Washington Elementary School is a vital and diverse student community, comprised of many cultures and 18 different languages. Washington is located in the heart of Berkeley, blocks from downtown Berkeley and across the street from Berkeley High School. This location affords the school many benefits, like being able to walk to Cal Performance events on the UC Berkeley campus, collaborations with Berkeley High and Cal students, buddy reading with seniors at the Senior Center, swim lessons for all kindergarten through third grade students at the YMCA and the help provided by many volunteers.
Washington’s Excellence in Academics and Teaching
Washington has a lot to be proud of. For the last two years, Washington has been recognized as a Title I Academic Achievement Award school. To meet the criteria for this distinction, the school must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California's academic content standards. Additionally, the school's socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement targets set for them for two consecutive years.Our teachers strive to work together and are encouraged to collaborate by attending regularly scheduled grade level meetings. Many have won Prudential Teaching Awards for excellence. They are also involved in the Collaborative Action Research for Equity (CARE) professional development program and many of our teachers are GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) trained, allowing them more skills to challenge every student at all levels.
Washington’s Enrichment Programs
While many schools in other districts have had to cut enrichment programs, Berkeley has been able to maintain these programs partially through BSEP (Berkeley Schools Excellence Project) measure money and special grants. Class sizes are kept to twenty in grades kindergarten through third grade. Washington created a school garden and nutrition/ecology program for all children kindergarten through fifth grade, as part of the California Nutrition Network grant. We have full-time garden and cooking instructors who provide instruction to all students every other week. Washington also has a special artist in residence from MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Art) to work with students in the classroom. All students in third and fourth grade learn about music and how to play the song flute. Fifth graders learn a band or orchestra instrument. First, second, fourth and fifth grades have a special science classes each week. All students participate in a school sports program twice a week.
Before and After School Programs
Washington offers an excellent before and after school programs, Kidz Club and EDC (Extended Day Care). These programs offer great enrichment opportunities for Washington students.
Every other Friday, the students gather for an assembly to share and learn. Common themes include cooperation, pride in accomplishment, respect and safety. Students gain confidence by presenting songs, dances, poems and other written works in front of the school. Often the students break out into a rousing round of the school theme song, “We are Washington, mighty, mighty Washington...” The smallest kindergartener to the largest fifth grader join in the song and the school clap. No matter what culture they’ve come from, or background, when these students walk in the door each morning they are proud to be at a school where the principal, teachers and staff care so much about their success.
We hope you’ll join our community!
Washington PTA President