The Washington School for Girls offers a comprehensive year-round academic program along with extended day activities, student and family support, spiritual education, and ongoing support for our alumnae in high school and beyond.
Year-Round Academic Program
WSG is a year-round school that has a rich curriculum with an emphasis on language arts and math. Because students enter WSG with different prior educational experiences, the program is designed to accelerate each student's learning to ensure they are high-school ready when they graduate. The year-round program prevents summer learning loss while providing more regular breaks throughout the year, minimizing student burn-out and creating opportunities for enrichment.
School begins in mid-July and ends in mid-June. Students have two weeks off in early fall, two weeks off over the Christmas holiday, two weeks off in March, and four weeks off between school years. During school breaks, WSG offers Intersession programs that provide enrichment activities, including outdoor learning and arts instruction.
WSG chose to become a year-round school because the research shows that students from communities like ours are more successful the more time they have in school with their qualified and dedicated teachers. Starting in July, each school year begins with regular classroom instruction and the typical school day that is experienced throughout the year. Because students are not away from the classroom for an extended period of time as they would be in a traditional school program, teachers and students do not have to spend extensive time reviewing material from the previous school year and can pick up right where they left off. By preventing this summer learning loss, students can accelerate their learning.
Reading and Language Arts
The Reading and Language Arts Program is both multi-faceted and unique. Our main purpose is to develop strong, confident readers who read for pleasure and academic success. Further, we aim to develop writers who are competent and thoughtful as they move through their middle school years so that they are prepared for the rigorous writing required in high school, college and beyond.
WSG has a Reading Specialist who works with 3rd-5th grade students who read below grade level.
Each school day, doors are open from 7:30 am until 5:30 pm providing nutritious breakfast, lunch, snack and important learning experiences well beyond the typical academic day. Student clubs feature activities such as dance, step, poetry, yoga, nutrition, cooking, chess, newspaper, yearbook and running. Corcoran Art Reach, The Washington Ballet, and the Levine School of Music, our partners here at THEARC, offer discounted fee classes during our Extended Day Program.
Student and Family Support
WSG understands that there are many factors outside the classroom that can impact a student's ability to learn and thrive. Through committed student and family support, WSG works to ensure that students and families have all the tools they need.
Collaboration with Christ Child Society provides both individual and group counseling for students and their families. These LCSWs address issues related to sexual, physical, and drug abuse within families and loss due to family incarcerations and/or deaths. Counseling services are complemented by an advisory group system that provides support from teachers and peers.
Studies have shown repeatedly that all young students need more than a solid school environment to succeed - they need the support and engagement of their families. WSG believes the best way to engage families in their daughters’ education is to create a rich, safe and cooperative academic community. WSG has incorporated several measures to bring family into the school including field trips, student performances, after school programs, and communicating with the families in a timely and meaningful way.
Additionally, WSG organizes the Family Action Engagement Team (FEAT) which encourages family participation in their daughters' education. A mix of parents and guardians of students from varying grades as well as WSG staff members, the FEAT plans community events such as the Family Fun Day and serve as ambassadors among the parent community.
The Graduate Support program not only guides students through the high school application process, but also stays with each graduate as she continues her educational journey through regular contact with the graduate, her family, and her new school. This added support helps students persist through the challenges of high school and often pursue a college degree.
The Washington School for Girls is committed to helping each student pursue the education she needs to achieve her goals. For almost all of our students, that means at least a high school diploma. Through a comprehensive Graduate Support program, WSG helps students as they continue on to high school, college and beyond.
The Graduate Support team begins this journey by guiding each student and her family through the high school application process, ensuring that each student attends a high school where she can be successful. Through mock admissions interviews, preparing for the High School Placement exam, navigating financial aid and charter lottery forms, and reflection on individual needs, each student
and her family have the ability to make a thoughtful choice about where she will attend high school.
Once a student completes middle school at WSG, the Graduate Support team maintains frequent contact and offers support for as long as the student needs. Graduates know that WSG will be there for them as they face challenges associated with their increasingly complicated lives. Through open communication between WSG, the graduate, and the graduate's family and current school administration, problems can be resolved before they create a lasting impact. Students learn to advocate for what they need, how to find resources that will help them succeed, and receive continued encouragement as they navigate through their education.
As a result of this extra support, WSG graduates complete high school at a rate of 98%, which is an exceptional accomplishment in a neighborhood where less than 50% of their peers earn a high school diploma.
As an independent Catholic school, WSG is grounded in the Catholic tradition. Through a combination of daily Morning Prayer, faith celebrations throughout the year, theology courses, and spiritual retreats for each grade level, each student at WSG has the opportunity to explore her relationship with God and her community.
Each year, the WSG community shares in a number of crucial religious experiences. We challenge our students to recognize God in one another and in their surroundings and to experience God in a new and vibrant way. Each day begins with Morning Prayer and Devotion; a time set aside for the reading of scripture, reflection, offering of intentions and song. This time is crucial for our community to join together in faith before embarking on the daily academic journey.
Additionally, each student studies religion and theology as part of the core academic curriculum. This curriculum gives students opportunities for Christian service and various types of religious experiences including Days of Reflection and Retreats. While our approach is respectful of all students’ religious traditions and beliefs, WSG does require respectful participation in all of the religious and spiritual activities of the school and deems it essential to our holistic program.