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.
- Special recognition for outstanding school culture of collective leadership and exemplary use of enrichment opportunities for students. Awarded: May 25, 2017
- Special recognition for outstanding student engagement with Core Knowledge content. Awarded: June 3, 2014
- Special recognition for outstanding professional learning communities and planning with Core Knowledge content. Awarded: October 11, 2012
- Special recognition for outstanding content integration across the subject areas and effective teaching practices. Awarded: May 15, 2015
- Special recognition for outstanding intervention programs and content integration across subjects. Awarded: June 7, 2013
- Special recognition for outstanding grade-level collaboration and school-community partnerships. Awarded: May 18, 2018
- Special recognition for outstanding use and collaborative management of human and material resources. Awarded: November 17, 2014
- Special recognition for outstanding implementation of CKLA and curriculum support. Awarded: April 1, 2014
- Special recognition for outstanding implementation of CKLA and collaborative planning. Awarded: February 11, 2016
- Special recognition for outstanding collaborative planning and implementation of the CKLA Listening & Learning Strand in the primary grades. Awarded: June 5, 2015
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:
- Core Implementation Practices (CIP): This resource delineates what it means to implement the Core Knowledge approach with a high-degree of fidelity
- Implementation Feedback Rubric (IFR): This tool assists with assessing a school’s implementation relative to the goals and level of rigor articulated in the Core Implementation Practices
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.
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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?
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.