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Our Guide to Schools in Washington DC

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Article by City Lifestyle

Photography by City Lifestyle

Many people residing in Washington DC view the city as an epicenter for art, activism, and politics. But wait, there's more. What they don’t know is that this city is also a hotspot for Schools. The town has several schools ranging from private to public to help students develop a healthy and nurturing personality.

While some of these schools have few drawbacks, most of them strive to remove the bad and install the good in a student. If you have recently moved to Washington DC, don't struggle in looking for the schools to enroll your child. 

This guide will feed you with everything you need to know about schools in Washington DC, that will help nurture, free-thinking and compassionate individuals who will act in the right way, both in the community and the world at large. Let’s check them out. 

Public Schools in Washington DC

A public school usually operates on public funds, mostly from government taxes meaning that these schools are free and open to anyone regardless of their tribe, social background, race or country of origin. Public schools allow all students to enroll and pursue their studies to be great personalities in the future.

Enrollment in public schools has increased since the population is on the rise. The public schools are available from kindergarten to university level. Some of the best schools in this city are Benjamin Banneker High School, Deal Middle School and Wilson High School.

Characteristics of Public Schools in Washington DC

Family and Community Involvement

Most public schools in this city involve the family and the whole community to help educate students and the teachers and the staff.

Monitoring of teaching and learning

An assessment is made to both the teacher and the student to help students who need help and improve the instruction program.

Curriculum, assessment, and Instruction are based on the standards of the state

The program is aligned with the academic learning requirements to foster learning.

Pros

  • Public schools are affordable for almost everyone to attend. Public schools in Washington DC don’t charge for the academic school because the government caters for it through the imposed taxes. The only fees available are for tuition or other school facilities.
  • In public schools, students are exposed to people from other cultures and races, thus strengthening socialization. Nevertheless, students will be able to learn about the culture of their friends.
  • These schools are well established in that they have facilities like sporting grounds. Their curriculum is varied, and they have more after school activities like camping and games.

Cons

  • Learning problems due to a large number of students fitted in a small classroom. This can make learning efficient since not all students will be able to access school facilities. To add, students will also be prone to infectious diseases like the flu.
  • Inadequate resources for learning, making children purchase things like textbooks for themselves. Some students may fail to understand the whole concept since they lack sufficient information and books.
  • Some students might fail to attend sessions due to overcrowded classes, and pupils who need follow-up might be overlooked. 
  • Inadequate teachers to assist in imparting knowledge and skills to the learners.

Schools District in Washington DC

A school district entails a unit of local administration schools. It operates both local public primary and secondary schools in different nations. The education agency in the state determines school districts. Such schools are in charge of secondary and elementary public schools.

Pros

  • Since every school is entitled to adequate facilities, district schools supply video equipment and other classroom resources. 
  • Since they are in charge of safety, they provide a safer environment for children going to school.
  • The staff is competent enough so that they will be able to handle a large number of students.
  • Background check on the documentation of a teacher to get employed in the school
  • Provide quality education and teach students for free
  • They ensure that public schools serve their purpose by doing several assessments to the teacher, students, and the school at large.

Cons

  • Students may be prone to bullying since they are taught in large numbers.
  • Some students will perform poorly due to a lack of resource and teacher student relationship.
  • Some students may fail to attend sessions because of the large population

High Schools Around the City

A high school is a secondary school where teenagers are educated before joining college, university, or starting a job. High schools have numbered grades starting from ninth to twelfth to indicate the level of study.

High school comes after joining the middle school at the age of fourteen. Dunbar High School, Wilson High School, and Roosevelt High School are some of the Washington DC schools that fall in these categories. These schools have graduated from many well-known figures since the 20th century.

Additionally, these schools are known for academic excellence and other high school standards that facilitate success.

Pros

  • Simple homework is given to students, which can be done earlier than the submission date.
  • Constant follow up by the teacher like reminding students what to do or what will be due on a particular date.
  • High schools provide free education, and the resources have a small cost.
  • Teachers are always around to assist students.
  • Teachers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of students.
  • Same set schedule which enhances socialization.
  • Professors or tutors treat their student like adults and require them to do the things without any guidance.

Cons

  • Strict policy the dress code needs to be followed by all the students. School uniforms should be of the same design.
  • Strict rules to be followed by the students, including wearing full school uniforms.

Middle Schools: Expanding Your Horizons

Middle schools are schools that provide education between primary and secondary schools. The schools have facilities that push the child to excel in their studies. Jefferson Middle school and Kramer Middle School are of the best middle schools in Washington DC, in the United States of America.

Pros

  • The teachers in these schools are quite lovely. They show concern to each kid in the classroom.
  • They provide assistance and guidance to kids. 
  • They provide students with clean and adequate facilities which will make them feel comfortable.
  • They have language classes to prepare them for high school.
  • They have different ways of handling children since every child has his or her weakness.

Cons

  • Children might be exposed to bullying since the kids are many.
  • Some schools are making far less academic progress compared to others.

Setting a Foundation: Enrolling in Elementary schools

Elementary school is the lowest school giving the first part of education to students between the ages of five and thirteen. 

There are two types of elementary schools: public and private elementary schools. Some children will thrive well in public schools, while others in private elementary schools.

Therefore, choosing the right one will either create a positive or a negative impact on your child. Washington DC has several middle schools that provide Instruction and good quality learning to children before joining the middle school.

Watkins Elementary School, Lafayette Elementary School, and Powell Elementary school are among the schools in Washington DC, that provide education to children between the ages of five and thirteen.

Pros for public elementary school 

  • Teachers have more qualifications due to intense teaching training.
  • Students have more time studying in school.
  • Offer extra-curricular activities due to a larger space.

Cons for public elementary school

  • The quality of education varies depending on the location of the school.
  • Some schools might be favored in terms of learning resources, while others are left out.
  • Some schools have an environment that is not suitable for students.

Pros for a private elementary school

  • Students get individual attention from the teacher.
  • Contributes to a better teacher-student core relation because they are less in number
  • Private elementary school teachers have control over their curriculum and methods of teaching.
  • There is a strong relationship established between teachers and parents.

Cons for a private elementary school

  • They do not cater to special needs education because the government does not fund them.
  • The type of education can be different if the school is based on religious affiliations.
  • Submission of an application to enroll in the school is a must.

Picks for Private Schools in Washington DC

A private school is independent because it is supported by a private organization or individuals who pay school fees and not by the government. 

Private schools are independent. The activities conducted by these schools are not funded by the state but require parents to pay school fees for their children to receive Instruction. They can choose the type of student that he/ she enrolled.

Pros for private schools in Washington DC

  • They teach students using advanced technology.
  • Offer networking to students so that your child can fulfil their educational desire, like getting their dream job or internship.
  • Small class sizes that allow your child to have a close relationship with the teacher.
  • They put a lot of focus on academics than any other activity.
  • It gives your child a competitive edge to enable them to prosper both in personal and academic life.

Cons for private schools

  • The school fees can cost you a fortune.
  • It’s not diverse since a good percentage of pupils are from wealthy families.
  • Teachers don't need state approval for their qualifications. This can make students receive a low quality of education due to incompetent teachers.
  • They receive a lot of pressure since they are academically focused. Children will be required to improve in every test they do.
  • They don't have a lot of extra-curricular activities since they put much focus on academics.

Family-centered Christian Schools

Christian schools are schools run by Christian organizations and guided by Christian principles. They aim at imparting knowledge and skills to students so that they can find purpose and in life. Christian schools aim at teaching students to examine their faith and gain empathy.

Some of the schools in Washington DC include the Immanuel Christian School and catholic schools. For many, the majors, cost of tuition are the things that many schools offer to students.

Pros

  • Teachers offer more intimate learning.
  • Students gained a sense of belonging.
  • Access to Christian majors
  • Students benefit from a better atmosphere.
  • Students can find faith in anything they do.

Cons

  • Students experience strict rules and regulations.
  • Limited exposure to another point of view.
  • While students have access to Christian majors, students have a limited choice of majors offered by the institution.
  • Students pay more to get a better atmosphere for their studies.
  • Students experience more regulations. 

Charter Schools that are Worth Your Time

A charter school is established by teachers, community groups, and parents. Charter schools are independent but receive funds from the government to facilitate daily operations. Additionally, this school functions under the terms and conditions of carter with a national or local authority.

Some of the Charter schools in this city include the capital city public charter school, Center City Public Charter School, and DC Bilingual Public Charter School.

These schools have all the freedom to design classrooms according to their desired specifications and cater to all students' needs.

Pros

  • It has qualified teachers because they only recruit well-trained tutors.
  • The schools are not too big, hence enrolling few students subjected to a conducive and comfortable learning environment.
  • The school adopts different ways of learning to give their students the best education.
  • The school has strict rules to be followed, thus reducing the number of discipline problems.
  • The school is not restricted to one type of system of learning. They are open to trying new and different things.

Cons

  • It does not provide transportation to its students.
  • Since its independence, they may have to conduct more fundraising to help assist the school's operations.
  • They don't put too much effort into sports and other extra-curricular activities.
  • They don't enroll students with disabilities.
  • They are less diverse.
  • These schools are not stable because they operate under contract.

Night and Day: Boarding schools in Washington DC

Boarding schools are schools that provide education during the term to students who live on the school premises. Boarding schools in DC provide meals and lodging to their students, but it's paid for in the school fees. There are also different types of boarding schools ranging from private to public boarding schools.

In a private boarding school, every student pays all the school fees individually to cater to all required expenses without government help. 

On the other hand, students in public boarding schools pay a certain amount of school fees to cater to educational needs while the government pays a certain percentage.

Pros

  • Students will get an outstanding education since they have set high stands and expectations from well-trained teachers.
  • Students will experience a community feeling since they spend the whole day in school, interacting and sharing everyday things like toilets, dormitory, and playgrounds.
  • It gives students a chance to make lifetime friends through the connection.
  • Students may get connections for jobs and other life opportunities since some students come from wealthy families.
  • It encourages the students to be responsible since they do chores for themselves, and they are also expected to follow the school curriculum.
  • Enhances independence since they will have to do all the work for themselves regardless of the social background or race.

Cons

  • Suitable for privileged students since the tuition fee can be high.
  • Reduces the strong bond that Children had with their family due to staying away from home for a long time.
  • They don't get much time to conduct leisure activities since they must focus on their studies.
  • Students may find it hard to make friends while away from school since they rely heavily on their friends in school and spend much of their time on campus.
  • Students are prone to bullying.

Summer school: Learning Year Around

Summer school is an institution sponsored by a school or a private company to provide lessons to missed classes, failed classes, or accelerate progress during the summer vacation. The George Washington University Summer and Special Programs, Capitol Hill Day School, and Beauvoir Summer Camp Program are among the best summer schools in Washington DC.

Pros

  • Students in summer schools can graduate earlier.
  • They can help you to deal with general education since you will get to take fun classes.
  • Allow you to spread out school sessions.
  • It caters to specific educational needs.
  • It helps to upgrade your CV and improve your goals.
  • Increases self-confidence, and it also develops language skills.

Cons

  • Compared to other classes, they can be expensive because scholarships do not cover them.
  • The course can be intensive since all the information is compressed. Students must focus and follow the strict attendance to keep up with others.
  • It has no breaks because it involves constant learning.
  • The courses offered might be limited hence denying other students a chance for enrolling in their desired school.
  • Competes with the demand for summer jobs, which might be inconvenient to some students.

Conclusion

Finding the best school for your child can be a hassle. This is because many schools have different curriculum, needs, and ways of operation. While Washington DC, has been known as a city of many things like art, it also has many great schools. These schools offer education and other extra-curricular activities to help cater to your child's physical, emotional, and mental needs.

These schools strive to bring out the best in the student by providing them with the best education to develop and shape their character. They also aim to produce responsible members in the society and future leaders.

This guide has provided you with the facts about schools in Washington DC, the different schools, and the advantages and disadvantages. 

In case you have a child, and you are having difficulties in selecting the right school for them, don’t panic. We have provided you with different types of schools in Washington DC to assist you in selecting the best one for your child.

Worry less as you get the school for your child with ease through our elaborate guide. It’s in order to worry about the possibility of getting the best school around Washington DC, but it's all sorted when you get our guide.

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