Principal Application Process

Review the steps to becoming a principal at Fairfax County Public Schools.

Information Sessions

Candidates interested in learning more about the principal selection pool process are encouraged to attend an information session. Sign-ups for the information sessions for current employees are through MyPLT. Click on Course Offerings and search “Principal Selection Process.”  For all others interested in attending please email to sign up for a session.

All sessions will be held at Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road.

Our goal is to have a clear and transparent process for all candidates interested in becoming a principal at Fairfax County Public Schools. This process supports the goals outlined in FCPS' Strategic Plan, Ignite.  

Phase 1–Principal Pool Selection Process

Step 1: Application Screening

To be qualified to apply for FCPS' Principal Pool, candidates must have or be eligible to hold a Postgraduate Professional License with endorsements in administration and supervision preK-12, plus seven years of progressively more responsible experience in teaching and administration or supervision; with a minimum of three years administrative experience (please note…candidates that will complete their third year of administrative experience by June 30, 2020, are eligible to apply during the Spring 2020 pool window). 

Step 2: Screening Interview

Applicants invited to move forward to Step 2 will participate in a 45-minute Skype interview.

  • The interview will be conducted by an FCPS team.
  • The questions will be situation and behavior based.
  • Participants do not need to have anything prepared. However, they should have their resume and answers to the two writing prompts available.

Step 3: On-Site Central Office Screening

Applicants invited to move forward to Step 3 will participate in a half-day session on site with FCPS leaders.

  • The half-day could include in-basket and authentic task activities.
  • Suggested reading materials include FCPS School-Based Administrator Evaluation Standards, FCPS' Strategic Plan-Ignite, and Portrait of a Graduate.

Phase 2–Transition from Pool to School

Candidates in the Principal Pool will be invited to express interest in specific school vacancies.

Phase 3–School-Specific Panel Interview and Selection

If selected for a school panel interview:

  • Candidates will hear from the Department of Human Resources, Administrative Employment.
  • The timeline for school panel interviews varies by school and region.
  • The school panel interview is a two-part interview:
    • Part 1: Predetermined questions developed from community and staff input.
    • Part 2: Questions developed with panel members at the conclusion of Part 1.

If selected from the school panel interview to move forward, the candidate will interview with the region leadership team and the superintendent's leadership team.

Principal Pool Application

The application window for Fall 2019 is now closed. The Spring 2020 window will open this November.

Principal Selection Process Information Video

Principal Application Process