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Best Practices

Best Practices The Preschool Sequence and Teacher Handbook offers guidance based on research and best practices in early childhood education. More…

Visit a Core Knowledge School

Visit a Core Knowledge School Schools nationwide are boosting student achievement with our coherent, cumulative, and content-specific curriculum. Find a Core Knowledge school near you. More…

Success With Core Knowledge

Every Kind of School, Every Kind of Setting

By any measure–student achievement and engagement, parent involvement, or teacher satisfaction–Core Knowledge schools in nearly every state have enjoyed success with the sequenced, solid, specific, and shared Core Knowledge curriculum. Here are just a few notable Core Knowledge success stories. To learn more, and see Core Knowledge in action, we encourage anyone interested in adopting the curriculum to visit a Core Knowledge school.

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy-CFA

The Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy has been named a Core Knowledge School of Distinction, with honors for their expert implementation of the Core Knowledge Langauge Arts program and well-planned curriculum support. The teachers set high expectations for themselves and students, and they have established caring and consistent classroom environments that are respectful, supportive, and focused on learning.


Snowy Range Academy

Snowy Range Academy has been named a Core Knowledge School of Distinction, with honors for their collaborative use and management of staff and resources. Snowy Range Academy exemplifies all the great qualities of a Core Knowledge school—rigorous curriculum, collaborative planning, effective and engaging teaching, and strong leadership. Of these, however, one particular aspect of Snowy Range’s approach makes all these possible: collaboration among staff.


Grayhawk Elementary School

Grayhawk Elementary School has been named a Core Knowledge School of Distinction, with honors for purposeful student engagement. The school embodies the positive results—student engagement, teacher satisfaction, and parent excitement and support—that flow from a comprehensive, collaborative planning process.


Traut Core Knowledge School

Traut Core Knowledge School has been honored as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School. According to the U.S. Department of Education, which bestows this honor, National Blue Ribbon Schools “share some key qualities. Their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning. Mutual respect and trust run deep in their cultures. The whole school community embodies a sense of collegiality and commitment and members are supported by mentoring and professional development. Data from many sources are used diligently to adapt teaching and learning to support every student. Families and educators work together in partnership.” Traut Core Knowledge School does all of these—and more.


Peach Hill Academy

Peach Hill Academy, a suburban, public K–5 school in Moorpark, California, with about 550 students (32 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch) and 19 teachers, has been named a Core Knowledge School of Distinction, with dual honors in intervention programs and content integration.


Liberty Common School

Liberty Common School—the first school to become a Core Knowledge School of Distinction under the Foundation’s rigorous new certification process—is a model for how a coherent curriculum can foster meaningful collaboration. The school shined throughout a full week of classroom observations as well as interviews and surveys with students, parents, teachers, and administrators.


George Washington Academy

The Core Knowledge Foundation congratulates George Washington Academy, which uses the Core Knowledge Sequence, on being named the Utah Public Charter School Association’s 2013 Charter School of the Year. George Washington Academy is a high-performing, kindergarten through eighth grade school in St. George, Utah, with about 1,000 students.

Utah Public Charter School Association’s 2013 Charter School of the Year

Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School

Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School was recently named as one of two Colorado schools to be recognized by Solution Tree for its quality and success in creating a professional learning community (PLC). Professional Learning Communities at Work are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is the on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three foundational elements of PLCs include:

1. Learning as the fundamental purpose of the school.
2. Establishing a collaborative culture combined with job-embedded professional development.
3. Basing the school’s effectiveness on results, not intentions.


Grayhawk Elementary

As highlighted in On Purpose: How Great School Cultures Form Strong Character, Samual Casey Carter explains that at Grayhawk Elementary, " . . . the life of the mind and the love of learning are always on display. Artwork is everywhere: both classic examples of fine art and student imitations of world masterpieces. Classrooms overflow with project posters, dioramas, working models, and historical timelines. The tools of the trade are always in evidence—more like a living museum than anything else—so that the children can experience for themselves how the greatest ideas were first discovered and what those notions look like today: the abacus, slide rule, and calculator; hourglass, pendulum clock, and spring-loaded watch; and dictionaries, encyclopedias, and maps of every kind."

On Purpose: How Great School Cultures Form Strong Character, by Samuel Casey Carter

NCEA Releases 2011 List of Higher Performing Schools in Arizona that are Advancing toward College and Career Readiness

Newark Charter School

U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Newark Charter School as a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School the highest recognition given schools by the U. S. Government.  "The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students." Newark Charter School was one of only 14 charter schools in the nation to receive this distinction. School Director, Gregory Meece gives much credit to the school's unwavering commitment to Core Knowledge since they opened in 2001.

2010 National Blue Ribbon School

New Holland Elementary School

"While many schools have narrowed the curriculum since Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, doubling up on reading and math instruction to prepare students for crucial tests in those subjects, New Holland Elementary School has embraced a far broader course of study," writes Education Week's Kathleen Kennedy Manzo in this profile of a Core Knowledge Visitation site. "Educators at New Holland say the curriculum is a key reason why the school has made adequate yearly progress."

Learning Essentials: New Holland Elementary School

P. S. / M. S. 124, Osmond A. Church School

Principal Valarie Lewis of P. S. / M. S. 124, Osmond A. Church Elementary School, in Queens, New York saw that her teachers "were teaching 150% but they weren’t getting the results. The children weren’t strong readers. They didn’t have background knowledge."  Since becoming a Core Knowledge school, Osmond Church has won national attention and accolades.

The Achievement Alliance: PS 124, Osmond A. Church School
The Education Trust Dispelling the Myth Award Recipient
Avoid quick fixes, watch academic achievement rise

Carl C. Icahn Charter School

Known as a 'turnaround' principal, Jeffrey Litt has been working in the same five-mile radius of the South Bronx for most of his 38 years in education. "I won’t take an easy assignment," says Litt in a U.S. Department of Education report on efforts to create successful learning environments for historically underserved children. Given the opportunity to build a charter school from scratch, Litt created an elementary school based on E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s Core Knowledge curriculum. In 2009, 94 percent of the school's third- through eighth-graders scored at or above proficient on New York state's reading test–including a remarkable 100 percent of kids in grades five, six and seven. The New York Daily News recently reported the Icahn School is New York's hardest school to get into, with spots for less than 3% of its 868 applicants in 2009.

Closing the Achievement Gap: Carl C. Icahn Charter School
Charters Top the Charts; New York Post, May 9, 2009
Carl C. Icahn Charter School emerges the toughest charter school to get into this year; New York Daily News, April 14, 2009
A Beacon in the Bronx; New York Observer, Oct. 8, 2007

Rocklin Academy

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell met with school leaders and students at the Rocklin Academy Meyers Street campus to learn more about the public charter school’s award winning academic program. An international association of learning educators, Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council), and Corwin, a producer of multimedia resources for professional development, awarded Rocklin Academy the first Shirley Hord Learning Team Award. An official Core Knowledge visitation site, Rocklin Academy earned the award after submitting a video and documentation demonstrating how teachers at its two K-6 charter school campuses work together in collaborative learning teams to study and implement research-based instructional strategies, ensuring high levels of student academic success.

Rocklin Academy Receives National Shirley Hord Award
Shirley Hord Learning Team Award - Video