District of Columbia Public Schools

District of Columbia Public Schools

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is the traditional public school system of Washington, D.C. in the United States.


Composition and enrollment

DCPS consists of 168 schools and learning centers, which break down into 101 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 9 junior high schools, 20 senior high schools, 6 education centers, and 20 special schools. As of 2003, the school system included 65,099 students, including 39,161 at the elementary level, 4,638 in middle schools, 5,111 in junior high schools, and 12,311 high school students, as well as 1,273 in alternative programs and special education schools. DCPS has a diverse student population with more than 112 different home languages that represent 138 different nationalities. The ethnic breakdown of students enrolled is 84.4% African American, 9.4% Hispanic or Latino, 4.6% Caucasian, and 1.6% Asian.

By the 2005–2006 school year, enrollment had dropped to 58,000 students. In 2010 about 38% of Washington, D.C. public school students attended 60 charter schools.[1] Some of these are overseen by the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board) and others of which are overseen by DCPS.[2] Some families in Washington, D.C. place their children in private schools instead of DCPS schools.

Analyzing test results from the 2004–2005 school year, the Progressive Policy Institute found that 54% of D.C. charter school students were reported as proficient in math, compared with 44% of students in traditional schools. Charter students also scored higher than their counterparts in reading.[3]


For the school year ending in Spring 2007, the DCPS was governed by the D.C. Board of Education, with eleven members, including two students who had the right to debate but not to vote. Five members were elected and four were appointed by the Mayor. The Board established DCPS policies and employed a superintendent to serve as chief executive officer of the school district, responsible for day-to-day operations. Four Board members represented specific geographical boundaries and the Board President was elected at large.

Beginning in Fall 2007, the DCPS is administered directly from the Office of the Mayor. D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty proposed putting the public schools under the direct control of the Mayor's Office upon taking office in January 2007. The D.C. Council passed the Mayor's proposal into law but since the change amended the Home Rule Act, the change needed to gain Federal approval before taking effect. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced H.R. 2080, a bill to amend the D.C. Home Rule Charter Act to provide for the Mayor's proposal. H.R. 2080 was passed by the United States House of Representatives under an expedited procedure on May 8, 2007 by a voice vote. After three U.S. Senators (Ben Cardin of Maryland, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Carl Levin of Michigan) initially placed "holds" on the bill to prevent its consideration in the United States Senate, the Senate agreed to pass H.R. 2080 without amendment on May 22, 2007 by unanimous consent. On May 31, 2007, the bill was presented to the President and President Bush signed H.R. 2080 into law on June 1, 2007. After the standard Congressional review period expired on June 12, 2007, the Mayor's office had direct control of the Superintendent and the school budget. On June 12, Mayor Fenty appointed Michelle Rhee the new Chancellor, replacing Superintendent Clifford B. Janey.

No Child Left Behind Compliance

In accordance with Section 1116, a provision of the No Child Left Behind Act(NCLB), entitled “Academic Assessment and Local Education Agency and School Improvement", the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) of the District of Columbia oversees compliance with Adequate Yearly Progress(AYP). A large portion of meeting AYP is based on standardized tests performance, in the District this summative assessment is called the DC CAS, District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System.

Many schools are failing to meet AYP, even though DCPS educators offer support and tools to students to be academically successful. DCPS has created an evaluation tool to assess schools by more than their standardized test scores. They call this Quality School Review, which uses the Effective Schools Framework to assess schools through rubrics on topics such as classroom observations, interviews with parents, students, teachers, and school leadership, staff surveys and reviewing artifacts (i.e. handbooks, student work). In 2007, Karin Hess of the The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment conducted an analysis has also gone into the alignment of DCPS standards and the DC CAS Alt, the assessment for students with cognitive disabilities.


The budget for FY 2009–10 was $773 million.[4]


In 2008, in terms of testing 36% of students demonstrated proficiency in mathematics and 39% demonstrated proficiency in reading.[5]

The average educator was paid $67,000 in 2010. A contract signed in 2010 was expected to raise that figure to $81,000 in 2012.[6]

Schools and locations

All DCPS schools are located in Washington, D.C., except Maya Angelou Academy which is located in Laurel, Maryland.

Many of the District's public schools are undergoing evolving relationships with the central office as they seek to compete for students leaving the system for charter schools. According to school choice researcher Erin Dillon, "In its winning application for federal Race to the Top funds, DCPS, for example, touted its three models for autonomous schools: The aptly named 'Autonomous Schools,' which are granted autonomy as a reward for high performance; 'Partnership Schools,' which are run by outside organizations that are granted autonomy in the hope of dramatically improving performance; and the 'DC Collaborative for Change,' or DC3, a joint effort of some of the district’s highest- and lowest-performing schools that have been granted autonomy as a tool for innovating with curriculum and professional development. (Meanwhile, highly autonomous charter schools, a growing presence in the District of Columbia, educate almost 40 percent of the city’s public school students.)"[7]

High schools

School Name Students* Low grade High grade
Anacostia High School 693 9th 12th
Associates For Renewal In Education Public Charter School (PSC)** 65 9th 12th
Ballou High School 964 9th 12th
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School 390 9th 12th
Bell Multicultural High School 672 9th 12th
Booker T. Washington Public Charter School 171 9th 12th
Business & Finance School-Within-a-School Charter (SWSC) Woodson 202 9th 12th
Cardozo Senior High School 749 9th 12th
Cesar Chavez Public Policy PCS** 252 9th 12th
Choice Senior High School Program 33 9th 12th
Calvin Coolidge High School 843 9th 12th
Dunbar High School 931 9th 12th
Eastern High School 968 9th 12th
Duke Ellington School of the Arts 485 9th 12th
Howard D. Woodson High School 571 9th 12th
Integrated Design Electronics Academy PCS** 232 9th 12th
Jose-Arz Academy PCS** 56 9th 12th
Kamit Institute PCS** 76 9th 12th
Marriott Hospitality PCS** 120 9th 12th
Maya Angelou PCS—Evans campus** 120 9th 12th
Maya Angelou PCS—Shaw campus** 110 9th 12th
McKinley Technology High School 800 9th 12th
Luke C. Moore Academy Senior High School 264 9th 12th
Next Step PCS** 65 9th 12th
Pre-Engineering SWSC Dunbar 147 9th 12th
Theodore Roosevelt High School 821 9th 12th
School Without Walls 500 9th 12th
Joel Elias Spingarn High School 609 9th 12th
Washington Center Special Education 61 9th 12th
M.M. Washington Career High School 329 9th 12th
Washington Math/Science/Technology PCS** 292 9th 12th
Woodrow Wilson High School 1476 9th 12th

Middle and junior high schools

School Name Students* Low grade High grade
Backus Middle School 569 6th 8th
Barbara Jordan PCS** 55 5th 8th
Brown Ronald Middle School 496 6th 8th
Browne Junior High School 459 7th 9th
Choice Middle Program 15 6th 8th
Alice Deal Middle School 773 6th 8th
Eliot Junior High School 320 7th 9th
Evans Middle School 259 6th 8th
Francis Junior High School 403 7th 9th
Garnet-Patterson Middle School 327 6th 8th
Hardy Middle School 420 6th 8th
Hart Middle School 578 7th 8th
Hine Junior High School 675 7th 9th
Jefferson Junior High School 882 7th 9th
Johnson Junior High School 646 7th 9th
Kelly Miller Middle School 400 6th 8th
Kipp Dc/Key Academy** 160 5th 8th
Kramer Middle School 369 6th 8th
Lincoln Middle School 397 6th 8th
Macfarland Middle School 671 6th 8th
Moten Elementary School 348 4th 6th
Options PCS** 147 5th 8th
Paul JHS PCS** 222,586 6th 8th
Sasha Bruce PCS** 88 6th 8th
Shaw Junior High School 534 7th 9th
Sousa Middle School 420 6th 8th
Stuart-Hobson Middle School 386 5th 8th
Terrell Center 32 7th 9th
Terrell Junior High School 294 7th 9th

Elementary schools

School Name Students* Low grade High grade
Barnard Elementary School 327 Prekindergarten 5th
Beers Elementary School 444 Prekindergarten 6th
Benning Elementary School 237 Prekindergarten 6th
Birney Elementary School 529 Prekindergarten 5th
Bowen Elementary School 294 Prekindergarten 6th
Brent Elementary School 295 Prekindergarten 5th[8]
Brightwood Elementary School 503 Prekindergarten 6th
Brookland Elementary School 358 Prekindergarten 6th (CLOSED)
Bruce-Monroe Elementary School 370 Prekindergarten 6th
Bunker Hill Elementary School 421 Prekindergarten 7th
Burroughs Elementary School 265 Prekindergarten 6th
Burrville Elementary School 325 Prekindergarten 6th
Capital City PCS** 181 Prekindergarten 7th
Children Studio School PCS** 115 Prekindergarten 6th
Clark Elementary School 298 Prekindergarten 5th
Cleveland Elementary School 238 Prekindergarten 5th
Community Academy PCS** 466 Prekindergarten 6th
Consolidated Headstart 79 Prekindergarten Prekindergarten
Cook Elementary School 248 Prekindergarten 6th
Cooke Elementary School 416 Prekindergarten 6th
Davis Elementary School 338 Prekindergarten 5th
Draper Elementary School 312 Prekindergarten 6th
Drew Elementary School 313 Prekindergarten 6th
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS** 208 Kindergarten 6th
Emery Elementary School 367 Prekindergarten 6th
Emilia Reggio 83 Prekindergarten Kindergarten
Ferebee-Hope Elementary School 314 Prekindergarten 5th
Fletcher Johnson Ed Complex 528 Prekindergarten 8th
Gage Eckington Elementary 364 Prekindergarten 6th
Garfield Elementary School 520 Prekindergarten 6th
Garrison Elementary School 386 Prekindergarten 6th
Gibbs Elementary School 528 Prekindergarten 6th
Green Elementary School 411 Prekindergarten 6th
Harris Elementary School 533 Prekindergarten 6th
Harris P R Educational Center 917 Prekindergarten 8th
Hearst Elementary School 159 Prekindergarten 5th
Hendley Elementary School 405 Prekindergarten 6th
Houston Elementary School 338 Prekindergarten 6th
Howard Road Academy** 536 Kindergarten 6th
Hyde Elementary School 172 Prekindergarten 5th
Ideal Academy PCS** 201 Prekindergarten 8th
Janney Elementary School 456 Prekindergarten 5th
John Eaton Elementary School 413 Prekindergarten 5th
Kenilworth Elementary School 379 Prekindergarten 6th
Ketcham Elementary School 413 Prekindergarten 6th
Key Elementary School 217 Prekindergarten 5th
Kimball Elementary School 452 Prekindergarten 5th
King Elementary School 464 Prekindergarten 5th
Lafayette Elementary School 517 Prekindergarten 5th
Langdon Elementary School 387 Prekindergarten 6th
Lasalle Elementary School 309 Prekindergarten 6th
Leckie Elementary School 377 Prekindergarten 6th
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary 278 Prekindergarten 6th
Malcolm X Elementary School 562 Prekindergarten 6th
Mann Elementary School 233 Prekindergarten 6th
Marshall Thurgood Elementary 345 Prekindergarten 8th
Maury Elementary School 283 Prekindergarten 6th
McGogney Elementary School 434 Prekindergarten 6th
Meridian PCS** 443 Prekindergarten 6th
Merritt Elementary School 474 Prekindergarten 8th
Meyer Elementary School 382 Prekindergarten 5th
Miner Elementary School DCPS 462 Prekindergarten 6th
Montgomery Elementary School 314 Prekindergarten 6th
Murch Elementary School 484 Prekindergarten 5th
Nalle Elementary School 459 Prekindergarten 5th
Noyes Elementary School 202 Prekindergarten 6th
Orr Elementary School 407 Prekindergarten 5th
Oyster Adams Bilingual School 635 Prekindergarten 8th
Park View Elementary School 366 Prekindergarten 5th
Patterson Elementary School 324 Prekindergarten 6th
Payne Elementary School 274 Prekindergarten 6th
Peabody Elementary School 141 Prekindergarten Kindergarten
Plummer Elementary School 357 Prekindergarten 5th
Powell Elementary School 322 Prekindergarten 5th
Randle Highlands Elementary 479 Prekindergarten 6th
Raymond Elementary School 491 Prekindergarten 5th
Reed Elementary School 470 Prekindergarten 6th
River Terrace Elementary School 264 Prekindergarten 6th
Roots PCS** 57 Kindergarten 8th
Ross Elementary School 168 Prekindergarten 6th
Rudolph Elementary School 538 Prekindergarten 6th
Savoy Elementary School 385 Prekindergarten 5th
School For Arts In Learning PCS** 112 Kindergarten 6th
SouthEast Academy Of Scholastic Excellence PCS** 670 Kindergarten 8th
Seaton Elementary School 441 Prekindergarten 6th
Shadd Elementary School 191 Prekindergarten 5th
Shaed Elementary School 370 Prekindergarten 6th
Shepherd Elementary School 354 Prekindergarten 6th
Simon Elementary School 406 Prekindergarten 6th
Slowe Elementary School 471 Prekindergarten 6th
Smothers Elementary School 267 Prekindergarten 6th
Stanton Elementary School 622 Prekindergarten 6th
Stevens Elementary School 328 Prekindergarten 6th
Stoddert Elementary School 228 Prekindergarten 5th
Takoma Elementary School 445 Prekindergarten 8th
Terrell Elementary School 247 Prekindergarten 5th
Thomas Elementary School 377 Prekindergarten 5th
Thomson Elementary School 276 Prekindergarten 6th
Tree Of Life PCS** 133 Prekindergarten 5th
Tri-Community PCS** 22 Kindergarten 1st
Truesdell Elementary School 477 Prekindergarten 6th
Tubman Elementary School 635 Prekindergarten 6th
Turner Elementary School 513 Prekindergarten 6th
Tyler Elementary School 290 Prekindergarten 6th
Van Ness Elementary School 250 Prekindergarten 6th
Watkins Elementary School 475 Prekindergarten 4th
Webb Elementary School 536 Prekindergarten 6th
West Elementary School 309 Prekindergarten 6th
Wheatley Elementary School 350 Prekindergarten 6th
Whittier Elementary School 490 Prekindergarten 6th
Wilkinson Elementary School 508 Prekindergarten 3rd
Wilson Elementary School 414 Prekindergarten 6th
Winston Elementary School 555 Prekindergarten 8th

Other schools

School Name Students* Low grade High grade
Ballou Stay 538 Ungraded Ungraded
Browne Center Special Education 76 Ungraded Ungraded
Carlos Rosario International PCS** 835 Ungraded Ungraded
Child & Family Services 177 Prekindergarten 12th
D.C. Alternative Learning Academy West 33 7th 11th
Friendship PCS Collegiate Academy** 1,214 9th 12th
Hamilton Center Special Education 56 Ungraded Ungraded
Hyde Leadership PCS** 547 Kindergarten 12th
Jackie Robinson Center 14 Ungraded Ungraded
Lee Mamie 161 Ungraded Ungraded
Maya Angelou Academy 152 6th 12th
Maya Angelou Academy Transition Center 25 6th 12th
Moten Center Special Education 87 Ungraded Ungraded
New School For Enterprise And Dev PCS** 356 9th 11th
Prospect Learning Center 103 Ungraded Ungraded
Residential Schools 349 2nd 12th
Robeson Paul 24 Ungraded Ungraded
Roosevelt Stay 268 Ungraded Ungraded
Rose School 26 Ungraded Ungraded
Seed PCS** 302 7th 12th
Sharpe Health School 222 Prekindergarten 12th
Spingarn Center 35 9th 9th
Spingarn Stay 121 Ungraded Ungraded
Taft School 100 Ungraded Ungraded
Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS** 89 9th 12th
Tuition Grant 2037 Kindergarten 12th
Village Leaning Center PCS** 397 Prekindergarten 12th
Walker-Jones Educational Center 200+ Prekindergarten 8th
Washington Latin PCS** 514 5th 11th[9]
Young Elementary School 441 Prekindergarten 9th

*Student counts as of 2003

**Charter school



In 2009, 43% of all public school students were overweight or obese. This was one of the highest rates in the United States.[10]

See also

Portal icon District of Columbia portal
Portal icon Schools portal


  1. ^ Birnbaum, Michael (29 April 2010). "Taking baby steps towards charter schools". Washington, DC: Washington Pose. pp. 18 in Casual Living. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/27/AR2010042704768.html. 
  2. ^ http://www.edreform.com/index.cfm?fuseAction=document&documentID=2390&sectionID=72
  3. ^ Washington Post
  4. ^ V. Dion Haynes (2008-03-21). "School Budget Reflects Transfer of Some High-Cost Programs". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/20/AR2008032003514.html. 
  5. ^ Ripley, Amanda (December 8, 2008). Can She Save Our Schools. Time Magazine. 
  6. ^ Turque, Bill (8 April 2010). "Fenty, teachers union promote deal". Washington, DC: Washington Post. pp. B2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/07/AR2010040704474.html?sub=AR. 
  7. ^ Dillon, Erin. "The Road to Autonomy: Can Schools, Districts, and Central Offices Find Their Way?". The Road to Autonomy: Can Schools, Districts, and Central Offices Find Their Way?. Education Sector. http://www.educationsector.org/publications/road-autonomy-can-schools-districts-and-central-offices-find-their-way. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Brent Elementary admissions information
  9. ^ Washington Latin Public Charter School, History; accessed 2011.03.17.
  10. ^ Craig, Tim (2 May 2010). "D.C. Council targets childhood obesity". Washington, DC: Washington Post. pp. A8. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/01/AR2010050103193.html?hpid=topnews. 

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