School Leader Compensation and Benefits

Exceptional leadership is a hallmark of any successful school, and it’s a key strategy of our Denver Plan 2020. That’s why DPS has chosen to lead the Denver metro area in school leader compensation [i].

Like ProComp, our professional compensation system for teachers, the goal of our school leader compensation system is to attract and retain exceptional leaders – especially in our high-poverty schools. Additional information on school leader compensation is available here.

Examples of school leader compensation in DPS:


Nicole is an assistant principal at a Title 1 elementary school. This year, Nicole earned an effective rating on her leadership evaluation. In addition, Nicole’s school earned the Top Performing and High Growth incentives based on the School Performance Framework.

Target Base [ii] $73,900
Title 1 $5,250
Top Performing $2,250
High Growth $5,625
Total $87,025


Dustin is a principal at a low-poverty elementary school. In addition to earning an effective rating on his leadership evaluation, Dustin’s school received the Top Performance and High Growth incentives based on the School Performance Framework.

Target Base $96,500
Top Performing $3,000
High Growth $7,500
Total $107,000


Charles leads one of Denver’s Title 1, Highest Priority high schools. Because of the large size of the student body, Charles receives an Enrollment Supplement. In addition, Charles’s school earned the Top Performing and High Growth incentives based on the School Performance Framework.

Target Base $113,700
Title 1 $25,000
Top Performing $3,000
High Growth $7,500
Enrollment Supplement $5,000
Total $154,200

School Leader Salary



We recognize that our commitment to supporting the whole child can only succeed if we collectively support the members of team DPS. So instead of the traditional focus on benefits, we’ve developed a Total Rewards program that supports the health, engagement and enrichment of the whole employee.

What does this look like in practice?

  • Health options with the flexibility you need – A one-size-fits-all approach to supporting the health of our employees doesn’t work. You need a health plan that is unique to you. With monthly flex dollars, you can choose the plan that makes the most sense for you, whether it be one of the district’s health plans or a plan that better fits your needs.
  • Retirement plans that honor the effort you’ve put in – You’ve dedicated an enriching career to serving the students of Denver; you shouldn’t have to be concerned with how to manage retirement. Through the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) and a variety of partners, DPS offers a competitive pension plan and a robust selection of retirement plans that provide you the flexibility in retirement you are looking for, while meeting your financial situation today.
  • Ongoing development opportunities that grow your career – We are a community of lifelong learners committed to personalizing each other’s pathway and career at DPS. We do this by providing ongoing feedback, coaching and support, coupled with opportunities for professional and personal growth.
  • Making your personal wellness a priority – Our robust wellness program provides employees access to a variety of activities, from fitness facility discounts to energy management classes to cooking seminars.
  • Time when you need it most – While each employee group has a slightly different work calendar, DPS values providing employees the time they need to show up happy, healthy and engaged every day for our students via the mix of personal, vacation and sick days provided.
  • Solutions for your daily tasks – Trying to find the best doctors in your area, planning a move, or looking for discounts? Our robust employee assistance and discount programs provide you with the services you need to make your life outside of work a bit smoother.
  • Support when you have questions – Whether it’s signing up for benefits or understanding our retirement options, our HR Connect team is on hand to answer your questions.

Want to learn more? Check out our detailed benefits guide or reach out to us at

[i] Based on 2015 internal analysis by DPS department of Total Rewards.

[ii] “Target Base” represents district target for leader with six years of experience.

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