Our History

Rich history. Bright future.

Built by visionary leaders dedicated to the long view, HighScope has a deep history of working to ensure that every child has the best chance at lifelong success.

Years in the Making

In 1962, the landmark Perry Preschool Project began in Ypsilanti, Michigan and the trajectory of early education was changed forever.  Under the visionary guidance of psychologist David Weikart, and with the extraordinary dedication of Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, the Perry Preschool Project studied the impact of high-quality early education on 123 black children with risk factors of failing in school. Dr. Weikart went on to establish the HighScope Educational Research Foundation in 1970. The name “HighScope”  reflects our organization’s high purposes and far-reaching mission. Our headquarters are located in the historic “Hutchinson House,” of S & H Green Stamps, in Ypsilanti. Today, HighScope’s mission is continued under Dr. Alejandra Barraza’s leadership as HighScope’s President.





Celebration Gala Event

HighScope hosts its 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala event during the HighScope International Conference in Detroit, Michigan.

Annual International Conference Anniversary

50th anniversary of HighScope hosting first annual international conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Anniversary of the HighScope Perry Preschool Study

60th Anniversary of the Perry Preschool Study initiated by Dr. David P. Weikart and Charles Eugene Beatty at the Perry Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


HighScope Demonstration Preschool

50th Anniversary Recognition Reception.

Gretchen’s House @ HighScope

HighScope partners with Gretchen’s House Child Development Centers to reopen the HighScope Demonstration Preschool on HighScope’s Ypsilanti campus after a gap year from 2020–2021 due to the pandemic. Gretchen’s House @ HighScope is a full-day preschool program serving local families.

HighScope Celebrates 50 Years

HighScope Celebrates 50 Years

Elevating Early Education (1970–2020).


Partnerships changing schools in Texas

Carroll and Tynan schools in the San Antonio Independent School District partnered with HighScope under Senate Bill 1882.

Preschool Program Quality Assessment-Revised (PQA-R)

HighScope releases the Preschool PQA-R, an updated and revised version of the Preschool PQA, to reflect new science about learning with new observation and checklist sections. The PQA-R is an evaluation tool that assesses basic quality of any preschool program and is compatible with most curricula.


Family Engagement Added to COR Advantage

HighScope releases an updated version of COR Advantage to include tools that promote family engagement.

Demonstration Preschool

The HighScope Demonstration Preschool expands to a full-day program serving three- to five-year-old children.

HighScope Active Learner magazine cover Fall 2017

The Active Learner

HighScope issues the first volume of The Active Learner, HighScope’s journal for early educators.

Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant

HighScope receives a $3 million grant from the US Department of Education to promote self-regulation skills for preschool and kindergarten children in Detroit.

International Conference in Detroit

HighScope moves its international conference to Detroit, Michigan.


COR Advantage

HighScope releases COR Advantage, the updated and expanded online version of the original Child Observation Record (COR).


The HighScope Preschool Curriculum

HighScope publishes The HighScope Preschool Curriculum, the fourth version of its preschool curriculum. The HighScope Preschool Curriculum includes an updated expansion of its content that aligns with state and national early learning standards.


Updated Edition of Tender Care and Early Learning

HighScope publishes an updated edition of Tender Care and Early Learning: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Child Care Settings.


HighScope releases OnlinePQA.net, an online version of the Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA).


Numbers Plus

HighScope publishes Numbers Plus Preschool Mathematics Curriculum, a comprehensive set of detailed plans for small- and large-group activities, with ideas for extending mathematics learning throughout the program day.



HighScope releases OnlineCOR.net, an online version of the Child Observation Record (COR).


Growing Readers

HighScope publishes the Growing Readers Early Literacy Curriculum, a scientifically based, developmentally sound early literacy instruction for three- to five-year-olds.

Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40

HighScope publishes Lifetime Effects: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40.


Head Start Study Published

HighScope publishes Into Adulthood: A Study of the Effects of Head Start, which describes its Long-Term Benefits of Head Start (LTBHS) study.

Tender Care and Early Learning

HighScope publishes Tender Care and Early Learning: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Child Care Settings, its curriculum for infants and toddlers.


Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA)

HighScope introduces its Preschool Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tool, a rating instrument that evaluates the quality of early childhood programs and identifies staff training needs.


Findings of the Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study

HighScope publishes Last Differences: The HighScope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study Through Age 23, documenting the value of self-initiated learning at the preschool age.


Benefit-Cost Analysis of Perry Preschool Project

HighScope publishes Lives in the Balance: Age-27 Benefit-Cost Analysis of the HighScope Perry Preschool Program, the first benefit-cost analysis study of the Perry Preschool Project.


Educating Young Children

HighScope publishes Educating Young Children: Active Learning Practices for Preschool and Child Care Programs, an updated, comprehensive guide to the HighScope Preschool Curriculum.

Michigan’s GSRP

HighScope becomes the evaluator for the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), Michigan’s state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children with factors that may place them at risk of educational failure. HighScope continues to be the evaluator of this project.


Training for Quality

HighScope publishes Training for Quality: Improving Early Childhood Programs Through Systematic Inservice Training, which presents the results of a study that looked at the effects of HighScope’s Training of Trainers (TOT) program.

Perry Preschool Study Through Age 27

HighScope publishes its results from the Perry Preschool Study, titled Significant Benefits: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 27.


Child Observation Record (COR)

HighScope releases the first edition of COR, a research-backed, observation-based assessment tool for preschool children.


International Institutes

HighScope launches its first international institute, the HighScope U.K. Institute, in London. Today there are 10 HighScope-affiliated organizations worldwide.


HighScope Training

HighScope begins large-scale training of leaders in early childhood care and education. Today, HighScope trains administrators, curriculum specialists, teachers, and child care providers in the HighScope approach. In the past 35 years, HighScope has conducted training in every state and in more than 20 foreign countries.


Preprimary Project of the IEA

HighScope directs the Preprimary Project of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), a three-phase study involving 17 countries to determine if there are specific aspects of early child care that produce similar later outcomes across nations.

ReSource cover


HighScope issues the first volume of ReSource, a magazine for educators.


Young Children in Action

HighScope publishes Young Children in Action, its second manual for the HighScope Preschool Curriculum.


Parent-to-Parent Dissemination Project

HighScope begins the Parent-to-Parent Dissemination Project, a project that uses the parent-to-parent approach to offer education on the care of infants and toddlers. This project contributes to the development of the HighScope Infant-Toddler Curriculum.


Education Through Movement Program

Phyllis Weikart develops the Education Through Movement program; Movement and Music becomes a HighScope department.


International Conference

HighScope holds its first annual international conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

HighScope Hutchinson House

Hutchinson House

HighScope purchases the historic “Hutchinson House” of S & H Green Stamp fame, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and locates its main offices there.

The Cognitively Oriented Curriculum

HighScope publishes The Cognitively Oriented Curriculum, its first manual for the HighScope Preschool Curriculum.

teacher and preschoolers making bead necklaces

Demonstration Preschool

The HighScope Demonstration Preschool opens its doors to three- and four-year-olds in the Ypsilanti community. Today, the Demonstration Preschool serves three- to five-year-old children in a full-day program.


Establishment of HighScope

Dr. Weikart establishes the HighScope Educational Research Foundation as an independent, nonprofit organization to continue the work of the Perry Preschool Project (now called the Perry Preschool Study) and develop HighScope curricula.


Curriculum Comparison Study

Dr. Weikart and his team start the HighScope Preschool Curriculum Comparison Study to test the validity of different theories of child development and learning.

IDEAS Youth Summer Camp

Institute for IDEAS

Dr. Weikart opens the HighScope Institute for IDEAS, a summer camp for teens that is grounded in a positive youth development approach. Today the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality utilizes the learning experiences from the Institute for IDEAS to help improve the quality of youth programs.

Perry Preschool Project

Perry Preschool Project

Dr. David P. Weikart, a psychologist at with the Ypsilanti Public Schools, initiates the Perry Preschool Project at Ypsilanti’s Perry Elementary School in cooperation with Charles Eugene Beatty, where Charles Eugene Beatty was the first African-American principal in Michigan.