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Obtaining a Principal Authorization: What You Need to Know

Requirements for a Principal Authorization

Before a candidate may apply for a principal authorization, the following three criteria must be met:

  1. There is a demonstrated need for the principal or assistant principal position in the partnering Colorado school district or BOCES;
  2. An employment agreement for the position exists; and
  3. An individualized principal plan has been developed and vetted by CDE/Educator Development as meeting established indicators.

What follows are the steps districts and their candidates will need to take to create an individualized plan. Resources will open in a new window or tab, depending on your browser settings.

1. Review Guidelines

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Always confirm you have the latest version of the Alternative Principal Authorization Guidelines

  • Districts and alternative principal candidates should review the guidelines
  • Districts:
    • Refer to the Individualized Alternative Principal Plan template to help you develop a plan
    • Review the principal authorization requirements in the guidelines

2. Submit Documentation

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Review the Principal Authorization Checklist

Review the Individualized Alternative Principal Plan requirements in the Guidelines

Need help developing a plan?  Click here to see a list of organizations that are available as a resource to school districts.

3. Engage in the review process

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  • CDE will evaluate the plan in light of the Quality Indicators published in the Principal Authorization Guidelines
  • All parties are notified of CDE's decision and/or feedback on the plan.
  • Only at that time will the applicant be able to submit an application for a principal authorization.

4. Receive Decision

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  • Upon receipt of the application, the plan will be submitted to the Colorado State Board of Education for approval at an upcoming meeting.
  • Once approved, CDE will finalize the application process and provide the candidate with a principal authorization

** Important: The plan does not go into effect until the Colorado State Board of Education has approved it and the principal authorization is issued. **