School Leader Application Process

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.

The School District of Philadelphia Principal and Assistant Principal application processes each consist of 6 steps, four in the eligibility stage and two in the hiring stage.

The Principal and Assistant Principal job descriptions provides a more detailed description of the position role and responsibilities.

The School District of Philadelphia Principal and Assistant Principal application processes each consist of 6 steps, four in the eligibility stage and two in the hiring stage.


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 an immediate response acknowledging receipt of your submission. Thereafter, our team will work to evaluate your submission and update you on if you will move on to the next stage.

You can expect to receive an update about your application status via email approximately one week after the application window in which you applied to, has closed (See Key Application Dates in the side panel).

NOTE: Prior to applying, it is recommended that you utilize or create a GMAIL account as many of the stages beyond the application stage will involve viewing and accessing Google documents/forms. Doing so will ensure you are able to view/receive important information without delay or complication. If you do not wish to create an additional email account, it is recommended that you set up a Google account utilizing your preferred email address.


Based on your initial application, you may be invited to complete a performance task which will help us further assess whether school leadership with our district is a good fit for you. It should take 1-2 hours to complete, and you will have one week (7 days) after receiving the performance task to submit it for review.  The Performance Task is shared via Google Documents. It is recommended that you utilize a GMAIL account to access information sent to you at this stage to ensure you receive information without delay.


Based on your performance task, you may be invited to participate in a 30 minute phone interview.


Based on your phone interview, you may be invited to join a half-day in-person interview event with other candidates, which will include interviews, roleplays, and case study presentation.


Candidates who successfully complete Selection Day will be placed in our Principal or Assistant Principal talent pool. If you are in the talent pool, you will be eligible to apply for leadership vacancies that become available. Should your skill set and experience align with the needs of the school, you will be invited to an in-person interview at the school with Assistant Superintendents (for principalship) or Principals (for assistant principalship) and designated school-based teams.


Finalists for Principal roles will interview with Superintendent Dr. William Hite and Chief Schools Officer Dr. Shawn Bird. Finalists for Assistant Principal roles will interview with Assistant Superintendents.


To join our network mailing list, click here and complete the interest form. *Completing this form does not replace or serve as a substitute for an application to the Principal or Assistant Principal Talent Pool. In order to be eligible to apply to Principal and Assistant Principal vacancies, applicants must first successfully complete each stage of the above process.*