School Leadership

New School Proposal Process

The Office of New Schools of the New York City Department of Education will be accepting applications for district schools to open in September 2014. New district schools focus on meeting the needs of all students, particularly the hardest-to-serve.  Starting a new school is a significant opportunity to influence students’ lives and serve New York City families and students. It is also intense and demanding; the rigorous application process is designed to gauge leaders’ readiness to meet these challenges and evaluate their proposed school models. The Office of New Schools Leadership Competencies are used throughout the process as the framework for the assessment of proposals.

Selection process:

Our selection process consists of five phases, and candidates are notified at each phase whether or not they will advance.  The process includes a series of four evening assessment sessions, one or more interviews, one or more school visits, and written submissions. Throughout the process, candidates develop their new school proposal.  Successful proposals reflect expertise and careful thought in the requisite areas, represent the leader’s fundamental beliefs about education, and outline a coherent plan with strong alignment between the philosophy, structure and instructional plan. 

Skills needed to enter the program or role:

  • Current SAS/SBL or SDA/SDL certification, or be enrolled in a license-granting program in order to meet all State license requirements and be accepted into the principal pool by July 1, 2015
  • Excellent skills in the following three categories on the Office of New Schools Leadership Rubric:
    • Instructional leadership
    • Personal leadership
    • Community leadership

Skills gained:

  • Candidates will receive feedback on their proposals as well their performance throughout the process, regardless of the outcome
  • Proposals will be aligned with the three aforementioned categories from the ONS leadership rubric
  • Candidates approved to open a new school, will receive 30 full days of leadership preparation, coaching and school planning from January - June 2014.
  • Approved candidates participate in a small group advisory, led by an experienced coach who will guide leaders and provide critical feedback as they refine their school vision and plan for a successful opening.
  • ONS will also offer guided school visits in order to strengthen the candidate's instructional leadership and ideas for student support for his/her new school

Key dates:

ONS conducts the design & development application process twice a year, from September - December, and February - June.

Please visit the ONS website for a calendar of events and updated information:

Program Contact:

Krista Jefferson -