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.

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 through the use of data.

See Why We Love Peach Hill Academy

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

ELA 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.

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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?

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?

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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?

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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.