Skip to main content
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

Final Round 

Schools will be notified if they move onto the final round by July 31, 2019. At that time, we will ask schools to submit a brief essay about their chosen “Dimension of Excellence,” in addition to 5-7 pieces of evidence. 


The 2019 Schools to Learn From application is now closed. Sign-up to be notified when the 2020-2021 application opens.

We will announce the 2019-2020 selected schools in September 2019.

For questions, contact

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 2019 participant application is now closed. Sign-up to be notified when the 2020-2021 application opens.

2019 Selection & School Assignment Process

August 12

Participant application closes

August 30

Notifications are sent out. 

If accepted, you will be prompted to complete your school preference survey

Early September

School preference survey closes


School visit assignments are sent out


Depending on your assigned visit, you will receive logistics information about six weeks prior to your visit

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