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Washington School for Girls: One-School Solution

Washington School for Girls: One-School Solution

Access to high quality educational programs is a key offering at THEARC, though it is sadly not the norm for children and families in Washington DC’s Ward 8 neighborhoods. Due to decades of disinvestment and ongoing gentrification and displacement, Ward 8 youth do not have access to the high-quality educational opportunities they deserve and experience both higher rates of poverty and worse educational outcomes compared to other neighborhoods in DC. 

The Washington School for Girls (WSG) was founded with this context in mind. One of THEARC’s founding partners, WSG is an all-scholarship independent Catholic School serving girls in grades 3-8 who come primarily from DC’s Wards 7 and 8. WSG’s mission is to ignite the joyful pursuit of learning and inspire faith-filled lives of purpose, leadership, and service. 

As a founding partner at THEARC campus, WSG is a key partner in the life of THEARC campus. 

According to the Urban lnstitute’s study of cross utilization at THEARC, students at the Washington School for Girls were the highest cross-utilizers. Thanks to formalized and informal partnerships engendered by the WSG leadership, students at WSG take advantage of the arts, music, dance, health and recreation opportunities provided by the other 13 partners on campus. 

Currently, WSG’s student population is split between 2 campuses. Students in grades 6-8 attend school on THEARC campus, while grades 3-5 attend school at the aging VIEW campus on Morris Road. To move forward with their academic plans, WSG must build a new home for the school. The Phase IV project will bring the entire 3-8 roster for WSG to THEARC Campus allowing instruction and advancement to take place in one location and give all 140 students the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the multi-sector collaboration between 14 nonprofit partners in one centralized location.

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Explore Our Campus - An artist's rendering of a school's lobby.

The New Building at THEARC

Construction plans call for a three-story building to be located between THEARC’s east and west buildings, opening in the rear onto green space and THEARC Farm. Along with 14 bright and spacious classrooms, highlights will include a multipurpose space serving as a cafeteria and auditorium, an expansive library/media lab, a science lab, a makerspace/STEM lab, and a flexible art/music/dance area. This new building will allow WSG to grow the student body, the Graduate Support program, and the alumnae engagement and health and wellness programs by providing additional dedicated space.

This building is not only about vastly improved functionality, but about creating a vibrant environment that will inspire, uplift, and connect. It is also about the larger mission of equity. WSG students deserve facilities equal in quality to those provided at other outstanding schools.