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Washington Episcopal School

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Washington Episcopal School challenges Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School students to embrace academic rigor in an appropriately balanced and supportive environment. We are a diverse, inclusive community that respects individual differences, develops every child’s unique talents, and fosters learning inside and outside the classroom. Here, children stand out without burning out. WES graduates are kind, confident, and prepared.

Basic Facts

    Available Spots: A few openings remain in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.

    Age Range:
    Age 3 - Grade 8

    Years Established: 1986

    Enrollment: 280

    Average Class Size: 14

    Tuition: Nursery- $10,695 to Grade 8-$34,600

    Who you serve:
    Co-ed, Elementary, Episcopal, Middle School, Preschool

    Mission/Philosophy
    Washington Episcopal School believes that learning should be joyful, because academic excellence and happy children belong together. An independent, co-educational school for students from Nursery through Grade 8, WES is committed to helping every child develop his or her fullest potential. Our skilled, caring, and attentive teachers nurture the abilities and talents of each student. Our broad and enriched curriculum builds knowledge and strengthens moral awareness, self-reliance, and leadership. Our supportive community — true to Episcopal tradition — welcomes and celebrates a diversity of faiths and cultures. WES students stride confidently into the world, delight in it, and contribute to it.

Contact Details

Important Q&A

    What differentiates your school from all others?
    Washington Episcopal School(WES) challenges Early Childhood, Primary, Elementary, and Middle School students to embrace academic rigor in an appropriately balanced and supportive environment. We are a diverse, inclusive community that respects individual differences, develops every child's unique talents, and fosters learning inside and outside the classroom. Here, children stand out without burning out.

    WES includes grades from Early Childhood (Nursery) through Grade 8. We believe this model best serves the educational, social, and emotional needs of our students.

    Where do you see your school in 5 years, what will be different?
    We suspect that our students will face challenges we only dream of in a world we barely glimpse. So that they may stride confidently into this world and delight in it as well as contribute to it, we want them to learn more than facts and processes. We want them to stretch the boundaries of their awareness, strengthen their self-esteem, develop their gifts and talents, and bolster their weaknesses. We want them to appreciate their own resources and respect those of others, to enjoy the company of friends but also to savor the balm of solitude. To further these goals, we intend to nurture the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development of the children as well as their intellectual growth. We endorse the structure and organization of traditional schools that provide a thorough grounding in the basic academic subjects but would augment them with strong programs in physical education and the arts.

    Whats one myth about your school thats just not true?
    Myth: Traditional schools do not have engaging, hands-on, project based instruction. Students sit in rows, teachers lecture, and students complete worksheets. At Washington Episcopal School, you will find our teachers using current and proven researched based teaching methodologies and instructional tools. Our classrooms are noisy, engaging, and hands-on. Our students are on the move with the field trips to local cultural and historical institutions and study trips to the desert southwest, Italy, France, and Spain in Middle School.

    What kind of student is most successful at your school?
    We want our students to be active learners — to engage in a lively exchange with their instructors as they pursue the concepts that comprise the curriculum — and to shoulder an increasing share of the responsibility for their learning. We expect our teachers — gleaning from their years of experience and professional training — to assess each child's current needs and then, animated by their own style, to employ those techniques most likely to touch and inspire their students.

    Why should we choose your school?
    Washington Episcopal School believes that learning should be joyful, because academic excellence and happy children belong together. An independent, co-educational school for students from Nursery through Grade 8, WES is committed to helping every child develop his or her fullest potential. Our skilled, caring, and attentive teachers nurture the abilities and talents of each student. Our broad and enriched curriculum builds knowledge and strengthens moral awareness, self-reliance, and leadership. Our supportive community — true to Episcopal tradition — welcomes and celebrates a diversity of faiths and cultures. WES students stride confidently into the world, delight in it, and contribute to it.

    Here are the top five reasons families choose WES:

    1. Small, safe, and kind community. New families easily transition into the community, thanks to warm welcomes and immediate outreach from current parents. New students connect with classmates within days, not months, and families form lifelong friendships.

    2. Superb preparation for secondary school, college, and life. Our graduates consistently are accepted at an impressive list of Washington-area independent high schools and national boarding schools.

    3. Students stand out without burning out. WES challenges students to embrace academic rigor in an appropriately balanced and supportive environment. Exceptional teaching, small classes, and individualized attention are program hallmarks.

    4. Life at WES is a constant adventure. Students challenge themselves academically, physically, and spiritually and broaden their world view. So empowered, they stride confidently into the world, delight in it, and contribute to it.

    5. Speaking of striding, did we mention we love to travel? Grade 5 students complete their study of the American Civil War with an overnight visit to Antietam. Grade 6 students spend a week in the American Desert Southwest studying rock formations, erosion, and fossils; white-water rafting; and rock climbing. Grade 7 students travel to Italy for ten days spent visiting museums, exploring Greek ruins in Paestum and the Vatican in Rome, and wandering through Pompeii. Grade 8 students participate in an exchange with students in either France or Spain and forge international friendships that will last a lifetime. All trips are included in tuition.

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There are 5 reviews. Add your review »

  1. I’ve sent two boys to WES, one starting in 4th grade and the other in 6th, after having attended local public schools. WES has transformed their outlook on school, turning them into enthusiastic learners who love attending school. The teachers at WES are absolutely phenomenal – they have freedom to adjust the curriculum as they see fit to incorporate current events. WES encourages the pursuit of excellence, yet in a nurturing way. I feel so blessed to have my children at this school. The financial sacrifice is well worth it, as my children were just not thriving in the public system, nor were we happy with the grade-level expectations in public.

  2. My children have had a wonderful experience at WES. The study trips (Utah, Italy, and Spain) are a great addition to the curriculum. The school offers excellent opportunities for after school enrichment. The teachers are accessible and the school communicates well with the parents.

  3. Definitely the most rigorous K-8 school in the area. Not always the friendliest. But a good trade off.

  4. Our daughter joined WES in 6th grade — we had been living outside the United States and she attended a big American school where we were living. We found WES by searching the Internet and what drew us here is the tremendous emphasis on experiential learning. At the school she was leaving, all Middle Schoolers, each year, attend a week-long Classroom Without Walls session. I was looking for a DC school that offered this same off-campus experience. WES has it! The amazing learning that happens on these 6th, 7th, and 8th grade trips is outstanding and completely supplements what the students learn in the classroom. The fun, adventure, camaraderie, and opportunity the Utah, Italy, and France or Spain trips offer is not found in the classroom. It is only by going out to these places and seeing in real life what they have been seeing on the pages of their textbooks is their education fully realized, preparing them for a lifelong love of learning!

  5. For the last three years, my oldest cannot start her school day without going to say hello to her favorite teacher. To me, this is what Washington Episcopal School is all about–fabulous teachers who nurture their students while challenging them academically. At school events or at pick-up, I am always amazed by teachers knowing the names of children they haven’t had yet and greeting them with a smile or high-five. In our years at WES, my kids have learned so much beyond math and language arts. Learning an instrument, singing in chorus, acting, playing on a sports team, and creating art is something that every student does, regardless of ability. I think this encourages kids who may not recognize their own talents and interests or come to those interests and talents as they age. And for those kids whose strengths lie elsewhere, the community of their peers and teachers still encourages them. And these students learn the value of sticking with something difficult, a quality of resilience.

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