"We are best known for commitment to internationalism."
Students enrolled 442
Hours 8:25am - 3:25pm
School leader Clayton Lewis
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

1690 36th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

School website
(202) 243-1700
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Washington International School - Primary School Campus address.

4 stars
Based on 10 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

October 23, 2014
WIS has been an excellent environment for my son who went to the Primary School for 6 years (K-5). We found it academically stimulating and thought the multi-disciplinary approach was really effective and made learning fun. I think it's great that they leave time for physical activity and play. His ability to speak a second language in such a natural, comfortable way and his comfort with different cultures are huge gifts--especially in this globalized world. The environment is very positive, very safe and we loved the teachers. Their after-care programs are very good, too, which helps for working parents!

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2014
We have had three children at WIS for a total of 14 years. This school is nothing short of amazing, and offers a one-of-a-kind education in this region. Our kids emerged from primary school at age 11 completely fluent in Spanish (we are an English-speaking, American family) -- an enormous asset in today's world. But beyond that, growing up at WIS, our children gained a visceral sense of what it means to solve problems in a diverse, internationally-connected community, with teachers and classmates from a variety of countries, backgrounds and perspectives. I cannot agree with the suggestion in another review that WIS Primary's math program is lacking. To the contrary, the math program, which teaches students to go deep into mathematic principles, instead of racing through to "get ahead," has prepared my daughters to study math at the highest level in the IB, a much more rigorous course than the AP Calculus offered at most other high schools. My advice to those interested in a rigorous, bilingual education that prepares kids to live in a global world and to continue their studies at the best universities in the US or abroad -- take a very close look at WIS Primary.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2014
WIS is clearly the best school in Washington DC. We have been at the school for nine years now, and our three kids are thriving. I use the word "best", because every school has more or less the same school hours, yet in those same hours, WIS accomplishes much more as it teaches in two languages, simultaneously, everyday. As a result, our kids are fluent in Spanish, a language we do not speak at home. They get a strong foundation in primary school, all while being taught math and other basic skills and knowledge. Our kids are in upper school now, and the math foundation they received in primary school is paying off, as they are in the highest level of math offered by the IB. Other than the academics, if you want your kids to be worldly, aware and respectful of other cultures, than WIS is the place for you. The school is so diverse in its student body and faculty, that just by being exposed to so many nationalities, one learns different ways of thinking, different ways of seeing, and respecting all. WIS is unique place in Washington DC, those of us who are part of it, feel very lucky.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2014
WIS is an incredible school. My children are growing up speaking more than one language fluently. The curriculum, teaching and facilities are amazing; and the ethos of the school, where each child is treated as a unique individual is empowering. These kids have friends from all over the world and see the world as a whole place from a very young age. We love this school.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2013
We spent two years at WIS Lower School. The first year we thought was an adaptation year and even though we were actively involved in the school we decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. In the second year, we took a more proactive role and when several issues came up (some of these serious issues), we were appalled with the incompetence of the Principal. If you ever have to deal with the Principal, you will understand why the school is so dysfunctional!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2012
Please ask pointed questions before you enroll you child in the lower school at WIS. We have watched the school experience high student and faculty turnover in recent years because of a myriad of serious problems. The school may state that the high turnover is primarily attributed to the school being International, but it is not. Many teachers and students leave the school as soon as they get a chance because of dissatisfaction with the school. For years parents have been unhappy with the quality of the math education, as the school seems to be more focused on math theory and less on math practice. We have also had the same experience with the math curriculum. The school preaches Internationalism, but has an abysmal record of domestic diversity, especially as it related to African-Americans. They have not have not had an African American full-time teacher in many years. The population of African American students is also extremely low; one of the lowest in all of DC. Domestic and International parents should look at some of the other excellent school options where there is a true commitment to geographic, academic, extracurricular, ethnic, and racial diversity.

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2012
We are finding WIS is an exceptional school overall. PK and K are full immersion. The additional space in the primary school that opened in the fall of 2011 is a tremendous asset as it all goes to enhancing programs during and after school, not to any addition of students. The school follows the IB Primary Years Program curriculum. The teachers are warm, effective, and experienced. First choice school of quite a few in the class we are familiar with. A calmer reality among the parents than some of the nearby privates. PK-12 so no need to apply again down the road. Upper school campus similar to small college in feel - lovely setting. To do later years work in two languages requires lots of work. The school helps, but students and families must engage to make the necessary progression after the immersion years. Perhaps an easier task where a parent speaks the target language. That said, appears many who stay through grade 12 have added a 3rd language.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2011
We were a family there with two kids for five years until this year. While the premise of the school (Internationalism and dual language) sounds interesting, particularly in Washington, we never saw it come together in ways that overcame the inherent complexity of the endeavor. Classes are organized so half the day is in English with one teacher, and the other half in the second language (French or Spanish) with another teacher. We always were wanting to see more coordination between the two teachers on daily lessons and overall goals. Parent / Teacher conferences were never satisfying and usually exposed the lack of coordination between the "team" of teachers. Given the need to cover two languages during one day, little time is left for math, or especially sceince, where test scores are very low, and the resources teachers are notoriously weak. The leadership of the Primary School is also weak at this time. We left the school, as have many other families in recent years.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2011
WIS has some good qualities, inc. a warm environment and decent facilities. However, we have not been terribly impressed with our PK teacher who does not seem terribly committed or interested in the children in ways that we've seen other teachers (both at WIS and at other schools) and we're not convinced that the teacher really has invested in the children and identified strengths and weaknesses. Overall, b/c of its language immersion program and diversity (more racial than economic), WIS is certainly better than your average DCPS but at the pre-K to elementary school level, it's perhaps not significant enough for some to warrant the large cash outlay.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Diversity and excellence and commitment to success, measured in a variety of ways.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2009
Incredibly dynamic faculty and parent population. We are American and I can't believe how lucky my kids are to be learning in two languages with strong academics and care in the school

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery


January 10, 2013

Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     
Last modified: October 23, 2014

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

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Washington International School - Primary School Campus
1690 36th Street NW, Washington, DC  20001
(202) 243-1700
Last modified Washington International School - Primary School Campus is a Private school that serves grades PK-5
Washington International School - Primary School Campus Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 11 reviews. Top