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District of Columbia Public Schools | Washington DC 20001 USA | Full Time - 12 Month | Revised: 03/27/2013

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Principal Position Overview

Our public school students need your expertise, passion and leadership.

We are looking for highly motivated and skilled talent 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, principals, teachers, and central office employees.

Learn more about DC Public Schools and leverage other career resources and tools at the TopSchoolJobs eXPO, a virtual job fair for educators, available on-demand March 21 through April 21, 2013. Sign-up or log in today.

DCPS serves 45,000
students in the nation’s capital through the efforts of approximately 4,000 educators in 123 schools. As part of a comprehensive reform effort to become the preeminent urban school system in America, 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.

Position Overview

DC Public Schools 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—for all of our students.

We believe that all students can achieve at the highest levels and are committed to closing the
achievement gap. 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.

 DCPS Principal Duties and Responsibilities Include:

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.

Leading Instruction

  • Articulating a clear instructional vision 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.
  • Implementing consistent school-wide instructional practices that are clear, results-oriented and research-based.
  • Creating opportunities for ongoing learning and staff development that are informed by data.

Leading Operations

  • Executing results-focused school operations and resource management that ensure minimal disruptions to teaching and learning and promote the success of all students and staff.
  • Developing and maintaining a purposeful school culture that supports a safe and effective learning environment
  • Aligning human resources to school needs, setting high expectations and effectively managing all school employees to meet school goals.

Leading for Increased

  • Focusing on evidence-based growth and results to drive the school towards annual and long-term goals.
  • Engaging school community members effectively to ensure all stakeholders are included in school improvement efforts.
  • Listening to and communicating with all the school’s stakeholders; building successful interpersonal relationships with faculty, staff members, family and community members and students.
  • Managing the change process, including making tough decisions when necessary to move the school and students forward.
  • Engaging in constant personal learning, including the need to learn and adapt when faced with challenges and successes.


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 professional qualifications:

Applicants must obtain an Administrative Services Credential (ASC) through the office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). To obtain an ASC, at minimum, applicants must: EITHER (1) possess at least a master's degree, (2) have spent two years or more in a full-time, K-12 school-based position, and (3) have earned a passing score on the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). OR (1) possess a bachelor's degree and (2) have completed a state-approved program in K-12 Leadership/Administration. For a full description of ASC requirements, please visit OSSE's website: OSSE ASC Requirements.

Standard Qualities of Top Candidates

Student Achievement Focus

  • Believes in the possibility, promise and potential in every student (no excuses for why children cannot achieve).
  • Can speak to this promise down to the classroom level (teacher, specific subgroups, resources needed for special ed,
    ESL, etc).

Leadership Vision

  • Develops, articulates and implements a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.
  • Possesses ability to inspire and motivate students/adults on the vision.

Instructional Expertise

  • 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.

Systems & Resource Management

  • Creates school-level policies, procedures and structures to effectively and efficiently operate a school.
  • Maximizes resources (physical, technological, financial, time and human) to reach goals.

People Management

  • Has an ability to objectively manage employee
    performance and growth through feedback and coaching.
  • Holds adults accountable for student success.
  • Ensures effective professional development and
    growth opportunities for all employees.

Strategic Problem-Solving

  • Articulates short- and long-term goals with each problem and to address school-wide issues/plans.
  • Identifies problems, organizes people and resources appropriately to make decisions and action plans.
  • Utilizes multiple sources of data to inform decision-making.

Family & Community Engagement

  • Interacts and communicates effectively with multiple audiences, including staff, parents, students and community members.
  • Demonstrates commitment to and understanding of how to engage family and community members in the development of and work
    towards the school’s goals.

Shared Leadership

  • Demonstrates an effective approach to team-building, including clarity of purpose, shared responsibility.
  • Builds effective relationships with staff members to move everyone towards school goals, varying leadership approaches
    (when needed).
  • Values, solicits and integrates different perspectives effectively.

Persistence & Resilience

  • Exhibits relentless focus on student achievement in the face of challenges and obstacles.
  • Anticipates and plans for challenges and potential obstacles; when faced with a challenge/obstacle, makes changes to
    achieve goals.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the realities of and difficulties leading in urban schools.

 Personal Development

  • Demonstrates self-awareness, ability to articulate own strengths and growth areas.
  • Models continuous learning and openness to feedback and improving own performance.


Notice of Non-Discrimination

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, District of Columbia Official Code Section 2-1401.01 et seq. (Act), the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) does
not discriminate (including employment therein and admission thereto) on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an interfamily offense, or place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above-protected categories is prohibited. Discrimination in violation of the aforementioned laws will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action. Inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of DCPS will be handled as follows:

Job Detailstop

Location Washington, DC, United States
Categories Head of School/Principal
Organization Type Charter School

Location Maptop

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