Mission and Philosophy

 

Mission Statement

Washington Episcopal School believes that learning should be joyful, because academic excellence and happy children belong together. An independent, co-educational school for students from Nursery through Grade 8, WES is committed to helping every child develop his or her fullest potential. Our skilled, caring, and attentive teachers nurture the abilities and talents of each student. Our broad and enriched curriculum builds knowledge and strengthens moral awareness, self-reliance, and leadership. Our supportive community — true to Episcopal tradition — welcomes and celebrates a diversity of faiths and cultures. WES students stride confidently into the world, delight in it, and contribute to it.

Philosophy

Within an educational institution that supports the principles of the Episcopal Church while maintaining independent academic integrity, we propose to offer the best education possible — predicated on the tenets of traditional theory but continually modified in the light of recent research — to a heterogeneous student body.

We suspect that our students will face challenges we only dream of in a world we barely glimpse. So that they may stride confidently into this world and delight in it as well as contribute to it, we want them to learn more than facts and processes. We want them to stretch the boundaries of their awareness, strengthen their self-esteem, develop their gifts and talents, and bolster their weaknesses. We want them to appreciate their own resources and respect those of others, to enjoy the company of friends but also to savor the balm of solitude.

To further these goals, we intend to nurture the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development of the children as well as their intellectual growth. We endorse the structure and organization of traditional schools that provide a thorough grounding in the basic academic subjects but would augment them with strong programs in physical education and the arts.

We want our students to be active learners — to engage in a lively exchange with their instructors as they pursue the concepts that comprise the curriculum — and to shoulder an increasing share of the responsibility for their learning.

We expect our teachers — gleaning from their years of experience and professional training — to assess each child's current needs and then, animated by their own style, to employ those techniques most likely to touch and inspire their students.

Finally, we seek to further a faith in God and His immutable goodness, a goodness that transcends and ennobles human life. We believe that each of us is a child of God with gifts to offer to the others, and that the school community is enriched by the presence of children and adults from all races and many creeds. Together we strive to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance supported by our Judaic-Christian heritage; one that warms our entire school community; and one that does not expect human frailty, but allows for it and is little daunted by it. And within this nurturing environment, we strive to enable all students to discover those unique qualities on which to build the confident self-image and character which will help them all go forth joyfully as contributors in the world.


Benefits of a Co-Educational School*

Confidence
Students attending a co-ed school (both independent and public) feel more confident expressing their views in the presence of opposite-sex peers.

Respect
Co-ed school students are more likely than students of single-sex schools to agree that their peers respect members of the opposite sex. 

Making friends
Students at co-ed schools indicate that they make friends easily with members of their own sex (80%) and members of the opposite sex (72%). For these students there is a stark contrast with their peers attending independent single-sex schools, of whom only 58% report making friends easily with students of the other gender.

Abilities in Math and Science
Girls’ perceptions of their abilities in math and science are not affected by the gender composition of their schools. Girls attending independent schools (both co-ed and single-sex) agree with the statements, “I get good marks in science” and “math is one of my best subjects.” Their perceptions are nearly identical on these points.

Engagement
Each gender has a perspective to offer the other. Working together in the classroom and on homework assignments provides boys and girls the opportunity to learn from each other intellectually as well as socially.

*Extrapolated from The Strategic Counsel, a leading Canadian research firm. Published in a presentation titled,Selecting an independent school. The Benefits of the Co-educational Environment.

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