Principal Selection Process

Planning to become a school principal? Review the process.

Steps to becoming a principal: Application Screening, Screening Interview, On-Site Central Office Screening, Principal Pool, School-Specific Panel Interview, Region Interview, Superintendent Interview

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) utilizes a principal pool to fill principal vacancies. Current FCPS principals are automatically considered candidates in the pool. The process for candidates to be admitted into the FCPS principal pool includes three screening steps: application assessment, online assessment, and in-person assessment. Once candidates are admitted into the principal pool, they have an opportunity to engage in professional development led by experienced FCPS principals.

Principal vacancies are announced to FCPS principals and candidates in the FCPS principal pool. The interview process for a specific principal vacancy includes a school-community panel interview, region leadership interview, and superintendent interview. 

Implementing a principal pool has helped increase and diversify FCPS' candidate pool and ensure greater transparency around how FCPS selects its schools' leaders.

Annual Principal Pool Application Windows

Window 1 (Fall) Application

  • April through Early September: FCPS Principal Pool Advertises 
  • Mid-September through Mid-October: Screening of Qualified Applicants 
  • End of October: Principal Candidate Pool Determined

Window 2 (Spring) Application

  • November through Mid-February: FCPS Principal Pool Advertises
  • February through March: Screening of Qualified Applicants
  • April: Principal Candidate Pool Determined

Fall 2022 Principal Pool Process (All Levels)

In planning for future principal vacancies, Fairfax County Public Schools maintains a pool of eligible candidates who have participated in a series of rigorous competency-based assessments. When a principal vacancy is determined, candidates in the principal pool are provided the opportunity to express interest.

The current application window for the Principal Pool will remain open until September 4, 2022. 

Those interested in learning more about the principal selection pool process are encouraged to attend one of these two information sessions.

If interested in attending either of these sessions, please email [email protected].


Email [email protected] or call 571-423-3113.

Theory of Action

To Continuously Improve Teaching and Student Learning in FCPS

Principal Pool Application

The application window is currently open. It will close on September 4, 2022.

Do you have questions about the principal selection process?

Other School Administrative Opportunities