Schools of Distinction are recognized by the Core Knowledge Foundation as offering a superior educational experience for students. These exemplary schools have demonstrated effective and thorough implementation of the Core Knowledge approach. They’re shining examples of what’s possible through knowledge-based learning.

Each school not only exhibits strong instructional practices, but fosters collaboration, involves all stakeholders, and strives for continuous improvement.

Core Knowledge Schools of Distinction

Explore each Core Knowledge School of Distinction to learn implementation techniques from the best and see what sets each school apart from the crowd. In the spirit of community, we invite you to visit a Core Knowledge School of Distinction near you to learn, ask questions and see our approach in action.

Group of teachers collaborating on lesson plans

Peach Hill Academy

Peach Hill Academy in Moorpark, California, has been able to successfully integrate the Core Knowledge approach and content across subjects and grade levels. Their approach is based on a deep dedication to ensuring all students learn, ample collaboration, and a focus on continuous improvement.

See Why We Love Peach Hill

Candeo Peoria School building

Candeo Peoria School

Candeo Peoria School in Peoria, Arizona, utilizes the Core Knowledge Sequence and curriculum at every grade level. Their approach demonstrates excellent content integration across both subjects and grade levels, and their whole community has come to embrace knowledge-based schooling.

See Why We Love Candeo Peoria

Grayhawk Core Knowledge bulletin board

Grayhawk Elementary School

Grayhawk Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona, achieved their place among our Schools of Distinction through outstanding content integration across subjects and a collaborative effort across the school’s community.

See Why We Love Grayhawk

Language Arts lessons at Liberty Common

Liberty Common School

Liberty Common School in Fort Collins, Colorado, is spearheaded by a Core Knowledge Licensed Professional. Teachers and administrators consistently work together to streamline their approach and ensure no student is left behind.

See Why We Love Liberty Common

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy

The devoted community of staff and families at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy in Alexandria, Virginia, has embraced a collaborative, integrated and domain-based approach to learning.

See Why We Love Lyles-Crouch

Willa Cather Elementary School

We’re proud to recognize Willa Cather Elementary School for their exemplary Core Knowledge implementation and outstanding collaborative planning processes.

See Why We Love Willa Cather

Students posing outside of Bryant School

Bryant School of Arts and Innovation

Bryant School of Arts and Innovation has fully implemented the Core Knowledge approach across all subjects and grade levels. Pay close attention to their content integration and collaborative planning.

See Why We Love Bryant School

Other Schools of Distinction

Apply to Join Our Schools of Distinction

Has your school seen success in adopting the Core Knowledge approach? Do you follow an implementation and professional development plan aimed at continuous improvement? Would you like to see your school join the ranks of the above Schools of Distinction?

To apply, schools must commit to a more rigorous implementation, including meeting specific milestones established by the Foundation. It is recommended that a school hoping to achieve recognition as a Core Knowledge School of Distinction follow an implementation and professional development plan created in ongoing collaboration with the Core Knowledge Foundation. For schools that are relatively new to Core Knowledge, attaining School of Distinction status is expected to take at least three years; during which time, schools and the Foundation ensure that processes, professional development, and resources that support strong implementation of the Core Knowledge approach are put into place. As a first step, we encourage school leaders to familiarize themselves with two key tools used throughout the process:

Please note that designation as a Core Knowledge School of Distinction is granted at the sole discretion of the Core Knowledge Foundation. Relatively few schools will attain Distinction status. While the process of applying can serve as a rewarding learning experience, completion of the application process does not guarantee successful demonstration of the criteria for success. Want to get started? Want to learn more?

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The School of Distinction designation will expire after five years, but schools that remain active in the Core Knowledge community can engage in a modified evaluative process in order to renew their designation. Questions about the renewal process?

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The Core Knowledge Foundation is no longer using the original evaluation process through which the Core Knowledge Official School or Core Knowledge Visitation School status could be attained. Therefore, no additional schools will be recognized as Official or Visitation sites. Schools that were recognized as Official or Visitation sites — and are still implementing the Core Knowledge Sequence — are invited to continue using the designation.