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.

Principal Selection Pool Process

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 with an opportunity to express interest. Current FCPS principals are automatically considered candidates in the principal pool. 

Candidates interested in learning more about the principal selection pool process are encouraged to attend an information session. Please e-mail [email protected] to register for one of the sessions listed below. 

Information Session Dates and Times

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2023  | 8 a.m.
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2023 | 4 p.m.

All sessions will be held virtually.

Principal Pool Application

The application window is open and will close on February 5th, 2023.

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

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 can express interest.

Questions?

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

Do you have questions about the principal selection process?

Non-Principal Administrative Opportunities