Department of Principal Quality

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.


Principal Candidates

Applying for Principal Positions in CPS

Prior to applying to Principal Positions, please ensure that you have the necessary state certifications, and are on track to complete the CPS Eligibility Process.

Step 1: Visit Principal /Career Opportunities

Visit Principal Career Opportunities to find out which schools are hiring, learn about the principal selection process, and access the Principal Application Form. Principal Career Opportunities is generally updated on Wednesday, and postings are generally open for applications for two weeks.

Step 2: Research School Vacancies

Use the CPS Find a School tool to learn more about each CPS school's progress, performance, partnerships and programs offered.

Step 3: Apply for a Principal Position

To apply for a Principal position, visit Principal Career Opportunities .

Please note: only candidates who are Eligible under CPS Policy #14-0723-PO1 may accept and sign a principal contract.

Information on LSC's

  • What is the Local School Council (LSC) role in principal selection?
    At most CPS schools, the LSC is responsible for hiring and evaluating the school's contract principal.

    Most LSCs have a multi-step selection process, which includes a resume review, and may include one to three rounds of interviews and a final round "Candidate Forum". During a Candidate Forum, the community has an opportunity to ask questions of each finalist in an open meeting format. Each LSC has the authority to award a 4-year performance contract to a principal.

  • What does an LSC contract look like?
    An LSC has the authority to award a four-year performance contract to a principal candidate if a minimum of seven LSC members vote in favor of that candidate. An LSC may only award a principal contract to a candidate who officially applies to their posted advertisement and is Eligible under the CPS Principalship Policy .

  • What is an ALSC?
    Small and alternative schools are generally governed by Appointed Local School Councils (ALSCs) or Boards of Governors. The Board of Education holds the sole authority to award a principal contract at small and alternative schools. The ALSC/Board of Governors has the right to interview and recommend up to three candidates to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for consideration for the principal position. The ALSC Recommendation Form can be found on page 8 of the ALSC Contract. Please review the Small and Alternative Schools Policy to learn more.
  • How does the Department of Principal Quality support an LSC?
    The Department of Principal Quality works to support Local School Councils in their recruitment and selection efforts. Our department facilitates principal job postings, receives and compiles all principal application materials, and forwards candidate applications to the Local School Councils. We work closely with LSC Relations throughout the selection process to ensure that LSCs have the information, resources and support they need to complete their principal selections.
    LSC Relations is responsible for Principal Selection Training, and they offer critical compliance support. If you are ready to begin your principal selection process and members of your council have not yet completed the mandatory principal selection training, please contact LSC Relations to schedule a training.

For more information on Local School Councils, please see the LSC Reference guide, or visit the LSC website.

CEO Appointments

In cases where there is no LSC in place at a school, there is an alternate selection process called a CEO Appointment, in which candidates are screened by the Chief Education Officer, and network and community leaders.


New-to-Role Principals

Our department provides supports and development opportunities to new principals. For more information, please contact us at

If you are awarded a new or renewal contract by an LSC, please deliver the contract to the Department of Principal Quality on the second floor and to the Office of LSC Relations on the third floor of the CPS Garfield Park Office, 2651 W Washington St., Chicago, IL.

If you have any questions with regard to assistant principal retention, contact the Department of Principal Quality at 773-553-1515.

Visit the Principal Handbook and the Principal Resource site for more information and resources.


Chicago Leadership Collaborative Image

Practicing Principals

The Chicago Principals Fellowship is a 12-month program that provides executive leadership development to 25 high-performing CPS principals per year. Fellows participate in a rigorous program provided by the Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management and the School for Education and School Policy, both at Northwestern University. See a list of the 2015 fellows .

Visit the Principal Handbook and the Principal Resource site for more information and resources.


Contact Us

Department of Principal Quality
42 West Madison, Chicago, IL 60602
(773) 553-1515

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, February 19, 2019