WSG Faculty and staff play a competitive game of Kickball during back to school orientation.

Taking Time to Play

Ask anyone who works for a school and they will tell you that the weeks leading up to opening a school for the new school year are among the busiest and most important planning periods. There are schedules to make, professional development time and activities, teachers are busy getting classrooms for new students, and the list goes on. Starting a new school year requires everyone to invest the energy required to start with enthusiasm and excitement, to ensure that translates… READ MORE

President’s Corner: Seeing WSG from an International Perspective

I’m excited to share with you highlights of a special opportunity I recently participated in. This past week, I traveled to Mexico City with Sr. Mary Bourdon, WSG co-founder, to attend the Religious of Jesus and Mary International Encounter on Global Education.  This conference brought together 190 people from 28 different countries, both religious RJM sisters and lay people, such as myself, who work in mission organizations supported by the RJMs.  Over the course of five days, we engaged in… READ MORE

Cultivating Success

We are concerned about our students’ learning. Let me rephrase and restate that for emphasis: More specifically, we are concerned about the ongoing challenges that the pandemic has presented to our girls as related to their education. Last year in August 2021, we were excited about the prospect of returning to in-person learning after having been remote for nearly a year and half. We dubbed the new year as “The Year of the Comeback,” as we readied the campus with… READ MORE

Learning From Our Students

“Please don’t ever change the love for these beautiful girls.” “Please don’t change the student to teacher ratio. The close attention from teachers was very beneficial to my learning.” “Please don’t change the learning curriculum and how we learn.” ~WSG 8th grade students, 5/25/22 I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to understand how a school is doing is to ask the students. Students in the right environment will just tell you what they think! It’s why I’ve… READ MORE

May is Mental Health Month

In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) joined together to declare a National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health. Think about that for a moment. A National State of Emergency is primarily used in situations when there is a clear need for additional visibility and resources in order to save lives and protect citizens, such as natural disasters. By acknowledging the mental… READ MORE

Health Is Wealth – Physical Education

Physical Education. The terminology implies teaching students the subject of being physical, much like Spanish education or Math education teaches students the subject matter. In the past, this interpretation of physical education has led to instruction dedicated to motor skills and knowledge, reinforcing to students the benefits of physically active behaviors. Over the past decade however, the focus on physical education in many schools, including WSG, has shifted towards helping students embrace a healthy lifestyle and overall wellness for their… READ MORE

New Lens of Teaching and Learning

COVID forced a shift in how excellence in teaching is viewed – or if it didn’t happen that way, it should have. Over the past two years, schools needed to quickly shift their teaching model to meet students’ needs, depending on the specific circumstances of their school and the students themselves. Whether hybrid teaching, completely virtual/remote, or in-person wearing a mask and social distancing with students, delivery of instruction changed. Students adapted accordingly to the mode of instruction, with many… READ MORE

International Day of the Girl – Hidden Figures

“I felt like it was necessary to be seen and not be a hidden figure.” – Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, American immunologist I love when I hear the story of someone’s life that I haven’t heard before. The older I get, I still continue to be amazed when I learn about someone whose life was so impactful that I believe I should have known, seen or learned about them in school or in the media over the past 50+ years. That… READ MORE

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at WSG

Social-emotional learning is a term often used to describe a school’s approach to building what may be considered the softer skills – regulating emotions, building interpersonal relationships, navigating the internal desire to succeed. According to CASEL, a non-profit that aims to make evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of preK-12 education social-emotional learning is: … the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions… READ MORE

Saluting Black Women Givers

What does it mean to give? August is Black Philanthropy Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those in the Black community who give of themselves to support community growth. Recognizing that Black philanthropists were often not included in the perspective on philanthropy, Black Philanthropy Month was established nearly a decade ago by Dr. Jacqueline Bouvier Copeland and the Pan-African Women’s Philanthropy Network (PAWPNet), to elevate visibility of on-going philanthropy in the Black community. A recent article by Ophelia Akanjo,… READ MORE

A Contemporary Courageous Woman

The motto of the Washington School for Girls is “In the Spirit of Courageous Women.” Inspired by the spirit of three women in history, WSG’s co-founders established an organization that would bear the legacies of that spirit. These Founding Spirits (Cornelia Connelly – Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Mary McLeod Bethune – National Council of Negro Women, and Claudine Thevent – Religious of Jesus and Mary) were intentionally chosen by WSG co-founder Sr. Mary Bourdon, RJM, and other courageous… READ MORE

Sing A Rhythm

For the second year, our faculty and staff have used a collective book read as a way to ground and define our whole staff professional development for the school year. Last year, we read Carol Dweck’s book Growth Mindset, and spent the year thinking more deeply about the implications of applying a growth mindset to our work as educators and ourselves personally. Through all-school meetings and small and large group discussions, we used the book as an opportunity to connect… READ MORE

The Pursuit of Equity

Educational equity has been a tenet of WSG’s mission since the school’s founding over 20 years ago. Sr. Mary Bourdon, RJM and the school’s co-founders recognized the need to provide an educational environment for girls in Ward 8 and the surrounding communities that supported their success – leading to equitable opportunities in life. Fast forward to 2020 and educational equity continues to be a concern in our country. Schools are being challenged to demonstrate their commitment to equity by sharing… READ MORE

Announcing WSG’s New Mission Statement

The Washington School for Girls is pleased to announce its new mission statement, adopted recently by the Board of Trustees, developed with robust stakeholder input, and rooted in our commitment to educational equity and racial justice: Washington School for Girls ignites the joyful pursuit of learning and inspires lives of faith-filled purpose, leadership, and service. A mission statement is central to an organization – succinctly explaining its purpose in a way that resonates throughout the entire community. In a school… READ MORE

A Statement on Our Prayers for Justice

Dear WSG Community, We have watched the current events with sadness in our hearts. As a Catholic school community focused on justice and equity for our students, we work each day to help our students work towards their dreams for their lives. We know that each student is a child of God. We also know that our students may be among the most underserved and overlooked in society. For over 20 years, WSG has remained true to the mission of… READ MORE

Continuity During Unstable Times

As the COVID-19 crisis has deepened so quickly throughout the US this week, the questions we have continued to ask ourselves at WSG are “how can we support our girls when we can’t be with them right now? How can we continue their education, be the friendly faces they see each day, and be a continual partner with their family, during incredibly challenging circumstances? How do we provide the reassurances that children need during this time to let them know… READ MORE

Inspired and Founded by Courageous Women

Women’s History Month presents the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to all the many women in our school history that helped create the school we enjoy today. WSG was formed in 1997, the brainchild of a group of women who were inspired by women in history to serve, nurture and educate young girls. Southeast Washington, D.C. was chosen as the location for WSG: the co-founders felt it essential for WSG to be present where girls were most underserved educationally. WSG… READ MORE

Striving for Excellence

Each school year we choose to focus on one of our core values as a way to highlight these important attributes throughout our school with students, faculty and staff, and in our daily activities within WSG. This school year we are focusing on the core value of Excellence. Booker T. Washington is noted to have said, “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” But what does that really mean to our students? How can we encourage… READ MORE

The Power Of Yet

We’re back! This week is our first week of the 2019-20 school year. As I greeted returning students and met our newly enrolled 3rd graders, I felt the excitement of a new year and new possibilities, and the fresh start that a new school year provides. And also, throughout the past few days, the refrain of “…not yet” has been reverberating in my mind. Let me explain. Almost everyone who knows me knows that I’m a book person. I always… READ MORE

Just One Word

I had lunch yesterday with our eighth-grade class, who will be “graduating” this year from WSG and moving on to high school. During our lunch, I asked them to create and draw one word that they’d like to leave the school as a representation of their time here. They each created a small piece of art that when viewed together makes a collage of their experiences and lessons learned at WSG. I love that these words so accurately capture the… READ MORE

Middle School Lockers: A Life Lesson in Organization

There is a joke among the girls at our middle school campus that instead of the Washington School for Girls, it should be named the Washington Hallway for Girls. Yes, our campus suite is small, and I have to give credit where credit is due – it’s an apt observation, and when I mention it to other staff members, it always gets at least an appreciative chuckle. The single, long hallway that connects all of the classrooms, cafeteria, and offices… READ MORE

Reflections of a School Administrator and Parent

Recently, I opened a note from the Dean of Students of my daughter’s high school that literally made my throat catch. Without warning, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. A commencement notice? Wait, what? How did we already get to the end of her high school career? There wasn’t anything particularly unusual in the note – just the date and location of commencement, the number of tickets allotted to a family, and other pertinent details to help with… READ MORE

Confident Girls, Courageous Women

It’s Friday morning, and I’m headed to morning assembly with our elementary girls, who are rather boisterous as they file past me in the hall. Fridays are Sister Advisory Set (SAS) days when our girls meet in their SAS groups to work on a fun, team-building project often times competing with the other groups. Most of the girls are wearing neon knee-highs – pink, orange, green, purple, blue, and yellow – the colors of their SAS groups. I’m looking forward… READ MORE