Schools of Distinction are recognized by the Core Knowledge Foundation as offering a superior educational experience. These exemplary schools have demonstrated effective and thorough implementation of the Core Knowledge approach. Each school not only exhibits strong instructional practices, but fosters collaboration, involves all stakeholders, and strives for continuous improvement.

Core Knowledge Schools of Distinction

We highly recommend you visit a Core Knowledge School of Distinction.

Bryant School of Arts & Innovation, Riverside, CA

  • Special recognition for outstanding school culture of collective leadership and exemplary use of enrichment opportunities for students. Awarded: May 25, 2017

Grayhawk Elementary School, Scottsdale, AZ

  • Special recognition for outstanding student engagement with Core Knowledge content. Awarded: June 3, 2014

Liberty Common Elementary School, Fort Collins, CO

  • Special recognition for outstanding professional learning communities and planning with Core Knowledge content. Awarded: October 11, 2012

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, Alexandria, VA

  • Special recognition for outstanding content integration across the subject areas and effective teaching practices. Awarded: May 15, 2015

Millard Core Knowledge Academy at Cather Elementary, Omaha, NE

  • Special recognition for outstanding collaborative planning and implementation of the CKLA Listening & Learning Strand in the primary grades. Awarded: June 5, 2015

Peach Hill Academy, Moorpark, CA

  • Special recognition for outstanding intervention programs and content integration across subjects. Awarded: June 7, 2013

Ridgeline Academy, Phoenix, AZ

  • Special recognition for outstanding grade-level collaboration and school-community partnerships. Awarded: May 18, 2018

Snowy Range Academy, Laramie, WY

  • Special recognition for outstanding use and collaborative management of human and material resources. Awarded: November 17, 2014

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy – CFA, Forest City, NC

  • Special recognition for outstanding implementation of CKLA and curriculum support. Awarded: April 1, 2014

Urban Pathways K5 College Charter School, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Special recognition for outstanding implementation of CKLA and collaborative planning. Awarded: February 11, 2016

Applying for Distinction Status

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?

Contact Us

Renewing Distinction Designation

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?

Contact Us

Note About Previous Designations

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.