STEP ONE: ANNOUNCEMENT
Announcements must be sent to local jurisdictions. Advertisements must appear in newspapers and educational publications. High school principals in 69 Virginia school divisions receive a packet that includes the position description, qualifications, work schedule, start date, salary range, application of procedures and information about Alexandria City Public Schools.
STEP TWO: SELECTION
All applicants must undergo a screening process. According to the administrative directive on the principal selection process, this is when the wheat is separated from the chaff: "Only those applicants whose application materials demonstrated the ability to design, implement and maintain innovative, creative and exemplary school programs, will be invited to interview."
STEP THREE: CONSIDERATION
Seek input from staff and parents. On online posting about the position appears on the school system's Web site in Spanish and English for two weeks.
STEP FOUR: INTERVIEWS
The interview process is conducted in four stages: an initial screening interview, a meeting with the selection committee and a meeting with the superintendent. Site visits are made to observe candidates in action. Applicants make presentations and provide writing samples.
STEP FIVE: DELIBERATION
The selection committee interviews candidates and provides a written report to the superintendent. The committee includes a variety of individuals: the executive director for secondary programs, a secondary principal, three T.C. Williams staff members, two T.C. Williams parents, PTA leaders from T.C. Williams and Minnie Howard, a T.C. Williams student representative and a community representative. Finalists are referred to the superintendent.
STEP SIX: SELECTION
Superintendent interviews finalists, conducts site visits to interview staff, students, community and additional references. The selection process guidelines stipulate, in bold print, the possibility that no candidate will emerge: "The superintendent reserves the right to reject all finalists and reopen the interview process."
STEP SEVEN: APPROVAL
The recommendation is approved by members of the School Board.
STEP EIGHT: ORIENTATION
School community is notified, and the selection committee serves as a support group.
<1b>— Michael Lee Pope/Gazette