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WES at a Glance

Washington Episcopal School challenges Early Childhood, Primary, Elementary, and Middle School students to embrace academic rigor in an appropriately balanced and supportive environment. We are a diverse, inclusive community that respects individual differences, develops every child’s unique talents, and fosters learning inside and outside the classroom. Here, children stand out without burning out.

Founded: 1986
Located: Bethesda, MD
Enrollment: Approximately 275 Students
  • 70 in Nursery School, Transition, and Kindergarten
  • 60 in Primary School (Grades 1 - 3)
  • 55 in Elementary School (Grades 4 - 5)
  • 90 in Middle School (Grades 6 - 8)
Households/Families: 230
Average Class Size: 14
Student-To-Faculty Ratio: 7 to 1
Percentage of Faculty with Advanced Degrees: 58%
Average Faculty Teaching Experience: 18 years
Average Faculty Tenure at WES: 8.5 years
Students Receiving Financial Aid: 25%

Washington Episcopal School prepares students for top-tier secondary and collegiate schools.

Click HERE for a representative list of schools accepting our graduates. 

Click on the listings below to learn more about WES.

School Hours

The time schedule of classes during the school year is as follows

Nursery (age 3)
Core program:  9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  + optional afternoons:  9:00 a.m. -  3:25 p.m. (Mon. - Thurs.)
                                            9:00 a.m. -  2:30 p.m.  (Fri.)
  + optional early arrival: 7:50 a.m.

Transition (age 4)
Core program:  9:00 a.m. - 3:25 p.m. (Mon. - Thurs.)
                                                9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Fri.)
  + optional early arrival:  7:50 a.m. 
  + optional early dismissal: 12:00 p.m. (Fri.) 

Kindergarten - Grade 8 
Core program: 8:00 a.m. - 3:25 p.m. (Mon. - Thurs.)
                                              8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Fri.) 
  + optional Kindergarten early dismissal: 12:00 p.m. (Fri.)

Extended Day
Daily until 6:00 p.m. for Nursery - Grade 8

School Uniforms

A well defined dress code applies to all students in Grades 1 - 8. Students in N-T-K have a more relaxed dress code, but all clothing should have age-appropriate images or messages. Dress uniform for girls in Grades 1- 8 is a plaid jumper (Grades 1- 6) or plaid skirt (Grades 7 and 8), a white blouse and dark leather shoes. Dress uniform for boys in Grades 1- 8 is tan twill trousers, belted at the waist with a white oxford shirt, and dark leather shoes. Options for daily wear are season-dependent.

Uniforms are available from Flynn O'Hara Uniforms, through Lands' End, or the store of your choice.

Details about the school uniform are found in the Handbook or click here.

Lunch Program

An optional hot lunch program is offered by the school with food provided by a local caterer. Families must sign up in advance for the program and fees are included with the regular tuition bills.
Families may choose
     Nursery: 2, 3, 4, and 5 day
     T & K: 3, 4, and 5 day
     Grades 1 - 8: 3 and 5 day
Menus are published monthly in the WES newsletter. Every meal includes a healthy hot lunch entrée, sandwich option, salad bar, fruit, and dessert. Click here for the Hot Lunch web page.

After School Enrichment Programs and Activities

WES offers an After-School Enrichment Program which offers more than 20 different options such as Chess, Hip Hop Dance, Math Lab, Language Clubs (including Chinese and Arabic), Ceramics, Archery, Cooking, and more. Additional academic-related programs include Study Hall and Math Lab.

Athletic activities are also available for students in Grade 5- 8; they include WESQwest and Team Sports. WESQuest is a physical education alternative to team sports for students. Team sports are available for boys and girls in the following athletics:

  • Soccer (fall)
  • Basketball (winter)
  • Lacrosse (spring)

In addition, there are two co-ed teams:

  • Cross Country (fall)
  • Track and Field (spring)

Click here to learn more about our Before and After-School programs.

Social Curriculum

WES is committed to encouraging responsible and caring behavior in students. Our skilled and dedicated faulty help each student find success in class and in life. Together the entire community looks after each child’s best interests.

In the classroom, the research and evidence based Responsive Classroom® (Early Childhood - upper Elementary) and Developmental Designs® (Grades 6 - 8) programs reinforce the WES mission to create a supportive and positive community of academically excellent and joyful students. These intentional programs recognize that academic success is best achieved in a socially successful environment. The core values of empathy, respect, and responsibility are emphasized, alongside social skills, self-regulation, and conflict resolution.

Parent Communications

Daily, the faculty and administration strive to ensure that parents know not only of their own child's personal achievements and opportunities for growth but the accomplishments and upcoming goals for the school as a whole. WES has a variety of ways for information to be conveyed to families.

  • website
  • NeWES: Weekly e-newsletter
  • This Week at WES: Weekly e-calendar
  • Parent Portal: online password protected parent resource on that has Report Cards, the Online Student and Parent Directory, Student Handbook, All School Calendar, and Class Schedule
  • The WES Way Magazine: Semi-annual magazine
  • Student Directory & Handbook
  • Weekly dedicated class updates: each Grade or Division sends out either a dedicated newsletter or posts updates on their teacher pages 
  • School emergency alerts: periodic alerts are sent to every current parent via phone voice message, text message, or email to announce when an unexpected event occurs that significantly affects the school or school hours like a Snow Day
  • Back-to-School Nights: in September
  • Parent-Teacher Conference(s)
  • Parent Visiting Days

Student Support

In keeping with the WES mission to provide opportunities for all students to achieve their own personal excellence, the goal of Student Support is to help each child know their strengths and to make the most of their individual abilities. They do this by providing a variety of academic, emotional, and spiritual resources.
  • School Learning Specialist
  • School Speech/Language and Reading Specialist
  • School Nurse
  • Chaplain
  • School Counselor

You may click here to get more detailed information about our Student Support staff.


Our students include many ethnicities, religions, and socioeconomic groups. We are inclusive and welcoming. 

Average class size
  •  9 for Nursery and Transition
  •  14 for Kindergarten through Grade 8

Boys/Girls: 140 boys/145 girls

Total Students of Color: 32%

International Students: 22%


Kind, confident, and prepared teachers create kind, confident, and prepared students. At WES, a steadfast team, lead by the Head of School and the three Division Directors with the guidance of the Professional Development Director and mentors, works to engage and support every teacher to have current subject matter mastery.

Meet the faulty and staff who share a common devotion in developing the potential of all of our students. 

Total Faculty & Staff: 70

Men/Women: 16/54

Faculty & Staff of Color: 15%

Percentage of Faculty with Advanced Degrees: 50%

Average Faculty Teaching Experience: 18 years

Average Faculty Tenure at WES: 8.5 years 

For more details click here to go to the Faculty Staff Directory


Why Invest in an Early Childhood and Elementary Education?

Research has shown again and again that the most significant formative educational period for students is not high school or college but the early years, when fundamental skills and attitudes are formed, developing a strong foundation for later study. Putting educational dollars to use for early childhood and elementary education will have a greater, more lasting effect than the same amount spent on high school or college. 

Read more at: Investing in High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

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