« Back to compare
Public district
Washington, DC

Contact this school

2801 Calvert Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

School website
(202) 671-6130
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Oyster-Adams Bilingual School address.
February 11, 2015
We have nothing but rave reviews for OYSTER- ADAMS! We have a 1st and 3rd grader that began in 2014 after our move from a Dallas dual language school. The principal is energetic and focussed on rigor and teacher quality. Teachers work with a sense or urgency. The campus has a unique culture of respect for each student. Students are from all over the world. They appear engaged and happy. Multiple teachers in each classroom make a difference with rigor and differentiation. And the active PTO helps fund additional arts enrichment. We feel lucky to be apart of this thriving K-8th grade campus!

- submitted by a parent
December 31, 2014
Our daughter started in Kindergarten this year, and our experience has been pretty positive for the most part. We were excited to have the bilingual option as we've been trying to raise our child in a dual-language home and wanted to reinforce that academically. Many families come into Oyster viewing it as an alternative to private options that teach spanish...it is not. Oyster is very diverse, which can be a blessing and a curse for those interested in developing solid spanish-language skills. Many students enter as native speakers, while others have no exposure to spanish when they start. This means teachers often have to cater to lower levels for both Spanish and English. While the new administration says they're interested in differentiated instruction, the reality is that this is very difficult with large class sizes. Our child's spanish has actually gotten worse since starting here! However, Oyster is a wonderful environment with dedicated and passionate teachers, and a real community feel to it. She has made many friends and is developing well socially and emotionally, but we'll have to supplement the spanish learning in other ways.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2014
i think the school is greate i just entered this school and it is the best school ever

- submitted by a community member
June 13, 2014
The school is outstanding for its academics, diversity and bilingual immersion program. While all schools have pros and cons I believe that my child is getting a great education academically and socially that is comparable to any other public or private school in the area. We have friends with kids in other area schools, both public and private and they all complain about one thing or another. The complaints range from being unhappy with a teacher encounter or a particular policy. However, my daughter is thriving academically and she is now bilingual. So, the school is a great fit for our family.

- submitted by a parent
April 29, 2014
We are at Oyster elementary this year (Kindergarten) and we have been VERY happy with the school! The teachers are wonderful and my daughter has made huge progress this year. I like that the teachers try to differentiate in the classroom through small groups so they are able to meet the needs of all kids wherever the child is at. I appreciate the use of field trips to make learning a bit more hands on. I have appreciated the school community and the efforts to support families along with children. Overall we are thrilled with the school!

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2014
The school has no leadership. Teachers are totally unsupported and left on the own battling their own problems with no support from their principal or from the rest of the very incompetent administration. As a result there are a number of growing discipline problems. The school does not have a consistent or effective behavior management system so children do whatever they want. This is particularly true in 5th grade this year. Overall, there is a tone of disrespect and disorganization across the building. The school runs thanks to the very competent and dedicated teachers not the administration. By 5th grade many parents take their children out in search of a more structured and organized middle school that handles problems like these more effectively.

- submitted by a community member
January 14, 2014
We have had an awful experience with the Spanish Assistant Principal in the middle school campus who doesn't seem to be capable of managing discipline problems or anything else for that matter. Our child has been suffering from constant bullying from the very beginning of the year and nothing seems to be done by either the administration of the school counselor. We are not impressed by the incompetency of the administration to handle these matters. It is incredibly frustrating for parents and students.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2013
We agree with the review below that the environment is that of a big family. To be honest, that is not enough for us. It is important that there is a nurturing environment where the kids feel safe but no when the academics are put at risk. We have been very disappointed with the school's policy of "one size fits all" where kids who have the potential do not get challenged once they get to Middle School. We are also shocked by the incompetency of both assistant principals (one of them has been very rude to us) and their uninspiring principal. The ongoing and increasing discipline problems that don't seem to get resolved are also a problem. As, one parent points out, there are not real consequences for those who do not follow the rules. I agree that most of the teachers are excellent and very committed to the bilingual program but there is not much they can do with so little support from their administration. You can sense their frustrations as soon as you enter the school.

- submitted by a community member
November 03, 2013
I am well aware that Oyster Adams is not for everyone. It is fairly chaotic, zero leveled math except for one pretty low-key eighth grade Algebra 1 class, and yes, some questionable teachers. But honestly, this school is home. The environment is that of a big family. Everyone loves everyone and tries to make them happy and smart and wonderful. It's not a touchy-feely kind of support, it's more that you know you're loved when you walk in those doors. OA kids are fiercely loyal, unbelievably intelligent, unified, and more than prepared for the real world. It may not be "challenging" or have a GT program, but the unflinching devotion of everybody in these schools is palpable. The middle school is small and by the time the kids graduate, they might as well be siblings. It's not that everything is about bonding, this bonding just happens and it is beautiful to watch. The kids cry on the last day of school. They high-five on the first. The teachers will do anything if the kid tries hard enough, and believe me, many of those teachers are unparalleled elsewhere. I cannot give OA enough praise. Try and look past the critics and into the heart of this school, and you will be blown away.

- submitted by a community member
October 28, 2013
As the parent below points out, Oyster Adams is about uncertainty and miscommunication which is very frustrating for both parents and teachers. Classrooms are under resourced and teachers are overloaded with work (some of them have over 50 students) whilst the funds are directed to pay for 3 not very effective assistant principals. It would make more sense to invest that money in the classrooms to support the teachers instead. Besides this, discipline continues to be a problem as there are not real consequences for bad behavior. Bullying is also an issue. Students have a lot of power and they know it. The school is falling apart rapidly.

- submitted by a community member
October 05, 2013
O-A is currently considered the best Spanish instruction in DCPS. It has a more diverse and educated Spanish-speaking population than other public and charter schools. Very international, tolerant, and welcoming to families of mixed heritages. However, it can be frustrating. The teaching model seems to change often because DCPS budget and staff models aren't applicable to O-A being in two locations. Elementary grades are split over a mile apart but DCPS gives one music teacher. Parents pay for a second one. No longer two teachers per classroom. Some teachers work with 50 children. High % of SPED but under-resourced. Middle school is VERY small. Principal is aware of challenges and growing bilingual competition from charters. My children have been happy and the community is generous with money and time. But the school is very dependent on families. More and more are exploring charters. But O-A continues to be the leading bilingual school in the city. If you can handle uncertainty and some miscommunication, but enjoy creativity and diversity, it can be a great school.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2013
We love this school!! The Prinicpals, teachers, the support staff and the parents are so focus on the academic success for the children. Whenever I have any concerns about my child's development. The staff's open door policy and strategies has always help my child make progress and strengthen her confidence. We are a big family that I feel tries very hard to put out the fires that can destroy our children foundation for the future. It's not the building, but it's the people inside that shapes the children's future. Bravo, Bravo to our Oyster-Adams family!!! Let's keep moving forward for our children's future. Ask not what your child's school can do for you, but what you can do for your child's school to make it better.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2013
Teacher morale is low and dissatisfaction very high. Teachers feel unsupported and often disrespected. Staff turnover is very high. We need a more supportive and efficient administration for the school to survive.

- submitted by a community member
June 12, 2013
What I love most about Oyster elementary is the social environment. Truly a supportive and diverse community, a place to build life skills. I am very happy that my kids are there.

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2013
Having a bilingual program is great. The trouble is kids need to master & excel in skills beyond languages later in life and Adams does not offer a challenging academic curriculum in the middle school years. I hope they get it right someday. It's just disappointing my kids won't see the benefits...

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2013
Discipline problems are on the increase in the middle school due to poor leadership. In addition quality of instruction varies from classroom to classroom as there is no real supervision to ensure consistency. My kids have had very good teachers and very bad ones too. Teachers receive very little support and are left on their own to battle the daily problems. Many are very fed up. I agree with some of the comments that parents have posted here. The school really needs new leadership to survive.

- submitted by a parent
March 24, 2013
Great teachers but very poor administration. Both, teachers and parents are frustated with the current principal and her team. The school needs new leadership to survive.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2013
The teachers at the school are great and very committed to make the dual program successful. However the administration is weak and uninspiring. The current principal is not acting as a leader and seems to be unable to make any decisions at all. The assistant principals are just as bad. The middle school campus in particular is badly run. Discipline problems are on the increase because there isn't a clear policy for students. Students misbehave because the school allows them to do so. It is a real shame.

- submitted by a community member
September 02, 2012
Grade 7 and 8 are relatively new additions and continuing with the bilingual immersion or choosing a different middle school is a hard choice for some (not all) parents. In the early years, this school so inspired my daughter to an incredible love of learning and passion for going to school,developed her values and worldly outlook. Immersion schooling was a privilege, a huge challenge for leaders to deliver but wonderful. And a special aspect of this school is its true commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Each child is taught to feel special for who they are, to develop and value their self-identity and appreciate others. All in all it was an incredible experience for my daughter and I am ever grateful to the dedicated staff, and exceptional community. Now it has middle school years that with support can become wonderful too. The principal is Harvard educated and PIONEERED a bilingual school successfully in a more challenging demographic situation prior to this appointment. I trust her background and leadership. It is complex. Parents listen and support or move elsewhere at the middle school stage. Pre-K to grade 6 is really special, a privilege for sure.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
My children will just be starting the Oyster-Adams Middle School, I have received mixed reviews regarding the school. I love bilingual education for my children, however, I will not sacrifice high academic expectations to get it.

- submitted by a community member
June 10, 2012
I have had a different experience than what the other parents have recently discussed. It's true that they aren't going to offer a lot of leveled math instruction, but that's due to it's small size. Small size=less money=fewer teachers. There just aren't enough teachers to offer the leveled math instruction that some parents want. That is a drawback to some parents. However, the small size contributes to a very close-knit community. All teachers know every student in the school, and my son appreciates that everyone knows him. I also have to disagree about the curriculum not challenging students as well. Just take a look at the 8th grade graduating class - over half of them have been accepted to prestigious private high schools or selective public area high schools. This, to me, tells me that my son has received an above average education and is ready to take on high school.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2012
Huge discipline problems and a very uninspiring principal are the negatives of the school. The English teachers are good and so are the parents. There are very few good Spanish Teachers. In general they tend to be very weak.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2012
Teachers and parents do a great job, Principal leadership is below average, most students don't behave well. This wasn't the case with last principal

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2012
After many years in the school we have deciced to leave for another middle school that can offer the academic challenges that our kids need. The current Principal doesn't believe in offering different levels of math instruction, Instead her philosophy seems to be "one size fits all" . Other middle schools offer a much better and more solid curriculum than Oyster does so we are leaving. In adddition, the current administration is very weak. The school has serious discipline problems which they seem unable to resolve. We have tried to speak to the current principal several times and have offered her different solutions but she doens't want to hear. IT is a shame and it breaks our heart, as we really do believe in bilingual education, but not at the expense of putting the academics at risk. We feel that if we stay at Oyster our child's education will suffer.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2012
We are very dissapointed and frustrated with the current principal. She is making really bad decisions with regards to teacher selection and the middle school program. What is worse is that she doesn't listen to parents and ignores any concerns, or suggestions parents might have. As a result of her weak leadership, the program is becoming so average that a bilingual education for our children is not longer a priority , if the academics are going to suffer. We know that many other families think likewise and many are leaving the school. Amongst those there are Spanish speaking families like us. It is a real shame as Oyster used to be a great school.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2012
I agree with the comments posted here. The current principal is not a leader and is losing the respect of parents, teachers and students. we don't understand why she insists in keeping those really bad teachers that are affecting the quality of the program. The school really needs new leadership.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2012
Once upon a time, Oyster was a great school but it is rapidly declining due to the lack of leadership and vision of its current principal. The best students are leaving to go to Deal and other schools, not because they do not longer wish to be in a bilingual program but because they are getting bored and the school is not offering them any challenges. In addition the principal does not want to fire some really bad teachers who should be doing something else rather than wasting the years of our children.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2010
Oyster-Adams has an effective bilingual immersion plan that serves a diverse community of learners. It is both a true neighborhood school and a place that serves our city as a whole. My daughter loves Oyster.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2010
Oyster is a awsome school. Its a small environment so that the students can get to know their teachers and classmates. And it is a great oportunity to be able to learn another languege from such a young age

- submitted by a student
February 06, 2010
This school may be 'above average' by DC standards, but by far not an above average school. I find it to be quite average and luke warm at best. The children are frindly and well behaved: 5star. The teacher quality: 3star. Parent involvement: 4.5star. Dual immersion language model: 2. Acedemically overall, nothing special: 3star-luke warm. Not agressive or very well targeted toward the individual. My son will not be returning next year. I expected more based upon the school's reputation. I am not alone in my feelings as a parent either. Please note, there aren't many reviews written on this site yet; only 9.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2009
Great acceptance rate to the best high schools after graduation.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 10, 2009
Oyster has been life-changing for my children, and the quality of the teaching and dedication by staff is as good as it gets -anywhere, private, charter or public. Just today I dropped in the intermediate campus: 5th graders presenting a power point to their classmates on a multi-tiered math project in Spanish; 6th grade math group rapping/singing the solution to an equation; 4th graders focused outside with their teacher on language arts; you see adults putting children first every minute. All DCPS should be like Oyster.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2008
My school is the best school in the district because its the only school that people from all over the world can learn english and spanish and mybe teach us stuff about their old school soo do the parent that says the school is unsatisfactory then why is your child in it thank you vary much P.S the teachers their are one of the best teachers in the district and the principal is the best principal in the whole district. to anyone who disagrees feel free to say what you want but no matter what you say Oyster is the best . Thakyou very much!!!!!

- submitted by a student
June 19, 2008
Despite a poor pricipal for the last several years (now removed) the fantastic teachers have continued to provide an outstanding bilingual education. So many teacher go above and beyond - you find some of them there at 5 and 6 o'clock, doing special projects. All 4th graders have a chess class - how many schools do that! And the after school program is also excellent - and bilingual. You can't beat this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2008
Oyster has the potential of being one of the best schools in the city. It has a strong parent community and a group of very dedicated teachers who truly believe in the bilingual program that Oyster offers. Unfortunately we have a principal who doesn't share the same vision and as a result, Oyster's quality of education is suffering: test scores have dropped and teacher morale is low. We, parents of Oyster, long for a new principal who turns Oyster into what it used to be.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2006
Oyster did an outstanding job of educating my three children. Furthermore, it gave them a second language and a deep appreciation of people with different cultures from their own.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2004
It was the best experience of my life I appreciate everything Oyster has done for me.

- submitted by a former student
February 23, 2004
Having attended Oyster was a truly defining experience for my children. Now in college and highschool, they have the advantage of being both fluent in Spanish and having a multicultural outlook, which will continue to open doors for them throughout their lives. Furthermore, I attribute their continuing academic excellence to their having gotten a strong educational start.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school's profile?
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

February 27, 2013


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: February 11, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

Find the great schools in Washington DC

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Oyster-Adams Bilingual School
2801 Calvert Street Northwest, Washington, DC  20008
(202) 671-6130
Last modified Oyster-Adams Bilingual School is a Public school that serves grades PK-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Oyster-Adams Bilingual School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 39 reviews. Top