In many design codes, school buildings are classified as important structures. Hence, they are designed to withstand earthquakes with or without minor structural damage. This study examines the seismic performance of two aseismically designed regular reinforced concrete school buildings in Van, Turkey, after the October 23, 2011, earthquake. First, the results of reconnaissance studies regarding the seismic response of the school buildings are presented. These studies indicate that the selected buildings were moderately damaged. Three-dimensional analytical models of the buildings are developed to clarify their seismic response. The capacity values of the structures are calculated using the N2 nonlinear static procedure (where N stands for nonlinear analysis and 2 for two mathematical models). Afterwards, seismic performance of the selected buildings is assessed applying the procedures according to the latest design code. Nonlinear dynamic time history analyses are then carried out using data from the Muradiye monitoring station. The reasons of the observed damage are discussed. Further, recommendations are made to improve the seismic performance of aseismically designed reinforced concrete school buildings. The construction quality and detailing of the reinforcement are the major issues affecting the performance of school buildings. (C) 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.