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The A+ School of Excellence Award® is open to any Arizona state accredited public school or any school operating under the Bureau of Indian Education, and any combination of grades Pre-K through 12. To be eligible, schools must fulfill all eligibility requirements.


To be considered for the A+ School of Excellence Award, schools begin by submitting an online written application. Application submissions are reviewed by a panel of experienced judges comprised primarily of A+ School principals along with superintendents and other district administrators. Panels may also include teachers from A+ Schools, higher education personnel, and other Pre-K-12 professionals. Applications should center around what makes your school exemplary.

The A+ School of Excellence Award is a multi-step process:

  • Step 3: If the written application is successful, schools are granted a site visit. Schools who do not receive a site visit are provided with written feedback and encouraged to incorporate that feedback in submitting a new application for the next cycle.

  • Step 4: Schools receiving site visits are visited by a team of judges who vet the programs and activities described in the written application. Site visits are a day and a half.

  • Step 5: Schools who have successful site visits are given the A+ Award. Schools who are unsuccessful are encouraged to reapply and are provided with written feedback and encouraged to incorporate that feedback in submitting a new application for the next cycle.


Schools selected for the award receive $500 and a banner for display on campus. A school retains the A+ designation for four full school years as long as they remain an “A” or “B” school and continue to exhibit the exceptional qualities that are the hallmark of A+ Schools. Schools that earn the award agree to comply with AEF™ authorized logo and name usage requirements related to the A+ School of Excellence™ designation.


Peter Wells, A+ School of Excellence Coordinator | 520-850-2292 |


2024–2025 Application Cycle Timeline


  1. Application deadline is 5:00pm MST, August 30th, 2024

  2. Late September 2024: Applications are reviewed by panels of A+ judges

  3. October 2024: Schools are notified if a site visit will be conducted

  4. November 2024 - January 2025: Site visits are conducted 

  5. Mid-February 2025: A+ School of Excellence™ winners are announced/Award ceremonies occur

Renewal School Timeline


Schools renewing their A+ designation will reapply at the beginning of their fourth year. NOTE: A “renewal school” is a school applying for another consecutive term as an A+ school. Schools with a lapse in years are not considered renewals.

  • 2020 Awarded Schools reapply August 31st, 2024 (notified Spring 2025)

  • 2022 Awarded Schools reapply August 31st, 2025 (notified Spring 2026)

  • 2023 Awarded Schools reapply August 31st, 2026 (notified Spring 2027)

  • 2024 Awarded Schools reapply August 31st, 2027 (notified Spring 2028)


Note: The renewal timeline above reflects a change in award term made in 2020, allowing schools to keep their status for 4 years rather than the previous 3 1/2.

Non-Renewal and New Applicant Schools Timeline


A school earning the A+ award in SPRING 2025 will have the award as follows:

  • August 2025 - August 2026 – YEAR ONE

  • August 2026 - August 2027 – YEAR TWO

  • August 2027 - August 2028 – YEAR THREE. Schools renewing submit applications in August 2028.

  • August 2028 - August 2029 – YEAR FOUR. Schools will have their new application reviewed in Fall 2028 and a site visit (if granted) during Winter/Spring their Year Four.

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