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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

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.

Selected schools will be responsible for:

  • Hosting a two-day school visit for 30-40 participants, designed in partnership with Teach For America
  • Providing participants with access to materials to enhance their learning

Selected schools will receive:

  • $5,000 for school leaders to use toward developing their staff
  • The opportunity to select two staff members to visit another School to Learn From

Eligibility & Requirements

All Schools To Learn From applicants have a proven record of delivering an excellent education that leads to the following four student outcomes:

  1. Students gain strong academic skills and knowledge
  2. Students grow personally
  3. Students develop social, political, and cultural consciousness
  4. Students have access to experiences that will help accelerate their path toward leadership and broader opportunities

In addition to having a vision and practices centered around equity, schools must also demonstrate that they are excelling at one of the following Dimensions of Excellence:

  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Data Systems
  • School Culture and Environment
  • Staff Culture and Adult Learning Community
  • Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and School Environment
  • School-wide Systems Management
  • Family and Community Engagement
  • Reimagining Schools (supplemental dimension)

Application Process

The application process was specifically designed with schools in mind. We have extended our application timeline and created two deadlines, 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.

Initial Application

Any member of the school may complete the application on the school’s behalf. Applicants will complete an application form, and submit the following artifacts:

  • A high-level overview of the school vision
  • An overview of the school’s self-selected Dimension of an Excellent School
  • Student academic achievement and discipline data

Virtual Interview

Schools invited to the final round will engage in a video interview with a sub-team of our selection committee. During this time, schools will share in more detail how they would showcase and teach their selected Dimension of an Excellent Schools. Schools teams are encouraged to invite stakeholders such as teachers, students, and/or parents to help be a part of their final interview team.


The 2019 Schools to Learn From application is now open! Choose one of the application deadlines below, or nominate a school that would be a good fit for this opportunity.

When choosing a deadline, we encourage you to consider your school's academic calendar and staff capacity during the virtual interview windows. For questions, contact

Early Deadline: March 29, 2019

Schools who submit applications during the early deadline will be invited to their virtual interviews late April.

Final Deadline: June 26, 2019

Schools who submit applications during the final deadline will be invited to their virtual interviews mid-July

Apply Now

Visit a School To Learn From

Learn best practices you can immediately use in your school while building a network of colleagues who are committed to educational excellence for all students.

The application to visit a School To Learn From will open up in September 2019. Contact to learn more about this opportunity.

Educators participating in a Schools to Learn From visit in Oakland.
Educators participating in a Schools To Learn From visit to Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, CA.
“I am leaving this trip knowing what type of school is possible and believe I could be a part of making that happen in my community.”

Former STLF Participant

2018-2019 Selected Schools To Learn From

Past Schools To Learn From