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Principal Eligibility

Principal Candidate Pool

The CPS Principal Candidate Pool (Pool) is the District's talent bench for Principals. Members of the Pool are individuals who have met the minimum qualifications to become a CPS Principal. Membership in the Pool is a requirement to obtain a Principal position in district-governed schools in alignment with the CPS Principal Eligibility Policy (Policy).

Principal Eligibility Process

Successful completion of the CPS Principal Eligibility (Eligibility) process is a requirement to become a member of the Pool and, thus, a CPS principal. Aspiring principals must pass the Eligibility process before they can be selected for a contract, interim, or acting principal position. This applies to all candidates, internal and external alike, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.
The Eligibility process requires current and aspiring principals to demonstrate evidence of leadership experience related to the CPS Principal Competencies that have resulted in positive school-wide student outcomes across multiple grade levels and subject areas.

The Eligibility process includes both an online (step 1) and an in-person (step 2) component. For more information, explore the Principal Eligibility Process to find a detailed overview, frequently asked questions, and other resources.

Principal Eligibility Process PDF


CPS hosts the Eligibility process, a required-two step process to becoming a principal in the District, three times per year.

Upcoming Application Periods for SY22:

  • April 2022 Cycle (In-person):
  • Application opens Monday, April 4, 2022, at 8:00 am and closes Sunday, April 10, 2022, at 11:59 pm.
  • Fingerprinting Due: Monday, April 18, 2022 at 8:00 am

Note: All candidates, including current employees, must complete fingerprinting within three business days after the close of the application period. All necessary fingerprinting documents are provided in the confirmation email following application submission.

Preview the application


Mission: Identify, develop, support, and retain strong principal leaders who are dedicated to student success in CPS.

Vision: Every Chicago Public School has a strong leader providing opportunities for all students to achieve their fullest potential.