At Chicago Public Schools, our mission is to provide a high-quality public education for every child in every neighborhood, that prepares them for success in college, career, and community. This important work is grounded in our Five-Year Vision 2019-2024: Success Starts Here, created to align our efforts and provide a clear sense of our priorities for all stakeholders.

CPS Principal Expectations

To fulfill our mission, we seek innovative, entrepreneurial, results-oriented school leaders with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the students in their schools and to the communities in which their schools reside.

CPS Principals are key levers for change and are critical to the success of our schools.

CPS principal expectations are in accordance with the CPS Principal Competencies.

CPS Principal Requirements


(Board Policy 14-0723-P01)

CPS requires that all principal candidates earn CPS Eligible status in order to be offered a Uniform Principal Contract. This policy applies to all candidates, both internal and external, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.

CPS Principal Eligibility Process (Eligibility) is administered by the Department of Principal Quality. Please visit Department of Principal Quality . If you are unsure if you Eligible, please email CPSLeaders@cps.edu or call (773) 553-1515.


  • General Administrator (K-12) Principal Endorsement


(Board Policy 18-0627-PO4 )

All employees of the Chicago Public Schools must adhere to the Residency Policy for All Employees of the Board of Education. All officers and employees hired on or after the date of the residency policy will be required to be residents of the City of Chicago within six months from the day their employment begins.


To apply, complete and submit the CPS Principal Candidate Application Form and attach your resume, cover letter, and other materials requested by the advertising LSC. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Submit a separate application form with material for each individual school to which you are applying. All materials must be in PDF format only. (Save your document in PDF format prior to submission.)

Principal positions are generally posted for two weeks and may be posted again after the application deadline or upon request by the LSC. Candidates do not need to reapply for reposted positions.

Note, the Department of Principal Quality or Department of Local School Council Relations cannot provide updates to candidates on the status of their application.

Find out more information about individual CPS schools at cps.edu/schools .

Find out more information about Local School Councils role in principal selection.

Visit the Department of Principal Quality for more details.


Each Local School Council (LSC):

  1. Determines position requirements and additional application materials based on the vision, mission, goals and needs of the individual school.

  2. Receives all qualified candidate resumes and applications within three (3) business days following the Application Deadline along with verification of each candidate’s Eligibility status.

  3. Determines their own interview process and timetable.

  4. May vote to select a principal candidate at any time following initial screening of candidates but often hold multiple interviews in order to select the most qualified candidate for their school. Many LSCs host candidate forums which are an opportunity for the school community to meet finalist candidates.

  5. Will contact candidates directly to schedule and conduct interviews for their school.

LSCs: Please follow Principal Posting Instructions and Principal Posting Template. Deadline to submit post is Tuesdays by 4pm.