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GreatSchools Rating

Wilson High School

Public | 9-12 & ungraded | 1713 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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23 reviews of this school


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Posted December 14, 2013

I am not a Washingtonian and was terrified of my 1st daughter attending a DC Public high school. A smart student, she did well and graduated from Wilson in 2010. The school was old and outdated, her teachers were great. Now my son, 12th grade & daughter 9th grade attend the new improved Wilson school. Administrators, Principal Cahall, Alex Wilson, Ms. Bean, Ms. Arrington and others are totally involved and engaged in the school and its diverse culture(s). Ms. Williams (Choir Director and performing artist/mom) exposes the students to a variety of performances from the Mayor s office, the White House, the Kennedy Ctr, etc. Teaches like Dr. Smith (Math), David Heckler (History/swim coach); Joseph Herbert (Math), Ms. Grant (English), Mr. Downing (Spanish), Ms. Lambert (Ceramics) and I could go have been observed going above and beyond to make Wilson a model Urban high school. There are some disruptive students but that is something Wilson is working on. Wilson has come a long way and is continuing to make major improvements. A great school, with diversity to fit any type of student (academically, athletically, artistically, socially, etc) Kudos to the Wilson High School Staff!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2013

It's my first year in wilson,as a freshman student and i would not recommend it to any 8th graders or other students.Coming from a small school,and always going to a small school wilson has been a very big change for me.The teachers never have time to help the students one-on-one,they constantly forget to change your grade since every teacher in the school has about 100 students and they can't take control of the noisy students that never let the teacher teach anything.I really regret not applying to more school's last year,it's a good school and has great students but horrible control,behavior and learning system.In my old school teachers would always come up to students and help them,in wilson there are to many students for the teachers to do anything.I would not recommend this to any applying student.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 29, 2011

I went to woodrow wilson highschool for a couple of months when i lived in d.c and i absolutely loved it!!! the teachers were great and everything is so open and diverse. the students are really nice and d.c is a great and fun place to live in. i had a great time there even though i lived there for a short period of time. i wish i could move back! the school that i go to now is horrible and the people are sooo different and theres no diversity here i miss wilson so much.. i think any student would love wilson and you should definitely go!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 27, 2011

Wilson at this time have to many students so it is not as effective as it should be. I think that because of this issue, the teachers do not have much time to attend to the students that do not understand the concepts of the class that they are teaching. For the students that get it that is great. For the students that do not get it, it is a challenge for the student. This is really hurting our students in the DCPS system.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 15, 2011

As a proud former Tiger, I can truly say that Wilson was a big part of my education, both academically and socially. The diversity of the Wilson student body, and the diversity of the staff-are the school's biggest assets. Wilson has five academies to choose from- 1. The Academy of Finance, 2. AAA (Academic Athletic Achievement Academy), 3. HAM (Humanities, Arts and Media), 4. SciMaTech (Science, Math, and Technology), and 5. WISP (Wilson International Studies Program). Wilson also has a variety of sports and extra-curricular activities, ranging from Football to Crew, from Track to Band, Soccer to Baseball and everything else in-between!


Posted September 28, 2010

School is doing well for what they have to work with. Presently in transation at another location while their school is being renovated. Need more parental involvement and engagement tactics for children of color to increase their grades and participation. More accountablilty options.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 17, 2010

Wilson has a great range of classes and a student body that is diverse in every way. Whether it survives the trip to UDC during the upcoming construction remains to be seen but until then, if you want to go to the best public school in the city, then look no further
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 25, 2010

Wilson is a large urban school with a wide array of students. It has four academic academies. Both of my children attending Wilson's academies. Although the DC administration has sometimes caused frustration, Wilson's teachers and staff have almost always been helful and supportive. Most of its teachers have been excellent. A few have been not up to the challenge of teenagers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

It is probably the most ethnically inclusive school in the nation. It includes many children from the Embassies here in DC who come from all over the world.I am a grandparent of several grandchildren who have gone to Woodrow Wilson. My daughter was President of the PTA.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 18, 2009

Very bad and the teachers are so-so. The kids are noisy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 1, 2009

Like any other Public School, Wilson lacks a few things. Wilson provides a wonderful education if you want it. Don't blame the school, blame yourself. Wilson is excellent and has so much to offer. It is diverse and the teachers are very understanding. You should see some of the colleges people get into. Its amazing. GO TIGERS!
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 29, 2009

Wilson has such a terrible reputation, but speaking as a student, I know that it's not nearly as bad as most people think. Although some of the teaching is slightly lacking, most of the teachers, especially in AP courses, are educated in their subjects, and know how to make it so the students want to learn. Wilson tought me more about diversity and acceptance than any other schools in the neighborhood ever could, and under a new administration, things are really looking up, with their motto 'Creating the model urban high school.' There is adequate help in college counceling, and most teachers are more than willing to help with anything, and there are countless clubs and athletic teams that are available. I mean, our country's second richest man attended Wilson, along with Dave Chappelle.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 20, 2008

I just wanted to say that i love this school. I have moved so many times in my life and i am actually from another country originally. I attended wilson last year and it was my first year of american high school ever. I was nervous at first because i heard so many bad things about it and my parents pushed me to go to a private school but i insisdid that i should go to wilson. I have never had a better year in my whole life and all the places and schools i have lived and gone to. I have now moved to vermont and i go to a private school an di hate it! wilson makes you feel like everybody is welcome and theres so many amazing people to meet i loved the feeling last year of being a part of wilson. I met great teachers and students. Wilson is the best!
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 2, 2008

Wilson is one of THE worst schools possible, True if you push yourself i guess you can get a decent education but thats only after you manage to avoid the uncontrollable behavior of many of the students. I currently am i student there-sadly- and am hoping to transfer, forcing me to repeat my junior year. If you have the change to go to a private school DO IT! Not only is there a minimual aspect of socializing at this school (i.e. great friends to make) but the teachers are so unhelpful they make you not want to push there it and do well. However, the one thing you get from Wilson is the feel of what many different people are like, but frankly i'd rather have a good eduacation and high school experience than the ecletic experience of this school.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 13, 2008

I attended Wilson and it is a school where you will get an education if you really want one and if your parents push for you to get the good teachers and put you in the advanced classes. I had some awesome teachers and I had some horrible ones. The school is poorly funded and it definately helps for the parents to be active or donating money for their children to have an advantage. Overall it is a good school but only for independent students or students with great support systems.


Posted August 25, 2005

I attended wilson in going to school there gave me great insight on diversity. I live in an all African-American community and when I went to Wilson it allowed me to experience alot of brand new things. The teachers there have always been supportive, and they prepare you for college because of the numerous things they have to keep organized within the school year; they show you how to keep yourself focus and determine. I would say that Wilson is the number ONE! public school in the Distric.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted April 16, 2005

Wilson generally gets a pretty bad rap. It's largely undeserved, as Wilson sends almost 95% of its graduating class to college. We are also more diverse than any school in the area; we arent a rich white suburban school or a forgotten urban school. An oft heard complaint is that the teaching quality lags far behind our private and Mont Co. counterparts.If you search out the good classes with the good teachers, the quality of your education is at worst equal to that of the expensive private schools and overfunded Mont. Co. schools. Give Wilson a break, its not dangerous, kids learn, and we all do well. Remember the 2nd richest man in this country is a Wilson alum.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 19, 2005

Wilson is a school where you have to decide yourself if you're going to succeed. They don't do much to make you do anything, but once you decide that you're going to succeed, they're behind you 100%.
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 15, 2004

Overall, my child has done well and received a good education. The physical facilities are what you would expect from an inner city school. The teachers my child has had have been good especially the ones teaching AP classes. The Athletic/Activities Director is the weakest member of the staff. His actions could be interpreted as petty, autocratic, and extremely self-serving. He has refused independent audits of the Activites Budget and has gone on personal vendettas against teachers and coaches that don't see eye-to-eye with him. The Principal is sound and does the best he can with limited resources.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2003

most teachers are very involoved and very concerned about the students' wellbeings, AP classes are amazing, students are committed to learning, sports are great, facilities good... it's the best school in the city and i love it


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 45% in 2013.

497 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
52%

2010

 
 
66%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 45% in 2013.

499 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
61%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
64%
Science

487 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%
Writing

505 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 43% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Science

The state average for Science was 35% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 52% in 2011.

383 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
52%

2010

 
 
66%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 48% in 2011.

388 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
64%
Science

The state average for Science was 41% in 2011.

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 45% in 2011.

287 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
47%

2010

 
 
71%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Math

All Students60%
Black, non-Hispanic45%
Asian74%
Hispanic51%
White, non-Hispanic90%
Economically disadvantaged43%
Disabled15%
Limited or not English proficient43%

Reading

All Students61%
Black, non-Hispanic49%
Asian56%
Hispanic56%
White, non-Hispanic91%
Economically disadvantaged42%
Disabled24%
Limited or not English proficient21%

Science

All Students63%

Writing

All Students64%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

In 2012-2013, this school was designated "Focus".

About the tests


The DC school classification system includes multiple measures to evaluate performance and student growth. The possible classifications, from highest to lowest, are Reward, Rising, Developing, Focus and Priority. These measures include the DC CAS, annual growth, graduation rates, attendance rates and participation rates. Under the system, required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), each school is given a School Index Score based on the performance of its students. Schools receive different levels of support, resources, flexibility and monitoring based on their classification.

Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Average

Test score rating
Student growth rating
College readiness rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the city.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests in the District of Columbia. Test scores are based on 2012-13 DC CAS results.

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Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
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City
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10

College readiness rating 20133What's this?

College readiness rating combines this high school's graduation rates with data about college entrance exams, both of which are indicators of how well schools are preparing students for success in college and beyond.

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City
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ACT/SAT participation

83%

ACT/SAT college ready

49%

Graduation rate

73%


1 This rating is based on 2012-13 DC CAS results from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

2 This rating is based on 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in math and reading from the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE).

3 This rating is based on composite ACT scores, ACT participation (% of 11th graders taking the ACT), and four-year adjusted graduation rates from 2011-12.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 47% 1%
White 22% 1%
Hispanic 19% N/A
Asian 8% N/A
Two or more races 3% 57%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 37%N/AN/A
Special education 11%N/A13%
English learners 9%N/A7%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Attendance

  This school District averageState average
All Students 90%N/AN/A
Asian/Pacific Islander 94%N/AN/A
Black, not Hispanic 87%N/AN/A
Hispanic 89%N/AN/A
White, not Hispanic 96%N/AN/A
Economically disadvantaged 86%N/AN/A
Students with disabilities 85%N/AN/A
Limited English proficient 93%N/AN/A
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

Graduation rate

  This school District averageState average
All Students 80%N/A75%
Female 82%N/A77%
Male 78%N/A71%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 50%N/A83%
Asian/Pacific Islander 79%N/A79%
Black, not Hispanic 80%N/A77%
Hispanic 69%N/A62%
White, not Hispanic 88%N/A73%
Economically disadvantaged 100%N/A96%
Not economically disadvantaged 74%N/A58%
Students with disabilities 100%N/A94%
General-Education students 79%N/A73%
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Deal Middle School
Hardy Middle School
Oyster-Adams Bilingual School (Adams)
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students ELL/ESL Coordinator
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Siemens Award for Excellence in the Teaching of AP Science, (2007)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Robotics club

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Marching band
  • Student newspaper

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • American Sign Language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Honors track
Clubs
  • Debate
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 7:00am
School end time
  • 7:00pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Pete Cahall
Gender
  • Coed
Fax number
  • (202) 282-0077

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Direct instruction
  • Honors track
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • American Sign Language
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Languages supported by ESL/ELL programs
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
Transportation options
  • M4 (Nebraska Avenue), H2, H3, H4 (Crosstown)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Music room
  • Outdoor learning lab
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Latin American Youth Center, Teen Women In Action
  • Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • FIRST Robotics, NASA, DCPS-CTE
  • Architecture Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentors
  • Operation HOPE - Financial Literacy
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Wrestling
  • crew, squash
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • squash

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Debate
  • Marching band
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
School colors
  • Kelly Green and White
School mascot
  • Tiger
School leaders can update this information here.

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What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
Deal Middle School
Hardy Middle School
Oyster-Adams Bilingual School (Adams)
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3950 Chesapeake St. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 282-0120

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