate’s professional references.

5. Candidate Pool

After the Chancellor interview, approved applicants are placed in the applicant pool and become eligible to participate in Community Panel interviews at schools that have principal vacancies.

6. Community Panel

As principal vacancies are announced, candidates in the approved pool are invited to participate in Community Panels. The purpose of the panel is for the school community to give feedback to the Chancellor about candidate fit within a school community. Community Panels include school community members, parents, faculty, staff, and students of schools with vacancies.

7. Hiring

Based on the results of the community panel, the Chancellor will make all final principal hiring determinations. Official employment offers will be given by the Office of Talent & Culture.