Principal Selection Process

Planning to become a school principal? Review the new 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

The Department of Human Resources worked with Region Offices and other departments on the development of a new principal selection process. The most significant change is the introduction of a candidate pool, or Principal Pool, as the initial step. The new process still includes several elements of the existing process such as school-community input and school-specific interviews.

Implementing a Principal Pool will help increase and diversify FCPS' candidate pool, and ensure greater transparency around how FCPS selects its schools' leaders. It will also allow additional leadership development opportunities for aspiring principals. The pool model aligns with FCPS’ Strategic Plan, Ignite.

FCPS rolled out the new Principal Pool process in September 2017. Eligible candidates will be invited into the pool after having successfully participated in a series of rigorous assessments demonstrating their leadership qualifications. Starting in  2018, when a principal vacancy is determined, only candidates in the Principal Pool will have an opportunity to express interest. Current FCPS principals will automatically be considered candidates in the pool.  

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.

Information Session Dates and Times




Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Gatehouse 5050


8:30 a.m.

3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Gatehouse 5050


3:30 p.m. 

Annual Pool Process Windows

Spring 2019 Pool

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

Fall 2019 Pool

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

Principal Pool Application

The application window for Fall 2019 is now open. It will close on September 6, 2019.

Do you have questions about the principal selection process?