Washington International School (www.wis.edu), a coeducational day school, serves 820 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 at two campuses in northwest Washington, DC. The School offers a student-centered Pre-K to Grade 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, in which children become functionally multilingual and receive challenging preparation in mathematics and science, world history, geography, literature, and cultures. The mission of the School is to provide a demanding international education that will challenge students to become responsible and effective world citizens.
Languages at WIS
Among the hallmarks of the international curriculum is a focus on languages. At WIS, preschool children participate in a language immersion program in which all students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten speak only French or Spanish during their school day. From First through Fifth grades, students are taught half in English and half in their chosen language. Dutch nationals may opt for a Dutch and English program beginning in Grade One.
In Middle School, students are taught in English except for their language, literature, geography, and history courses, and they are given an opportunity to begin a third language – currently Italian, Chinese or Japanese. New students in Middle School may begin an intensive French language program. The Upper School program is in English, with the exception of language courses. Students graduate from WIS proficient in at least two languages; many are functionally or fully bilingual.
Focus on Science and the Humanities
Using a European model, the WIS curriculum provides its students a strong foundation in humanities, mathematics and science. Beginning in middle school, students take world history and geography, taught sequentially through time. Integrated sciences are taught in the earlier grades, followed by simultaneous courses in all three science disciplines: biology, physics, and chemistry. Similarly, mathematics disciplines are integrated, emphasizing interrelationships among the disciplines.
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum
Students follow the full International Baccalaureate sequence including the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP), and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, preparing them for higher education worldwide and giving many the opportunity to enter U.S. universities with sophomore standing.
Of the 1,340 schools worldwide that offer an IB curriculum, only about 40 offer all three programs, covering curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. WIS is the only school in the Washington, D.C. area to offer all three programs.
Beyond the Books
WIS students have multiple opportunities to participate in after school sports (soccer, cross country, basketball, baseball, tennis, track and field), drama, music, the award winning student newspaper International Dateline, regular representation at Model United Nations and Organization of American States, and an extensive community service program.
The WIS Community
While many of the students are children of international families, who are part of the international business and diplomatic community in Washington, a significant portion of the student community represents American families that are drawn to its amalgam of an international curriculum in an ethnically and culturally diverse American independent school environment.
For more information about WIS, contact the Admissions Office at 202-243-1815 (or email ).