- Grades: 9-12
- Enrollment: 597 students
- Student:Teacher Ratio: 16:1
- Minority Enrollment: 49%
- Graduation Rate: ≥95% (Top 5% in DC)
- Overall Testing Rank: Top 1%
- Math Proficiency: 80-84% (Top 5%)
- Reading Proficiency: 90-94% (Top 10%)
- Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), DC Dept. of Education
School Without Walls High School ranks among the top 20% of public schools in District Of Columbia for:
- 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.
- 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
- 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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