The capital of the United States is a fantastic place to move to for various reasons, and outstanding education is certainly one of them. Thus, you can be sure that Washington DC public schools will offer excellent schooling for your children no matter their age. Simply put, you won’t regret moving to Washington, DC if you want to secure a bright future for your kids.
DC Public Schools (DCPS) offer excellent opportunities for children of all ages, from elementary grades to college prep programs. So, in addition to top-notch Washington DC restaurants and a variety of things to do in Washington DC, you have one more advantage to add to the list of reasons why relocating here is the right choice for you and your family.
Naturally, as it happens with everything that matters, you’d like to be entirely sure that the educational institutions here are really that good and that you can count on finding the perfect fit for your child. To help you find out more about the schooling system overall and some of the top-recommended options to look for, we’ve gathered some useful information in this guide. Let’s see what you can expect when it comes to schooling in the capital city.
How Does the Public School System Work?
Before you come to the point where you’re supposed to pick one institution over another, you should know how the entire DCPS system works. To start with, it is not to be confused with charter schools, independent, publicly funded and run by nonprofits. Established back in 1805, DCPS is a traditional system that covers grades from PK to 12 and consists of 111 institutions. Today, these institutions have nearly 48,000 students, with over 4,100 teachers working there.
The entire schooling system is focused on providing each and every child with equal opportunities for growth, as well as the needed support. It is organized in such a way to put children first always, promote equity, and strive for excellence.
When it comes to enrollment, we suppose that you’ve heard about the DC lottery, and you’re wondering how the DC school lottery is supposed to work. Namely, you as a parent can rank 12 alternative options where you would like your child to attend and hope that your kid will “win the lottery” – be admitted where you wanted. Even though this is, as the name itself suggests, a lottery, you still have great chances of winning. The data from 2018, for instance, shows that 65 percent of the applicants were matched with one of the 12 preferences they ranked.
If you’re not much of a risk-taker, you should know that acceptance is mostly based on the place of residence. So, if possible, make sure you find a home in some of the best places to live in Washington DC that are close to the educational institution of your choice.
You Can Be Sure That Washington DC Public Schools Provide Top-Notch Education
When you’re moving with kids, you want them to get the best possible education in the new place. If, by any chance, you’re not sure about the quality of schooling your child will get in the capital city, we’re here to help you clear those doubts. As a part of the fastest improving urban school district, DC educational institutions are a safe choice to be sure your kid will get top-notch schooling, no matter the level.
Not only is the schooling system of top-notch quality, but you also get to relax knowing that you alone as a parent will be involved in your kid’s education, as these institutions strive to engage families and ensure proper communication with both families and the entire community for the sake of further growth of the children.
What Are the Best Washington DC Public Schools?
As the data suggest, DC offers some of the best schooling opportunities in the entire country. So, now that you’ve picked this city to be your new home, you’ll be able to choose the best of the best for your child. And even if your kid eventually attends the fifth or any other alternative on your list, this will still be a top-notch institution where children can gain enough knowledge for further steps.
Before you decide to throw a packing party and start getting ready for the relocation or contact professional Washington DC movers to provide you with packing and unpacking services, you need to narrow your choices down and make a list of preferred ones in the capital. We assume that it will be tricky to make a choice with so many great options before you. To help you do that, we’ve gathered some of the best options, including elementary, high schools, and colleges, so let’s see which ones you should consider first.
Best Options for Elementary Level
At this level, there will be plenty of choices, as many institutions here are ranked above average. Pupils here have an opportunity for an excellent foundation for further schooling steps. Some of the best options to consider include the following:
- Ross Elementary– this is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a diverse place where children of various religions, from different countries and families, all get along well. You can be sure your kid will be in a safe environment and eventually meet the rising academic expectations set here.
- Stoddert Elementary– here’s another diverse environment where your kid will fit in easily, as well as learn about how important it is to celebrate diversity. The pupils at Stoddert come from 30 different countries and speak just as many languages. Stoddert has a record of great student academic achievement, and in 2019, it was voted the best school in DC at this level. For the time being, it counts about 470 pupils.
- Eaton Elementary– if your child goes to Eaton, you can be sure that they will ensure excellent schooling and support and prepare your little one for what comes next, not just in terms of education, but life overall. The main mission here is to “educate the whole child,” in a sense that children should be fully prepared for the 21st century they’re living in and everything that awaits them after the schooling period of their life.
When it comes to the next step, you might want to keep in mind the following best-ranked institutions.
Top-Ranked High Schools
Here you have quite a few excellent options, too. When it comes to the system itself, you should know that the students are required to earn 24 credits in different courses to get a diploma. But in addition to that, they are also required to complete 100 hours of community service. As many as 33 DC high schools were ranked among the best in the entire country, so that should be enough to help you realize just how good schooling is there.
Now, before you can think about graduation and diplomas, you need to find the most suitable institution first, right? When it comes to that step, you should first take into consideration some of these:
- Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
- The School Without Walls
- Woodrow Wilson High School
- District of Columbia International School
- BASIS DC
Once this level, too, is successfully finished, it’s time to move on to college. So, let’s see what the best options at this level are.
There is One Public College, but It’s Top-Notch
Several exceptional colleges are located here, offering a variety of opportunities for applicants of different interests and aptitudes. Just like with the previous levels, here, too, you might have some trouble deciding which of the many is the best option. However, they are all private. If you want your child (or you want yourself) to attend a public college in DC, the choice is pretty much straightforward.
The curiosity of the capital is that there’s only one such institution – the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). However, that doesn’t mean that you should doubt its quality. On the contrary – established back in 1851, this is an institution with a strong history and a great number of applicants who still choose it over all other private colleges. One of the reasons why so many opt for UDC is affordability. Nonetheless, the quality of schooling is still excellent, and applicants get to choose from a range of in-demand majors, which is crucial for their future.
Think about the things to do before moving into a college dorm to make the transition as smooth as possible. When it comes to making friends in a new city, that shouldn’t be a problem here, as people are open and friendly.
How to Choose the Right School for Future Students?
When you’re looking through the best Washington DC neighborhoods, you should think about the educational institutions located nearby and how satisfied you are with them because your child might or might not be picked based on where your home is. Only after that can you start thinking about what you need to rent an apartment.
In addition to location, it is also advisable to consider your child’s needs and learning style. Pick a system that will fit your kid entirely and make it possible to actually make use of all the opportunities to learn. Once you narrow it down to a couple of options, check the academic performance, safety, and support provided, as well as behavior policy. These should help you make your final choice.
As you can see, one thing’s for sure – there is not a single reason to question the quality of schooling here. Covering all levels, from prekindergarten to high school, the capital offers a wide range of choices, all of which are good enough to prepare your kid for what comes next.
Your only concern should be how to move there as soon as possible. You should also figure out how to adjust to a new town and help your little one do the same, as moving can be particularly stressful for the kids. Rely on a guide to pack your apartment or contact experts with moving services for the job. Ask friends for help. Do whatever it takes to speed up the process and start anew in the capital as soon as possible.
If the high cost of living in Washington DC is not a problem for you, the variety of things to do and its world-class schooling system make it worth considering. If you have a chance to go there, you should take it, and your kid, too, will be grateful for the excellent education, that’s for sure.