Gray Matters (September 2018)

Our 50th Anniversary

Fifty years ago this year, a group of dedicated parents came together to create a new school.    Sitting around a kitchen table, these intrepid incorporators finalized legal documentation and decided on a name.  In 1968, Capitol Hill Day School officially came into existence with the merging of two schools: one in the basement of the Church of the Reformation on East Capitol Street, the other located in Christ Church on G Street, SE.  These founders had a very simple vision:  “a quality education, a racially and economically diverse student body, a parent-governed school, and a relationship with the surrounding community and the city of Washington.”  

For twelve years, Capitol Hill Day School educators sprinted back and forth across the Hill between these two original locations (and throughout greater Washington with an emerging field education program).  In 1980, an opportunity for the young school to consolidate and grow presented itself.  Once again, a committed community came together, and Capitol Hill Day School moved into the Dent building at 210 South Carolina Avenue, SE.  

With the start of this new year, there is excitement for developments ahead.  Capitol Hill Day School's Upper Grades program is preparing to expand into nearby Farren’s Stable, 218 D Street, SE. The facility is being designed explicitly with middle school learners in mind, with flexible spaces allowing students to collaborate and socialize in large and small groups.  The building will allow educators to more intentionally implement our project based, integrated curriculum and pedagogy. 

Growth, development, innovation, and change are, without question, woven into Capitol Hill Day School's DNA.  Nevertheless, a clear strength of our school has been the continuity of our commitment to mission and philosophy.  From inception to now, the heart of our approach to teaching and learning has always been to:

  • teach for deeper understanding
  • commit to experiential learning
  • take children seriously
  • focus on community
  • make learning a collaborative and cooperative process
  • engage in social justice

With 50 years of history behind us, we are privileged to stand on broad shoulders - 1,063 graduates, 925 families, and 497 educators. Those who have come before us help anchor us to the past, and give us the confidence to push into the future. 

Jason Gray
Head of School