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Principals & Assistant Principals

Embrace Possibility.  Lead in Philadelphia.

The School District of Philadelphia is redefining the school experience, with a renewed focus on equipping all students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and a rewarding career. We believe that strong school leaders are critical to helping us fulfill our ambitious mission to redefine the public school experience for every child in the city.  So it’s no surprise that we take school leader selection seriously. Our student body comes from a vast range of cultural, socioeconomic, and family backgrounds. And every day, Philadelphia’s community of school leaders rise to meet new challenges with dedication and innovation, determined to restore our city’s legacy of excellent public schools.  Will you join us?

Our Application

Our rigorous application process helps us – and you – determine if you are a right fit for the principalship in our district.

Early Deadline: January 2, 2017

Priority Deadline: March 13, 2017

Late Deadline: June 5, 2017

The application consists of a set of questions that ask about educational background, resume information, and location preferences.  It also includes short answer questions.  In total, the initial application should take 45-60 minutes to complete. After submission, you’ll receive a response from our team in approximately two weeks.

Based on your initial application, you may be invited to participate in a 30 minute phone interview which will help us further assess whether school leadership with our district is a good fit for you.

Candidates who successfully complete the phone interview will be invited to join a half-day group interview event with other candidates, which includes candidate presentations, group activities, and in-person interviews.

Candidates who successfully complete the group interview and have an interest in applying to lead a turnaround school, will participate in an additional panel interview with the assistant superintendent of the turnaround network, turnaround principals, and other District leaders.


For forward-thinking administrators and educators, opportunities abound in The School District of Philadelphia. We offer premier special-admission schools and turnaround schools; small, neighborhood elementary schools; and large high schools.

The School District of Philadelphia offers a vast range of leadership opportunities for progressive administrators who seek to join us in this effort.

Click Here to See Our Current Openings 

Who We Want

Our school leaders are a diverse set of experienced educators with a strong track record in school buildings and a deep commitment to Philadelphia’s students. Applicants should have prior experience leading adults—as principals, assistant principals, teacher leaders, instructional coaches, department chairs, etc.

Under the certification guidelines of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, candidates must obtain principal certification. You can learn more about Pennsylvania certification requirements here.

We’re seeking passionate educators who share our commitment to making our district a place where all students thrive.  Principals are charged with very high-stakes work: helping students achieve the academic success that will expand their life opportunities. Our approach to selecting school leaders is based on our unwavering commitment to the success of ALL students. We seek school leaders who demonstrate the following distinguishing competencies:

  • Vision
  • Use of Data
  • Diagnosis
  • Relationships
  • Decision-making
  • Resilience
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Goal-setting

Principal Hiring Process


Choose Philly!

  • Culturally Rich: Philadelphia is home to world-renowned museums, historical landmarks, awesome venues, and gorgeous gardens
  • Family Friendly: Families discover the magic of each season with Philadelphia’s extensive list of family-friendly events, performances, and attractions
  • Outdoor Oasis: Philadelphia boasts year-round beauty, incredible public gardens, and 4100 acres of scenic bike trails, waterfront, and woodlands
  • Extraordinary Dining: More than a decade of development has transformed Philadelphia’s dining scene, and it continues to emerge as one of the country’s finest culinary destinations
  • Proximity: In addition to all that Philadelphia has to offer, it’s centrally located, so it is easy to hop on a train, catch the bus, or drive to New York City, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.

Last modified: July 27, 2017