What is Lead with CPS?

Lead with CPS is part of the district’s commitment to increase equity around career pathways, create transparent talent pipelines and invest in the continued growth of employees. It includes a framework for highlighting what leadership looks like across various role types. You can use this framework when thinking about how to grow as a leader in your current role as well as exploring how your expertise may translate to another role.


Frequently Asked Questions

In order to promote Continuous Learning and supplement existing programs for all staff, Lead with CPS is part of the district’s commitments to increase transparency and equity around career pathways, invest in the development of employees and create talent pipelines. You can now see how each role-type aligns with universal leadership competencies, compare with other role-types and find opportunities to develop based on interest areas or competencies.

The CPS Talent Office guided the creation of Lead with CPS, with support from The Chicago Public Education Fund. Hundreds of administrative staff, teachers, assistant principals, principals and central office personnel were engaged in the development of Lead with CPS and more than 40 CPS employees helped guide its development along with research and insights from eight school districts across the country. A four-person Steering Committee comprised of Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade, Chief of Operations Arnie Rivera, Chief of Talent Matt Lyons and Chief of Equity Maurice Swinney brought this effort to life.

The competencies were identified through a combination of research around existing leadership frameworks and other district practices, cross-walking and summarizing existing CPS frameworks and engagement of district employees in order to source the most important leadership qualities for success in the CPS context.

Lead with CPS is intended to complement performance management conversations. It intentionally does not include any evaluative or rating components. Employees should use Lead with CPS as a tool for exploring leadership opportunities, learning how to grow their careers within CPS and understanding what leadership looks like in roles across the organization.

Opportunities were selected by identifying and vetting high-quality programs with a proven track record of developing CPS staff. The planning team conducted thorough reviews to ensure program quality and alignment with the universal leadership competencies before featuring opportunities on the website. Please fill out this form if you’re interested in submitting an opportunity for Lead with CPS. Additional opportunities will be vetted and added on a rolling basis.

This process highlighted a number of opportunities for better supporting leaders in CPS. As outlined in Success Starts Here (page 30), the district is committed to developing and retaining top talent. Lead with CPS will be used as a launching pad for continued investment in employees.

CPS-sponsored opportunities are programs that are either run internally by the district or are an external program for which CPS may partially or fully cover participant program fees. An internal application process may be required for sponsorship approval. In addition, there may be retention requirements, per Board policy, for receiving CPS financial assistance. Receiving CPS sponsorship also does not guarantee acceptance into an external program. If you have questions regarding any CPS-sponsored opportunities, contact leaderdevelopment@cps.edu.

No. Lead with CPS is designed to provide staff with the ability to build their leadership capacity in their current roles and also learn more about leadership opportunities internal and external to the district. Lead with CPS is non-evaluative and does not impact REACH evaluation scores.

The Common Program Application is a joint effort between the Department of Principal Quality and The Chicago Public Education Fund in an effort to streamline the multiple application, selection processes and timelines that exist for leadership programs. With this effort, our goal is to create more transparent and equitable pathways for leadership growth within the district.

Principal Programs: 

  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative Mentor Principal
  • Chicago Principals Fellowship 
  • Executive Principal 
  • Lead Eligibility Assessor*
  • Lead Mentor Principal 
  • New Principal Mentor Principal
  • Principal Eligibility Assessor*  
  • Principals Helping Principals*
  • Professional Learning Community Leader

Assistant Principal Programs:

  • AP Resident Principal Program*
  • Aspiring Principal PLC
  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative*
  • Leadership Bridge
  • Val-Ed Assessment 

Teacher Leader Programs:

  • Aspiring Assistant Principal Institute
  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative* 

* This program is invite-only; however, you may complete an interest form to receive additional information.

We are committed to providing CPS employees with Continuous Learning and opportunities to develop leadership. We expect all employees to embody our core values and continually improve their skills within their roles. This framework is intended to increase transparency about the most important leadership competencies at CPS and how they come to life in various roles.