School Without Walls High School

  • School Without Walls High School serves 585 students in grades 9-12.
  • The percentage of students achieving proficiency in Math is 65-69% (which is higher than the District of Columbia state average of 29%) for the 2016-17 school year. The percentage of students achieving proficiency in Reading/Language Arts is 85-89% (which is higher than the District of Columbia state average of 31%) for the 2016-17 school year.
  • The student:teacher ratio of 14:1 is higher than the District of Columbia state level of 11:1.
  • Minority enrollment is 57% of the student body (majority Black), which is lower than the District of Columbia state average of 90%.

Top Placements

School Without Walls High School places among the top 20% of public schools in District of Columbia for:

School Overview

  • School Without Walls High School's student population of 585 students has stayed relatively flat over five school years.
  • The teacher population of 43 teachers has declined by 32% over five school years.
AwardsHonored for National Blue Ribbon Award Blue Ribbon School (2018)
Grades OfferedGrades 9-12
Total Students585 students
This chart display total students of School Without Walls High School by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Gender %This chart display gender of School Without Walls High School
Total Classroom Teachers43 teachers
This chart display the total teachers of School Without Walls High School by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Students by GradeThis chart display the students of School Without Walls High School by grade.

School Comparison

  • School Without Walls High School's student:teacher ratio of 14:1 has increased from 9:1 over five school years.
  • The diversity score of School Without Walls High School is 0.68, which is more than the diversity score at state average of 0.48. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five school years.
Definition of Terms 2016-2017 School Year DataThis SchoolState Level (DC)
Overall School Rank#11 out of 200 schools
(Top 10%)
Math Test Scores (% Proficient)65-69%
29%
This chart display the percentage of students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Math of School Without Walls High School and the percentage of public school students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Math of public schools in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Reading / Language Arts Test Scores (% Proficient)85-89%
31%
This chart display the percentage of students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Reading/Language Arts of School Without Walls High School and the percentage of public school students that scored at or above 'proficient' levels in Reading/Language Arts of District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Student : Teacher Ratio14:111:1
This chart display the student teacher ratio of School Without Walls High School and the public school average student teacher ratio of District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Asian
5%
2%
This chart display the percentage of Asian students in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of Asian public school students in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Hispanic
13%
16%
This chart display the percentage of Hispanic students in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of Hispanic public school students in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Black
34%
70%
This chart display the percentage of Black students in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of Black public school students in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
White
43%
10%
This chart display the percentage of White students in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of White public school students in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Two or more races
5%
2%
This chart display the percentage of students of two or more races in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of public school students of two or more races in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
All Ethnic GroupsThis chart display the percentage breakdown of students of all ethnic groups in School Without Walls High School.This chart display the percentage breakdown of public school students of all ethnic groups in DC.
Diversity Score0.680.48
This chart display the diversity score of School Without Walls High School and the public school average diversity score of District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Graduation Rate≥95%
73%
This chart display graduation rate of School Without Walls High School and public school graduation rate of District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2016-17 school year data.
Eligible for Free Lunchn/an/a
This chart display the percentage of students who is eligible for free lunch in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of public school students who is eligible for free lunch in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2015-16 school year data.
Eligible for Reduced Lunchn/an/a
This chart display the percentage of students who is eligible for reduced lunch in School Without Walls High School and the percentage of public school students who is eligible for reduced lunch in District of Columbia by year, with the latest 2015-16 school year data.
School Statewide TestingView Education Department Test Scores
School District Name of Columbia Public s School District
Source: 2016-2017 (latest school year available) NCES, DC Dept. of Education

School Notes

  • 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, at G and 22nd Streets NW. Founded in 1971, it provides a challenging 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.
  • History: School Without Walls was first established in 1971 as an experimental learning environment. At that point it was just one small class of students. The program slowly expanded over the years, growing in the early nineties. In 1978, the school moved to its current location.
  • 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.
  • 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 provide 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.
  • Clubs and Activities: Students at School Without Walls are required to participate in at least one club or activity per year.
  • Creative
  • The Enquirer: SWW's newest newspaper, The Enquirer is probably the best place to get news ever.
  • Creative Expressions: The Creative Expressions club is a gathering of students with a variety of artistic interests.
  • Drama Club: The School Without Walls Drama Club is composed of students interested in acting.
  • Social Issues
  • Men Of Strength (MOST)
  • Sister Action Sister Strength
  • Academic
  • National Society of Black Engineers: The School Without Walls chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers is composed of students interested in pursuing a career in engineering.
  • Science Bowl / It's Academic: The Science Bowl / It's Academic team competes in academic competitions.
  • Environmental Action
  • SWWTech: 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.
  • Sporting 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.

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (2 reviews)
5  
This is a great school! Go there if you want a great experience. The kids have a culture of being respectful and easily making friendships.
- Posted by
5  
School Without Walls has been one of the top schools in the District of Columbia and has not fallen short on any academic aspect it has. Being a former student I thank each and every one of my teachers because they knew exactly how to prepare me for college and now I attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country and I have been thriving because I am so used to the rigorous and challenging academic atmosphere. The school is really an open window to young adults who really want a challenge and even more opportunities. I cannot describe how great the school is. It has so many opportunities and it makes every child that walks through their doors welcomed. However, because this school is challenging I would advise parents to consider putting their child in this school IF THEY ARE PREPARED TO TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE. I cannot count how many students in the ninth grade were asked to leave to their neighborhood school because they could not reach the expectations the school had for them. It is a great school but do not rush to apply if you know your child is not ready to be mature and academically challenged beyond what is expected out of a regular DCPS student.
- Posted by

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