Because of strong academic growth for all racial and cultural student groups, Washington was honored as a Blue Ribbon Award School in 2010, one of 230 among 6,000 Title 1 California schools. Washington Elementary School is a vital and diverse student community, comprised of many cultures and 21 different languages. Washington is located in the heart of Berkeley, blocks from downtown Berkeley and across the street from Berkeley High School. This location affords the school many benefits, like being able to walk to Cal Performance events on the UC Berkeley campus, collaborations with Berkeley High and Cal students, buddy reading with seniors at the Senior Center and the help provided by many volunteers. Washington’s enrollment of 460 students includes classrooms in bungalows across McKinley Avenue.
Washington’s Enrichment Programs
While many schools in other districts have had to cut enrichment programs, Berkeley has been able to maintain these programs partially through BSEP (Berkeley Schools Excellence Project) funding, PTA fundraising, and special grants. Class sizes average 23 in elementary schools. A California Nutrition Network grant supports Washington’s school garden and nutrition/ecology program for all children kindergarten through fifth grade. We have a garden/cooking instructor who provides instruction to all students every other week. Washington teachers are learning about visual arts integration in the classroom. All students in third grade learn about music and how to play the song flute. Fourth and Fifth graders learn a band or orchestra instrument. Kindergarten, First and Second graders have an Orff music class once a week provided by a grant with Crowden Music School. First, second, fourth and fifth grades attend special science classes each week. All students participate in a school sports program twice a week and during recesses.
Before and After School Programs
An excellent on site before and after school childcare program with collaborative staff from KidzClub (Berkeley Learns) and BEARS serves many students in our school population. Before-school care is provided onsite by BEARS. Enrichment in the arts, cooking, and sports, as well as tutoring and homework support are provided.
Parents, Guardians, and Community PTA, African American Unity and the English Learner group lead many projects, enrich cultural events, and strongly contribute to the equality and academic focus of the school. One of the most visible is the Whole School Outdoor Learning Project. In conjunction with architects, Berkeley Kiwanis Club, and UC Berkeley students, parents have surveyed our whole community to create an outdoor plan, and post completed projects on its first floor bulletin board. Pictures of our partners abound on bulletin boards throughout the school. As an example, look on our playground to see the new PTA, Lowe’s grant funded, Kiwanis-built Outdoor Classroom.
If you are lucky enough to visit Washington during a school assembly, you will see students taking the lead. Common themes include cooperation, pride in accomplishment, respect and safety. Students gain confidence by presenting songs, dances, poems and other written works in front of the school. Often the students break out into a rousing round of the school theme song, “We are Washington, mighty, mighty Washington…” The smallest kindergartener to the largest fifth grader join in the song and the school clap. No matter what culture they’ve come from, or background, when these students walk in the door each morning they are proud to be at a school where the principal, teachers and staff care so much about their success.
For more information, please visit the Washington PTA website at https://www.washington.berkeleypta.org/
Katia Hazen, Principal
Desaree Green, School Admin Assistant II
Washington Bell Schedule
Grades 1-5: 2:25 pm (Wed: 1:30 pm)
Directory & Staff List
Program Improvement Letter for 2014-15
Washington School Plan 2017-18
SBA Spring Testing Letter 2017
Smarter Balanced Factsheet for Families:
English | Español
Family Guides to the Smarter Balanced Assessment (Bilingüe)
Washington PTA Website
School Accountability Report Card 2016-17
Family Guides To Report Cards
History of Washington
We’ve been at Washington for two years, and I can report that our first grader loves school, is eager to get up and go every day, and is learning at a ferocious rate. He has a wonderfully diverse set of friends, has learned reading skills we couldn’t imagine for him two years ago, and comes home with the most fantastic knowledge learned in his gardening, art, music, and many other enrichment classes. We love Washington!
– Washington Parent
I love Washington School so much because of it’s diversity and caring children, parents, and caring & dedicated staff, and principal.
– Washington Parent