School Without Walls (Washington DC)

School Without Walls is a small public senior high school in the Foggy Bottom area of Washington, D.C. It is colloquially referred to by students and faculty as "Walls."

The school is located on the George Washington University campus, on G Street NW near 22nd Street NW. Founded in 1971, it provides an academic curriculum and encourages students to "use the city as a classroom." It is part of the District of Columbia Public Schools system and draws students from all parts of the city. Any student interested in applying must follow an entrance procedure, involving a multiple choice test, a written essay, an interview, and a report of the applicant's standardized test scores and grades from previous years. School Without Walls now has approximately 345 students and spans the 9th through 12th grades.

As of August 2007, Walls is relocated to Capitol Hill in the Logan School building on G Street NE between Second & Third Streets NE (near Union Station and adjacent to the Securities & Exchange Commission headquarters). This temporary home is planned for two years while the original building is renovated. The Logan School was renovated -- including a new roof and internal work -- during the summer of 2007 to accept students.

Distinctive Features

School Without Walls attempts to provide a unique learning environment. The George Washington University Partnership, examined below, is one manner in which School Without Walls expands the curriculum of its students. Additionally, the school uses science labs at the University of the District of Columbia, has a standing partnership with the Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson law firm and an informal journalism internship program with the George Washington University student newspaper, the GW Hatchet. The school has in the past conducted classes at the Smithsonian, the Corcoran, the National Aquarium, the National Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and other academic resources available in the city. In doing so, it offers certain opportunities and privileges not common to other high schools.Fact|date=February 2007

George Washington University Partnership

George Washington University provides classes free of charge to 100 of the 11th grade and above students. Students must qualify for courses by taking the GWU placement test.

Gilder Lehrman Initiative

Beginning in their sophomore year, students attend trips to sites of historical importance both locally and beyond the DC area. Gilder Lehrman provides visiting historians to serve as guest lecturers and seminar leaders. The Institute further assists with college-placement counseling and provides Walls students access to the Institute's contacts at colleges and universities. Students are given opportunities to interact with their peers enrolled in Gilder Lehrman programs and schools throughout the country. By providing supplemental resources books and materials, packages of documents replicated from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, traveling exhibits from the Institute's national program of exhibitions on specific themes in American history, and keepsake documents from the collection, as well as scholarship opportunities, Gilder Lehrman provides learning opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable.

In the 2004-2005 school year School Without Walls students took their first Gilder Lehrman sponsored trip to Williamsburg. This trip provided a first-hand look at colonial life in America. To enhance the study of the foundation of American democracy, a visit to the New York Historical Society gave students an opportunity to witness the influence of Alexander Hamilton on American government. The class also takes a spring visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to expand the study of American History and Culture into the Civil War period.

Academic Achievements

School Without Walls takes pride in consistently ranking among the top schools in the DCPS system in terms of graduation rate, average SAT score, attendance rate and other academic benchmarks.

AT Scores

School Without Walls had the highest combined SAT scores in DCPS with an average combined score of 1074.

Clubs and Activities

Students at School Without Walls are required to participate in at least one club or activity per year.

Creative Expressions

The Creative Expressions club is a gathering of about 30 students with a variety of artistic interests. Similar to their Drama Club, Creative Expressions allows students to engage in various forms of the arts.

Drama Club

The School Without Walls Drama Club is composed of about 15 students interested in acting.

ocial Issues

Men Of Strength (MOST)

ister Action Sister Strength


National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

The School Without Walls chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers is composed of approximately 40 minority students interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

cience Bowl / It's Academic

The Science Bowl / It's Academic team competes in academic competitions.

Environmental Action


SWWTech is a student run organization of techies. SWWTech provides information technology support to all faculty and students, runs a portal [] , manages the library computers, and provides numerous other tech-related services.


The building that currently houses School Without Walls is badly deteriorated, having been last renovated in 1971. There is extensive water damage throughout the school. The brick facade needs to be repointed, and the slate roof is steadily losing its shingles. On February 13, 2006 the D.C. City Council and the George Washington University Board of Trustees approved a deal for $12 million to renovate and expand the school building in exchange for transfer of the school's rear parking lot property to the university. []

porting Achievements

While Walls has a very small pool of students from which to select its athletes, they do quite well in many sports, consistently placing 2nd in men's baseball. Finishing first has been deemed nearly impossible as Woodrow Wilson High School has won for more than a decade. The women's soccer team has won the DCIAA season and tournament championships for three years straight starting in the Fall 2003 Season.

External links

* [ School Without Walls Homepage]
* [ SWWTech Homepage]
* [ GW Hatchet Article]

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