"Our school is an arts-intergation campus for all children. "
Students enrolled 689
Hours 8:45 AM - 3:15 PM
School leader Lynn Main
Transportation options Yes
District District Of Columbia Public Schools
Preschool capacity no info
Before school no info
After school no info

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5701 Broad Branch Road Northwest
Washington, DC 20015

School website
(202) 282-0116
(202) 724-8961
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Lafayette Elementary School address.

3 stars
Based on 43 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

April 29, 2014
For the amount of $$ DC spends on each child, which is one of the highest per student allotments in the entire country, this is unacceptable. I get the impression that Lafayette parents are just so relived to be in one of the better DC school zones. Other schools in DCPS are shameful and literacy rates are low. If I hear Kaya Henderson brag that DC has one of the largest increases of test scores one more time... Of course DCPS has improved scores more than say Fairfax/Montgomery. Those systems are operating with test scores in the 90 percentile & have little room for academic improvement. DC scores are so low that it is virtually impossible to go anywhere but up. Going from the 16th to the 24th percentile is a gain but an embarrassment. Lafayette is not a great or even good school. It is an okay school at best, academically speaking. The principal leaves much to be desired. I can't think of one positive thing to say about her except she does a fine job keeping the parents in the dark. Ignorance is bliss. New leadership should improve Lafayette. We believe in public education but realized our children would receive years of mediocre education. Can't get those years back.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2014
My child left Lafayette during winter break and is doing much better in her new school. She is learning more and has a better teacher. After 3 years at Lafayette, it is nice to have her in a school with fewer problems. I didn't realize how stressful it was for us as a family until we left the school. I enjoy the new parents group as well,. not as much rah-rah and hype as we found at Lafayette, but honest dialogue between mature adults

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2013
Agree with all the comments about hit or miss teachers. Tend to agree with comment about strong Lafayette boosters not really understanding what a good school is. Strong fundraising has not improved the quality of the school and there doesn't seem to be any interest of the parents to do so, there is more interest and motivation in protecting the feeder to another DCPS. Odd. We will hopefully go charter next year but this will thankfully be our last at Lafayette. Fingers crossed that we will have luck on our side for teachers.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2013
I am a former student of Lafayette and I have just graduated from the fifth grade. Lafayette is an amazing school with so many opportunities for all ages. The kids are respectful of one another and I feel I have learned a lot in the past seven years. I only have experience with 2 bad teachers but the others were fabulous. I made so many friends at lafayette and I will miss it horribly. Overall, I recommend lafayette as a school to any child. -Elise R

- submitted by a community member
July 25, 2013
Lafayette may still be one of the strongest elementary schools in DC, but unfortunately it has many problems. My child just graduated from 5th and the experience has definitely been mixed. First and third grade teachers were excellent, second and fourth grade pretty solid. Kindergarten and fifth grade teachers were awful. The fifth grade at Lafayette is a disaster. Our child's teacher was extremely disorganized, unkind towards the children, and left projects uncompleted. This awful teacher was hired just two years ago, which leads one to wonder how a school with a good reputation accepted someone whose standards are so low. The positives are the good teachers, the fantastic art teacher, strong music program and arts integration. Parent involvement has been historically extremely strong, which has helped the school raise money for arts programs and renovations, but seems to be falling off. The kids are mostly great and there is very little bullying or behavior problems but some parents can be cliquey and snobbish to a comical degree for a group of adults.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2013
Lafayette is a good school. Maybe not great, but it does a fine job given the limitations faced by any school. The music program is great - there are lots of instruments available to the student to use, for free. The only real reason I am posting here is to provide a little balance to some of the angry comments. I'm disturbed by references to "uneducated" parents in more than one comment. Is this some sort of coded language for differences of race, class, or neighborhood? I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. In any case, don't get dragged into the sniping and criticizing. There are pluses and minuses to every school - Lafayette is no different. Show up, get to know your kids' teachers and the staff. Say hello, smile. Be friendly. You might be surprised at the good things you will see and hear.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2013
Thank heavens the school year is over! This will be our last year at Lafayette and I won't miss it. No my child is not graduating, we are just pulling her out to get her into a good school. One of the odd things about Lafayette is all the hype and rah-rah that surrounds it. The parents who think it is an excellent school, tend to be uneducated themselves, so are unable to distinguish a good school from a bad one. I am so glad we won't be returning, this is a happy day for at least one Lafayette parent. We are getting our child out before too much damage has been done, and she is not too far behind her peers.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2013
We relocated from the SF Bay Area last year and our children (first and second grade) were previously in a small private school. Lafayette as definitely an adjustment for them but at the end of the school year they both had tears in their eyes because they were leaving their teachers and friends for the summer. The thing that sticks out for me is the ownership of the school that the parents have taken on. The previous post has it wrong, we found highly educated, caring, and well rounded parents at Lafayette. Very few schools are perfect but we are very happy to be part of the Lafayette community.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2013
There is a high variation in the quality of teachers, but the biggest problem is the literal lack of walls. The school uses dividers, or sometimes rows of lockers or cubbies, to separate classrooms in otherwise large open sections of the school. Unfortunately, this does not reduce the sound from other adjacent classes. The refusal to construct actual walls between classes makes it very difficult for the children to focus on the teacher an also makes it very difficult for the teachers to keep the children's attention. The school benefits greatly from the wealthy families who are able to raise considerable amounts of money to fund equipment and additional teachers.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2012
Lafayette seems to suffer from the classic problem of how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers. After 5 years years of wonderful teachers at lafayette prek thru 3rd grade...we have suffered the bad attitude of a teacher this year, While great leadership from the adimin staff seem to be helpful, the end result is the children in this 4th grade class seem to learn nothing other than adults can be mean spirited too. IT is so hard to see how three of 4 teachers in a grade can be amazing and one can be out right detrimental. We had a fourth grader who had an amazing year last year learned a lot and had wonderful and kind teacher. We have our second son in 4th grade this year and have a different set of teachers and a totally different experience. Lafayette really suffers from the hit or miss teacher lotto and complete inconsistent curriculum from classroom to classroom in each grade.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2012
The discrepancy between the reviews has to do with the differences between parents of Lafayette students. Parents who have limited education, limited life experience and little exposure to the rest of the country, rate Lafayette high. They don't know anything else. Parents who are educated, have more life experience and know about educational standards in other parts of the country, find Lafayette does not meet their expectations.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2012
Our son attended Lafayette from K-4. He received the best marks possible each year. DCPS tests these kids to death and our son consistently scored at the top of his class. Unfortunately, we had an unpleasant wake up call when we moved to Md and he began grade 5 in Montgomery Co. His new teachers reported that he was very behind his new classmates. We noticed that he was struggling. We were so surprised because according to DCPS, he was at a 7th grade level in reading and 6th grade level in math. We assumed that he'd be placed in the gifted and talented class in Mo.Co. Apparently, DC standards are very low compared to most US school systems. A very tough break for a kid who was accustomed to being one of the smartest in his class. His confidence was shattered. I guess Lafayette and a few other NW schools may be the creme of the crop in DC, but in a school system that is consistenly rated one of the worst in the country, what does it mean to be one of the best in the city? Google DCPS ranking/ ratings. You'll find a plethora of information about DCPS being the worst school system in the COUNTRY. We saw what we wanted to see at the expense of our kid.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2012
Reading these comments, you might wonder why there is such disparity between the rave reviews of some and the disappointment expressed by many others. My explanation: 1. Lafayette has many talented, motivated, and kind teachers on its staff. If your child is lucky enough to end up with several of these teachers in a row and you don't experience the alternative, you might legitimately wonder what all the fuss is about. Unfortunately, even more of the school's teachers are not strong, and some are downright bad. 2. Parent "leaders" and the principal persist in denying problems and dismissing conflict. For whatever reason, they discourage discussion of opportunities for improvement and marginalize parents who raise issues. As a result, everyone--parents, students, other teachers--knows who the "bad" teachers are, but the principal doesn't do anything about it. 3. Lafayette students perform well on standardized tests due to their socioeconomic advantages, not because of anything the school does. To attribute that success to the school is tempting, but a mistake.

- submitted by a parent
July 09, 2012
Lafayette school is a good public school in DC. Parents are very involved and the school is a center of the neighborhood. Crowding is a problem as it has become very popular in recent years.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2012
Tough to know how to respond to some of these disgruntled parents without knowing what grade their kids are in, or what the context is for their comments. Both of my kids have excelled at Lafayette. My 2nd grader is at a 5th-6th grade level in Math and Reading. My 5th grader is leaving Lafayette at an 8th grade level in Math, 7th grade in Reading, with amazing experiences in competitive sports, art, music, leadership, and conflict resolution. Of course some teachers are better tha others - that's life. No parent depends solely on their kid's teachers to make sure they learn, and yet I haven't made any herculean efforts with my kids outside of the classroom, and no tutors, etc. Sorry if some kids are faling through the cracks, but the numbers speak for themselves and Lafatte is a top 3 elementary scool in the DCPS and on par with the better public schools in Montgomery County, MD.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2012
Abysmal education. Thank goodness this school year is ending soon. Our Child learned very, very little at Lafayette. The entire year was chaos, lack of communication, poor teaching, absent teachers, minimal homework...a general mess. Most parents in our child's class agree that this year was a total loss for their kids. Nice neighborhood, involved parents but the school has tanked due thanks to a mass of bad or teachers who are "over it" with their profession. There is only so much a parent can do at home afterschool and on weekends to compensate. Now we get to spend our summer scurrying to catch our child up.

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2012
NOT a good school or investment in your child. If you are a smart parent, go enroll your kid at Janney or something. Lafayette's standards are terrible and dysfunctional. I'm being serious, you will not end up happy at lafayette unless you are VERY lucky with teachers each year.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2012
Our children do not fall thru cracks at Lafayette, they fall into sink holes. Unless your child is placed with a competent, caring home base teacher, you can pretty much assume that you, the paren(s) will be your child's primary educator for the year. My best estimate, having been a Lafayette parent for 7+ years, is that 60% of the teachers are decent to great and the other 40% are fair to terrible. These same undesirable teachers return year after year after year with the same below average results. It isn't just the classroom teachers, either; Special Ed and ESL teachers are no better. The children and their educations are not top priorities at Lafayette. The school is terribly over crowded. Lafayette is made to accommodate roughly 500 students but there at over 700 in attendance. The fire code sign about capacity in the cafeterioum (the cafeteria & auditorium are one shared space) is ignored as it is over capacity on a daily basis. If it we're for the parents, their "voluntary" contributions and parents association, Lafayette would be considerably worse. There s a lot of shame to go around at Lafayette.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2012
It breaks our hearts to admit this but Lafayette has truly declined in the past 5 years. The main topic at after school pick up amongst the many parents is the very poor quality of teachers and pitiful principal leadership. Each grade has 4 teachers divided amongst about 100 children. Generally there are 2 good teachers for each grade and two horrible teachers. It is luck of the draw each fall when kids are assigned to a teacher. The bad teachers never leave and are not fired, regardless of how poor their students perform. When any of my children have been placed with the underperforming teachers, my wife and I spend the entire school year teaching our kids the basic material they should have learned during the school day. It is a huge burden but we can't let our kids slip behind. We often wonder why we pay such high taxes in this neighborhood- for what! Every Lafayette family we know is fortunate to have one stay at home parent or tutors. Without that luxury, Lafayette test scores would be considerably lower. This year, Our son and his classmates joke that there teacher is the dead guy from "Weekend at Bernie's"- physically present- mentally absent.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2012
My husband and I are very involved in our kids education. I have the luxury to be with our kids each day after school. Our kids get undivided attention during homework time. . Without this daily help, our kids, both who have tested as above as above average IQ, would slip thru the LARGE cracks at Lafayette. More often than not, my kids struggle with their homework because they did not learn the lesson during class time. Ultimately, I end up teaching the concepts/skills necessary for them to do well. 50 of Lafayette teachers are wonderful. The other 50% are an absolute disgrace. These lousy teachers do the absolute minimum required, which Involves barely showing up. Lafayette had gone downhill in all aspects over the last 8 years. It is over crowed, the principal is ineffective, she puts band aides over catastrophe discipline issues and turns a blind eye to some clearly horrid teachers. This year, there have been some very serious discipline problems at Lafayette. Not general elementary school problems but Senior High school level problems. Many issues get brushed under the carpet and there is quite a bit of CYA going on at Lafayette.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2012
The strength of Lafayette continues to be the quality of the parents who choose to send their kids there. We all know that can comprise 50% of the equation for a good education. To pay $15,000-$35,000 for an uncertain marginal benefit that a DC private or parochial school might offer over a quality public elementary school like Lafayette is nice for the uber-wealthy, but not anyone else. To the parent who claims 50% of Lafayette kids have paid tutors after school, that is a gross exaggeration. It's probably 5-10% if that. The school is crowded, and like any school, there are very good teachers and some who are not so good. But my 2nd grader has been there for 3 1/2 years and is at a 5th-6th grade level in both math and reading. If you are an active parent, your child can flourish at Lafayette, and you'll have plenty of money to spend on tutors, activities, and summer camps to further their education if you want, and still come out way ahead financially.

- submitted by a parent
November 19, 2011
I have had three children attending Lafayette. My fifth grader had a terrible year last year. The class was unruly and they were all punished " sitting heads down" all the time even though the offenders were always the same. Ubelievable. My second grader was in a class with 27 kids last year. Every Friday my child brought her math book home and we went over what she should have learned in school. The teacher didn't have time for all of them. Third grade is great, as always. HSA is great, parent involvment great, lots of activities after and before school. The open classrooms are not a good learning environment. My older kids are now in private school and there is a huge difference. more focused students and no need to punish them.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2011
This site states, under test scores and stats that there is 1 full time teacher per 14 children at Lafayette Elementary. That stat is not correct. My child is in a class with 1 full-time teacher and 25 kids. No aide, nothing. Worse than that my child's class is shoved in a windowless, poorly vented corner of the building with no walls. The hall next to my child's "classroom" is a well traveled corridor, so the children are constantly distracted. Luckily, we were assigned to one of the good teachers this year- luck of draw. With over 700 kids under the age of 11 in the building, my kid feels like a sardine. Also, keep in mind that Lafayette's better than average test scores may be explained by the fact that at least 50% of the children have private tutors after school which are paid for by parents. That considered, means that Lafayette on it's own isn't as good as it used to be.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2011
For the 2011-2012 academic year, Lafayette has over 700 children enrolled in up to grade 5. Classes have up to 26 children and only 1 teacher to control the class in open classrooms, no walls. Even the smartest, most focused elementary school kids will be a easily distracted. Lafayette is too small and can't adequately accommodate 700+ kids. Yet another DCPS that bites the dust. Too bad. After a less than positive year at Lafayette, we enrolled our child in a private school where she is in a class of 19 children and 2 Full Time teachers, dedicated to her and her 18 classmates all day, everyday.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2011
We have two daughters in this school (one in Pre-K and the other in 4th grade) and they love it there. Every teacher they have had were great as is the principal, assistant principal and staff (from front office all the way to custodial staff). Everyone pitches in at this school. The HSA keeps finding committed parents who work to keep the school great. Keep up the great work Ms. Main!

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2010
Lafayette WAS a good school until focus and funds shifted from grades 1- 6 to pre K and Kindergarden. So much money is alloyed for pre K and K that Lafayette has not had a grade 6 for a couple years an children in grades 2-5 are jammed into open air spaces divided by cubicle partions. The principal, Ms. Main is great for the average student but she does not handle conflict well. It is sad to see what was a great school turn into your average, less than desirable DCPS. Too bad for the parents who attempt to make Lafayette a good experience for heir kids. ps each grade has approx 4 classroom teachers. 2 out of 4 are great and the other 2 leave much to be desired. You never know if your child will get a competent teacher or not...it is a roll of the dice.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
Lafayette Elementary's location has a lot to do with its so called reputation. For one any problems in the school are never handeld they are pushed aside. The principal hates confrontation with anyone so never deals with problems. And although some students are taught a peace class it does not reflect on how some of the students treat each other and adults in the school. The HSA is great parent organization and is basically what holds the school together.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2009
I just wanted to offer a counter to the 'bad school for smart kids' statement. I have a very bright girl who has found the school challenging and motivating. Thanks to the regular particpation of parents in supporting 'writing workshops' my daughter has blossomed into a profilic young writer. She also excels at math and science, and has developed a passion for history. There are a few duds in the teaching pool, but most of them are dedicated to the school and the kids. The school also makes a real effort to discourage exlusivity - cliques, clubs and so on, and, of course, bullying. The fourth graders also have a 'peace' class that teaches them to negotiate conflict through play-acting. In sum, I feel very fortunate to have children in this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 04, 2009
This school was so bad for smart kids. Nothing was challenging.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
September 10, 2008
Lafayette is a unique learning environment -- ethnically and demographically diverse students, with active parent participation, a no-nonsense but fair principal, and dedicated and caring teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 07, 2008
I have one son who graduated last year and one who is there now and I just love Lafayette. What a great environment for the kids.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 26, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2008
We have two kids at 1st and 5th grades. We came from abroad where both our children attended excellent private schools. When we moved to DC we fell in love with the neighborhood and decided to try the DCPS system in spite of all the negative/conflicting information about it. Lafayette has been very good to our children, specially the younger one. Of course there are some bad teachers or difficulties related to funding some activities. Still, the community works together in a friendly and positive environment and accomplishes a lot each year. We had good support for our kids regarding the acquisition of English as a second language. After only 1 year our kids are totally proficient. Ms. Main is always committed to improve the school and is accessible at any time she is in the school.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2008
Lafayette has a great positve feeling! Interested Teachers, faculty and staff are helpful, pleasant and communicate well. The Principal, Ms. Main knows her stuff.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2008
A wonderful overall experience and environment for the kids. The supplemental Arts and Science Fund (LASF) provides a full-time science teacher and music teacher. The teachers are caring and dedicated. The kids are open to different kids and different cultures.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2008
Our child is in his first year at Lafayette, and the teacher is barely adequate. Other teachers in his grade seem very good, but the problem is that when you get the 'bad' one you get no support from the administration. Ms Main, the principal, does not deal well with parents who have issues with the school - even with ample justification.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2008
Sorely disappointed with the school and pulled our child out. Quality of teachers is inconsistent. Much of the reputation of the school is a product of hype generated from the parents association which is divorced from the reality of the situation.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2007
Great school, fun classes, happy students. Simple as that.

- submitted by a student
March 29, 2005
The school is amazing. It is much more like a private school in quality of teaching and parental involvement, curriculum enhancememts, and extra-curricular options. In the low grades the ratios are close to those in private schools. The only thing that reminds us this is part of the DCPS system are occasional facilities issues like outdated carpet or the need for a fresh coat of paint in the gym. When DCPS fails, the PTA usually takes care of the problem from its own funds. We feel very lucky to be sending our kids to Lafayette.

- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2005
Lafayette by far is one of the best elementary schools in the metropolitan area. The parents are extremely envolved. We have an excellent PTA which pays the salaries of the art and music teachers. Lafayette's scores equal and surpass their counterparts in Montgomery County. The community is strong and diverse, with many of the most well educated families in the area. Many families are pulling their children from local private schools to become part of the Lafayette community. Our teachers are dedicated and proud to be on staff. The principal Ms. Main is one of the best. A jem.

- submitted by a parent
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Lafayette Elementary School
5701 Broad Branch Road Northwest, Washington, DC  20015
(202) 282-0116
Last modified Lafayette Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 8 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Lafayette Elementary School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 45 reviews.