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GreatSchools Rating

Capital City PCS - Lower School

Charter | PK-4 | 316 students

We are best known for our Expeditionary Learning model.

 
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 14 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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29 reviews of this school


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Posted November 9, 2013

We are so happy at Capital City. Our children are receiving a great education, and are actively involved in the learning process. We also really appreciate and respect the social skills curriculum with it's focus on kindness, courage, and empathy.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2013

This is our first year at the school and our son has already learned so much. The teachers are wonderful and very committed to their students. We are very happy and look forward to seeing his progress this year. On a weekly basis we receive communication from the teachers as to what the students have done and learned which is extremely helpful. We couldn't be happier.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2013

This is our second year at Cap City. Our daughter is now in kindergarten. Our family loves this school! It is a warm, loving, nurturing community, with active, caring parent, teachers, and administrators. Together we focus on the "whole child." Academics are important - test scores are just one indicator - but they're not everything. Art, music, fitness - and a focus on community participation -are all significant parts of the curriculum. Communication with teachers and administrators has been frequent, substantive, and welcoming. The school is wonderfully diverse, and I think that speaks to the open, inviting environment. We're looking forward to growing with the school for years to come.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2013

Our son is in third grade now, in his fifth year at Capital City already (!), and we love the school. There is a strong sense of community, a rich extracurricular life of the school that reinforces the values and connections communicated in the classroom, and most importantly, a commitment to a strong academic curriculum that makes learning enjoyable.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2013

What I like most about Cap City is that it strives to educate the whole child -- to form character (perseverance, kindness, empathy) in addition to teaching the fundamentals. Significant time is spent in the early years on the social aspects of school (waiting your turn, listening respectfully to others, etc.), so that real learning can then happen in the classroom. The approach to learning is also holistic: Using the Expeditionary Learning approach, children learn thoroughly about a topic (e.g. recycling, bees, nutrition, water), with every subject (English, math, science, music, art) supporting that topic. As a parent I am very excited for my children to learn more deeply, instead of just memorizing disconnected facts. The teachers are fabulous, and the teacher-student ratio is high, with 2 1/2 teachers per classroom of 25 (18 for Preschool and Pre-K). The facility itself, new last year, has everything you could dream of: gym, theater, and tons of outdoor space including a garden. Windows were installed strategically to allow children to see the inner workings of the building -- plumbing, wiring, etc. I couldn't be happier!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2013

Our kids have been at Capital City since pre-K. One is now in Middle School. We have generally been pleased, though no school is perfect. CCPCS has a tremendous amount of staff resources -- two teachers per class, lots of support teachers (e.g., for special ed and English Language Learners), and specials teachers (drama, Spanish, art, music, fitness, library). The school evironment is generally very positive with a very strong school culture where kids learn to respect each other. This is not a place where teachers run their own little fiefdoms. There is a lot of staff teamwork. The new facility is fantastic, but the doubling of the size of the school last year led to some hiccups with many new staff and kids -- it was hard to integrate everyone into the culture, especially in grades 3 and 4. We are sometimes concerned that the diversity of abilities in the classroom can make it hard to meet everyone's needs. We worry especially about a challenge for kids who are performing at advanced levels. But the diversity, vibrancy, and dynamism, teacher enthusiasm, etc. seem to outweigh this.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2013

They really foster a learning environment that teaches kids to think critically and work together to solve problems.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 20, 2013

I Love CCPCS!! My daughter Ariana is so happy and proud to say she goes to Capitol City!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 20, 2013

Capital City lower school is a warm, academically-engaged environment. We now have a first grader and have been with the school since PreK. Teachers are dedicated and take great care to meet each student where he/she is, and the expeditionary learning model really lends itself to allowing this individual attention and to deep learning. There's careful attention to social and artistic learning built into the curriculum along with academics; students learn to work thoughtfully in their community and to become responsible both for their own and each others' learning. I think it's a common experience here that kids truly love learning and are invested in the expeditions and in each other. In our own time here, we've been very pleased with the level of intellectual challenge and teacher/student care we've seen abundantly at work.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2013

The teachers really care about the kids, really care about using best and current practices in teaching, and they want parents to know what they are doing in the classroom and why. The kids know the teachers are in their corner, and will ensure they understand and retain what is being taught.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2013

We have been so fortunate to "win the lottery" for a spot at CCPCS. Our daughter loves being there and I feel like teachers and staff love her back - I couldn't count the hugs and kisses she got on her first day back to school. She "owns" her school. As a parent, I can see how her development progresses and how this school is such an integral part of making her a smart, confident and kind little girl. Individual communication to / from staff and teachers is excellent and immediate. The lunch program is fantastic and the facilities are brand new with room for music, art and a dedicated room for the Spanish teacher. It seems like her opportunities are endless... .
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2013

We feel so lucky to have our daughter attending Capital City. We love the expeditionary learning model, which uses themes like "My Family" or "Oviparous Animals" to link and give extra meaning to all the academic instruction in language, math, and other areas. We also really appreciate the school's emphasis on community, including a weekly All School Meeting that lets the entire student body learn from, sing songs with, and bond with each other, as well as the school's use of responsive classroom, which approaches discipline and class management by engaging the students themselves in helping develop and buy into a respectful, positive learning environment. CapCity also has wonderful "extra" programs, including weekly exposure to drama, fine arts, music, fitness, and Spanish instruction. The school recently expanded into its new building and grounds, which are simply beautiful, with playgrounds, gardens, and ball fields. We couldn't ask for a more perfect place for our daughter to grow and thrive.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2013

My son and his uncle go to Captal City. Its a great great school his uncle have been with them since 6 grade and my son for two years. They have a fabulious teachers and staff. Their after school problems are great, they get to have fun and learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 19, 2013

La escuela es magnifica!! Me encanta: porque es una escuela multicultural, el nivel acad mico muy bueno. Por la coordinaci n de trabajo entre padres y personal de la escuela, ademas brindan mucha information a los padres para que estemos enterados de todo lo que la escuela realiza, y sobre todo que es una escuela que cuenta con mucha seguridad.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 27, 2012

In grades PK-3, learning is a nurturing and fun experience. However, as time goes on it becomes harder for the school to meet the needs of such diverse student body. Consequently, most of the resources are devoted to struggling learners thus giving those students who are on grade level and beyond little incentive to stay beyond 4th grade. The previous poster who alluded to special treatment for those involved in fundraising could not be more wrong. In fact, just the opposite is true. Most of the school's historically generous and involved families are gone. Even given the above comment, I would still recommend that you apply because you could do a lot worse.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2012

The new building is great. The students finally have a gym and athletic fields that they never had before. Even though the new building is much bigger, Capital City has maintained it's small school feel.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2012

Capital City continues to offer an outstanding personalized education. The addition of the new building has greatly expanded the opportunities available to cap city students -- athletic fields, a play ground, gym, cafeteria and an auditorium only enhance an already great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2012

Judging from some of the reviews its fair to conclude some parents are not happy but please be reminded it is only their experience at CCPCS. It takes a lot of hard work, passion and dedication to ensure every child has a fair shot at academic success and for years Capital City has done just that. If your child cannot adapt to this environment it is your duty as a parent to do whats best for your child without being negative by trying to malign the hard working staff. It is utterly tasteless especially for parents and students who continue to attend.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 9, 2012

Starts well with the Pre-K and lower elementary then gradullay the quality of instruction and teachers decline. No wonder only a few students in grades 5-8 are original CCPCS students. For us it's been an utter disappointment. In addition to wasting pivotal academic years, we now have to deal with the fact that my child has completely lost self confidence in himself and his ability to be successful in school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 2, 2011

For those who are confused by the conflicting reviews, please be aware that this school is a bit like a private club. If your are actively and aggressively fundraising for the school, your childen's shortcomings will be regarded as qualities and they will get raving reviews from teachers. For those children who are academically gifted and self motivated and do well in any school setting, the school is adequate, especially in the lower grades. Also, quite a number of students are tutored regularly outside the school, throughout the school year. If you can afford this, then keep your kids in the school.. If not, go elsewhere . If you're interested , go on the OSSE website and see for yourself the HUGE achievement gap between the white kids and the rest.


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 43% in 2013.

49 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
41%

2012

 
 
40%

2011

 
 
64%

2010

 
 
56%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2013.

49 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
39%

2012

 
 
52%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
76%
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 58% in 2013.

52 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
46%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
63%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 52% in 2013.

52 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
56%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
63%
Writing

51 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
39%
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.

149 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
65%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 44% in 2011.

149 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
70%

2010

 
 
66%
Science

The state average for Science was 35% in 2011.

49 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
49%

2010

 
 
49%
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 Students41%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged19%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students39%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged27%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/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

All Students46%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged31%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Reading

All Students56%
Black, non-Hispanicn/a
Hispanicn/a
White, non-Hispanicn/a
Economically disadvantaged48%
Disabledn/a
Limited or not English proficientn/a

Writing

All Students39%
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

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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City
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9
10

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
This school
City
1
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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).

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 35% 1%
Hispanic 34% N/A
White 22% 1%
Two or more races 7% 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 55%N/AN/A
Special education 14%N/A13%
English learners 26%N/A7%
Source: Office of the State Superintendent of Education, 2011-2012

Attendance

  This school District averageState average
All Students 98%N/AN/A
Female 98%N/AN/A
Male 98%N/AN/A
Asian/Pacific Islander 98%N/AN/A
Black, not Hispanic 98%N/AN/A
Hispanic 98%N/AN/A
White, not Hispanic 98%N/AN/A
Economically disadvantaged 98%N/AN/A
Not economically disadvantaged 98%N/AN/A
Students with disabilities 98%N/AN/A
General-Education students 98%N/AN/A
Limited English proficient 98%N/AN/A
Not limited English proficient 98%N/AN/A
Source: DCPS, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Tier One - High Performing DC Charter School (2013)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • 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
  • Amharic
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Amy Wendel
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (202) 733-1812

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Project-based
  • Reggio Emilia
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
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
Foreign languages taught
  • 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
  • Amharic
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Vietnamese

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
Girls sports
  • Girls on the Run
  • Soccer
  • Swimming

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • None
School leaders can update this information here.

Photos

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School colors
  • blue, gold
School mascot
  • The Eagles
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

100 Peabody Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Website: Click here
Phone: (202) 808-9800

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