Highest Priority Incentives

  • Teachers and specialized service providers (ProComp & Traditional) may be eligible for these Highest Priority Incentives

    How do I know if my school is Highest Priority?

    The list of DPS schools that qualify for market incentives, including Highest Priority, is updated annually in the spring and is effective starting in the following school year in August. The Highest Priority designation is exclusive for up to 30 schools. If designated as Highest Priority, a school will remain Highest Priority for up to five years.

    How were the Highest Priority schools selected?

    Schools were identified using the "similar schools index" of the School Performance Framework (SPF), which ranks schools based on student poverty and mobility rates, as well as the percentage of English language learners (ELLs) and students receiving special education services. Using this index, the ten elementary and ten secondary schools with the highest combined rates were selected. Ten additional schools were identified due to significant performance challenges and other data collected in the tiered school support process. Please see the guiding principles for determing if schools should be added to the list.         

    The structure of these incentives is the direct result of the work and recommendations from teachers on our Teacher Retention Task Force, with the goal of ensuring great teachers in every classroom, especially those in our highest-poverty schools. The incentives went into effect at the start of the 2015-16 school year and are paid in addition to all other current ProComp incentives.

    Incentive amounts vary by role and evaluation rating

     Highest Priority Monthly Amounts

    Highest Priority Retention Amount


    Eligibility & Payout Information

    Employees must be in one of the eligible job codes with formal evaluation type in order to be eligible for this incentive. The incentive amount is based on LEAP or SSP GPS rating—or CPE rating if a LEAP score is not relevant for the position. Please see the table above for specific amounts.

    • Incentives are paid out based on the most recent official, end-of-year ratings. If you do not have an official end of year rating on file, then you will receive the incentive equivalent to that of a teacher/SSP with an “Approaching” rating. LEAP and SSP GPS ratings need to be finalized and marked as official by September 15 of the relevant school year in order to guarantee that rating is considered for incentive payments.
    • If you are in an incentive-eligible position not formally evaluated via LEAP or SSP GPS, an incentive of up to $2,000 across the Highest Priority incentives will be provided and distributed in the same manner as the teacher/SSP incentives (e.g., up to $1,500 over 12 months for Highest Priority Monthly, and up to $500 provided in a single lump-sum for the Highest Priority Retention incentive). Individuals evaluated using the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation (CPE) system with an unsatisfactory rating will not be eligible for this incentive.
    • You must have been in an eligible status and position on June 1 of the prior school year in order to be eligible for the Highest Priority Retention Incentive.
    • Employees must be in a qualified status in a Highest Priority school as of October 1 for the year in which the Highest Priority Retention Incentive is paid (e.g., for a teacher that taught in a Highest Priority school for 2015-16, he/she would need to be working at a Highest Priority school as of October 1, 2016 in order to receive the Highest Priority Retention Incentive); payment will be made in the employee’s October second paycheck.
    • If you have been RiB'd to another school that is not listed as a Highest Priority school, you will not be eligible to receive either of the Highest Priority Incentives.
    • Employees who remain within DPS but not in an incentive-eligible position will not be eligible for the Highest Priority Retention Incentive.
    • A teacher must be in the role and in a payable status for at least one day in the month in order to be eligible to receive the monthly bonus for that month.
    • Payment is in arrears on the second paycheck of the month following eligibility.
      • Example: If you work (or are in a payable status) one day in October, you will receive your monthly incentive payment on November's second paycheck (typically on the 22nd day).
    • The first payment will begin the month after your start, transfer or return to payable status. To receive payment for the month of August (paid in September), you must be a new or returning teacher/SSP for the upcoming school year.
    • Employees that meet all requirements and successfully serve in the month of May are eligible for May's payment (paid in June). If employee is eligible for May's payment (paid in June), remains active in a DCTA eligible position, and in a payable status during June and July, employee will also receive payment over the summer months (July 22 and August 22). The employee does not need a current CDE license or approved authorization in June, or July to qualify for payout during the summer months.
      • Transfers out of DCTA: Your DCTA position's last day in a payable status will determine when you receive the last incentive payment.  If your DCTA position's last payable status day is in June, you will receive your last incentive payment on July 22 for the month of June; if your DCTA position's last payable status day is in July, you will receive your last incentive payment on August 22 for the month of July.
    • NOT ELIGIBLE: If you are on unpaid leave or in a non-payable status for an entire month, you are NOT ELIGIBLE to receive the incentive payment for that month.
    • Payment is pro-rated by FTE.
    • Please review the detailed general eligibility guidelines for all incentives.