Become a DCPS Principal

We are looking for highly motivated and skilled talent school leaders to join our team at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).


We seek individuals who are passionate about transforming the DC school system and making a significant difference in the lives of public school students, parents, teachers, and central office employees.

Applications for SY2024-2025 Window #2 will open January 29th and close February 20th!

Please note that Mid-Year applications will not roll over for the 2024-25 school year. 

I'm interested in learning more!

I’m not ready to apply, but I’m interested in learning more about the DC School Leader process, online application, and criteria.

Join the nations best principals - and become even better

DCPS serves more than 51,000 students in the nation’s capital through the efforts of approximately 4,000 educators in 116 schools. As part of a comprehensive reform effort to become the preeminent urban school system in the nation, DCPS intends to have the highest-performing, best paid, most satisfied, and most honored educator force in the nation and a distinctive central office staff whose work supports and drives instructional excellence and significant achievement gains for DCPS students.

The Leadership Framework

The Leadership Framework represents the school system’s definition of effective leadership. It outlines key strategies and practices that we believe lead to increased student achievement.

The Leadership Framework (LF) is comprised of six LF standards: Instruction, Talent, School Culture, Operations, Family & Community, and Personal Leadership.

The Leadership Framework is essential to the work of increasing student achievement in two fundamental ways: it provides a common language for effective leadership practices, which enables us to align all of our professional development to these six standards and it provides clear expectations for school leaders, thereby creating the foundation for a comprehensive evaluation system like School Leader IMPACT

Guided by DCPS’ core beliefs, the Leadership Framework has been developed with three purposes:

We pay our principals like professionals and celebrate them like rockstars.

DCPS offers extremely competitive principal salaries, including up to $25,000 in annual performance bonuses. We also honor exceptional school leaders with a Standing Ovation awards gala in the winter where they can win awards of up to $10,000 for leadership excellence.


At DCPS, we are committed to providing our team with a comprehensive and competitive benefits program.

  • Health Insurance

  • DC Teachers Federal Credit Union

  • FSA Accounts

  • Competitive Salary

  • Loan Cancellation or Deferment

  • 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuities

  • Pay for Performance

  • Life & Disability Insurance

  • Washington Sports Clubs Discounted Membership

  • Paid Time Off

  • Retirement Savings Plan

  • Employer Assistance Program*

  • HUD Good Neighbor Program**

* Employer Assisted Housing Program (up to $11,500 for first-time homebuyers in DC)
** HUD Good Neighbor Next Door Program (50% off the list price for HUD homes)

We invest in our school leaders

We believe that school leaders will be most successful if they are supported in their work. Therefore, DCPS is committed to providing support for school leaders as they implement the Leadership Framework in their schools. We’re building a district where everyone is deeply committed to getting things done for students. We’ve got big goals for our schools, and know that great school leaders are key to our success.

Learn More

We typically accept applications for school leadership positions during the winter and spring. We are particularly interested in candidates with a track record of success in the classroom and leadership in schools. Apply below to learn more about any vacancies for the current school year.

DCPS Principal FAQs

How do you find DCPS Principal jobs near me?

Candidates interested in school leader positions can email @email for more information.

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When do DCPS Principal jobs open up?

Active recruitment for DCPS principals occurs in the winter and spring. You can email @email for more information.

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When can I apply for a DCPS Principal position?


You can submit your application for the Principal Pool in any of the three designated application windows:

1. December 1-December 31

2. January 29-February 20

3. February 21-March 12

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How much do DCPS Principals get paid?

DCPS principal salaries range from $131,152 - $199,350 depending on education and experience, with potential bonuses through IMPACT, our system for assessing the performance of school-based staff, teachers, and school leaders.

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Can Virginia and Maryland school principals apply for DCPS principal jobs?

Yes! We encourage candidates from anywhere in the nation with teaching and leadership experience to apply to become a DCPS principal. By law, all new school leaders at DCPS must have a DC administrative credential at the time of hiring.

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DC Public Schools Locations

More than 300 DCPS school leaders serve our 51,000 students and operate 116 schools across the District of Columbia.

Explore Our Locations

Career Development

We believe that school leaders have an immense power to positively impact the life outcomes of their students. We also believe that school leaders will be most successful if they are supported in their work. The Leadership Development Division ensures leaders are prepared at each stage of their career with the full complement of skills and capacities necessary to guarantee student and school success.

Learn more about Principal development