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Teach For America alumna, Mary Cooper leading a high school physics class.

Schools To Learn From seeks to broaden the definition of what makes an excellent school and share that learning with educators from across the country. 

About Schools to Learn From

Schools To Learn From is a program for schools to share effective and innovative practices that can be adapted and implemented by school leaders across the country. 

Each year, the Schools To Learn From program selects four to five schools that are providing an excellent education for their students. Once selected, these schools act as learning laboratories by hosting visits and facilitating professional development that enables other educators to implement strategies and best practices in their own schools.

There are two ways you can participate in the Schools to Learn From program:

Become a School to Learn From

As a School to Learn From, you will have an opportunity to celebrate the successes of your school community, reflect on your school’s history, growth, and strengths, and contribute to the professional development of fellow educational leaders.

Your school team will work in partnership with Teach For America to design an immersive two-day professional development opportunity for 25-40 visiting school leaders (view a sample agenda).

Benefits Include

  • $5,000 to use toward staff development
  • The opportunity to send two staff members to visit another School to Learn From in 2020-2021
  • National recognition through Teach For America

Who Can Apply

Any school can apply to become a School to Learn From. Schools do not need to be affiliated with Teach For America in order to apply. 

We look for:

  • Big and small schools
  • All school models including district, charter, private boarding, or other models
  • New and historic schools
  • Suburban, urban, rural
  • Schools that are doing the basics really well and schools that are reimagining what school looks like
“I find the entire STLF community to be a catalyst for some of the most meaningful reflection, PD, and networking that I’ve experienced in my 11+ years as an educator.”

Former STLF Host School Leader

Host School Application Process

The application process is specifically designed with schools in mind. We have an extended application period so schools can put together their application materials when it makes most sense during the busy school year. 

Our application is also designed to leverage artifacts that schools already have whenever possible, in order to reduce time spent creating new materials.


April - July 14, 2020


Schools (like yours!) from across the country apply in our online application portal.

Expect to spend 8-12 hours compiling collateral and completing essay and video responses. You can view the application overview here.

July 15 - Early August


A diverse selection team identifies top schools and creates a representative portfolio of 4-5 schools. 

Early August

Notification & Partnership Agreement

Schools are notified of their status. 

If selected, your school will have the opportunity to review partnership agreements, confirm capacity to host a visit for the 2020-2021 school year, and accept the award. 

Once your school accepts the award, you will have the opportunity to select your visit date preferences. 


Visit Planning & Execution

Get ready to host your visit!

Learn about the host school visit planning process and timelines here. 

Apply To Become A School To Learn From

2019-2020 Selected Schools

Visit A School To Learn From

Learn about proven models and innovative ideas from effective schools alongside a diverse group of school leaders from across the country. You’ll have dedicated time to contextualize and adapt ideas to bring back to your own school.

As a participant you will:

  • Review a portfolio of designated schools and select one school to visit based on your learning needs and schedule.
  • Attend a two-day in-person site visit (along with 1-2 travel days depending on your location). View a sample visit agenda.

Teach For America will:

  • Centrally book and cover the cost of travel, food, and lodging for your visit.

“I didn't need to scour the country finding a school that excelled in what we wanted to achieve - TFA had done the tough work for me! So, I could simply go and learn!”

2019-2020 STLF Participant

Who Can Apply

This program encourages a broad and diverse coalition. You do not need to be affiliated with Teach For America as a former corps member to apply. We strongly encourage partners in this work to join!

You may apply to visit an STLF host school if you will hold any of the following roles for the 2020-2021 school year:

  • School Leader / Head of School / Principal
  • Assistant Principal / Dean / Director
  • Resident Principal / Fellow
  • Founder of a new school that is launching in 2020-2021

School Visit Application Process


August 1, 2020

Participant Applications Close

Complete the online application form

Mid August

Notifications Sent

All participants will be notified of their status as accepted, waitlisted, or declined.

Accepted participants will receive next steps and deadlines that must be met in order to accept a sponsored spot. 

Late August

School Preference Window

Participants will have the opportunity to review the profiles and visit dates of the 5-7 selected 2020-2021 schools and submit their preferences for their visit. 

Participants must submit their preferences by the deadline in order to secure their spot on the waitlist.

Early September

School Assignment Confirmation

Participants will receive their assigned school visit along with key communications and travel dates. 

October 2020 - May 2021

Attend Your STLF Visit!

Participants will book travel through Teach For America’s central booking systems and communicate any accessibility, dietary, or other needs to the STLF operations team 6-8 weeks prior to their visit. 

Apply To Visit A School To Learn From

Past Schools To Learn From