Our daughter has been at WES for two years, beginning in the 6th grade. From the start, we have all felt welcomed and our daughter seamlessly integrated into her grade. The students and families are warm and caring. Our daughter enjoys the opportunities she has both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, she is appropriately challenged and encouraged to question and explore the academic material. Outside the classroom, she has enjoyed participating in the Middle School musical and choir, playing sports, getting involved in after school clubs and community service activities, and interacting with her teachers and the administration before and after school. We particularly like that WES only goes to 8th grade, because the leadership opportunities provided to students at this age encourage confidence and can set them up for success as they prepare for high school. Our daughter is looking forward to setting the example in her role as an 8th grader. She knows the younger students look up to the 8th graders and she is excited about the challenge this provides. The administration is extremely knowledgeable and very helpful every step of the way as students apply to high school.
Beyond the academics, WES offers kids opportunities to learn & grow in truly meaningful ways. My oldest just finished 4th grade in the spring & offers really my best example. In late fall, each 4th grader was asked to interview an adult in their life. Kids chose, parents, grandparents, aunts, family friends, etc. Parents had to help the kids find time for the interview, but after that, the project became school-based. From the interview answers, the kids spent many language arts periods crafting bios of their subjects, creating typed final pieces including photos. After weeks of work, the 4th grade held its annual Biography Tea. In front of parents, classmates, & the kids' Heroes and Heroines (their subjects), each child stood at the podium, with his or her subject, and read a paragraph from the final workSome stories made the audience laugh and more than one brought tears to my eyes. The kids gained so much. Not only did they develop writing & speaking skills, but, perhaps more importantly, developed deeper relationships with their Heroes and Heroines. My girl's story about her grandfather and the smile on his face that day will be memories we will cherish forever.
Don't be fooled by this school. I know first hand that they did not care about the well-being of my child, but gave special treatment to others (who most likely gave money, knew someone in the administration, or were politically connected). Also, I can not stress enough, place your child in a school that goes to 12th grade. The process of changing schools during the most delicate time in your child's life (adolescence) can effect their psychological development for their entire life.
We have been extremely happy to have our children at Washington Episcopal. Each year we watch our children continue to grow, supported by an amazing committed faculty. The curriculum is challenging, however Washington Episcopal emphasizes resources in every area of study. Our children are happy to be going to school each morning and they are happy when we pick them up in the afternoon. We think the teachers are great. We have been at Washington Episcopal for a number of years and have been impressed with the teachers and resource teachers each year. One only needs to engage any of the teachers to see how passionate they are about their work and about teaching. The athletics and after school offerings are well coached and well done and children get the opportunity to try a variety of sports. We especially like that students in all grades are provided age appropriate ways to present to larger groups through plays, music and concerts and science3 and social studies projects. The trips which are part of every single year are fabulous, leading to Italy in 7th grade and France or Spain in 8th grade. Our children are challenged, supported, and loved at Washington Episcopal.
WES is a wonderful school that has enabled my children to grow in a kind environment where they are challenged, but not overstressed. Emphasis is on the whole child. Middle School provides great leadership opportunities. That are unique to schools that end in 8th grade.
We love WES. Our son has thrived in the school's caring and supportive environment. His teachers have been fabulous - engaged, thoughtful and attentive. I think the curriculum provides a great mix of academic rigor balanced with plenty of time for art, sports, service and play. The parent community is welcoming and unpretentious. Our son has come out of his shell over the past six years developing into a kind, independent and happy young man.
Washington Episcopal School is best from Nursery thru First Grade. After that, the teaching is very spotty. There is loads of rote memorization and a very rigid cirriculum. There are many great schools in the Washington, DC area--this is not one of them.
Washington Episcopal School is a great school. The classes are fun, and make you enjoy learning. The teachers are especially fun, each with their own teaching style. Students get to experience a variety of activities and classes, making for well-rounded graduates. Study trips to Utah, Italy, France, and Spain let students become more unified, while studying at landmarks, museums, and historical sites. Two things that would make the school better would be to get a cafeteria(currently students and teachers eat lunch in their classrooms) and to get an auditorium(currently there is a stage connected to the gym, so the audience is on folding chairs in the gym). Overall, WES is an amazing school that has taught me to work hard and to enjoy learning.
My son attended during the transitions year. The school is very rigid and does not appreciate individual personalities. It is VERY traditional and VERY rigid. Students either conform or made miserable. I do not recommend this setting for independent thinkers or self starters. If your child can easily assimilate and your parenting style easily accepts a robotic preset ideology, then your child would flourish in this ultra-traditional environment.