Welcome New Families!

Each year, Capitol Hill Day School welcomes new families to the School community. We strive to make the transition an easy and seamless one. Here is some useful contact information, as well as suggestions for the many ways parents can be involved in the life of the School. Below you'll find Frequently Asked Questions, useful School contacts, and ways to get involved. And, of course, you are always welcome to contact any of the faculty and staff.

Here are some books to help younger children get ready for school:

Early Childhood Booklist

Frequently Asked Questions

PK, K, & 1st Grade Start Days

Students entering PK and K begin with a half day of school (8:10 am-12:30 pm) on either Tuesday, September 4 or Wednesday, September 5, 2018. All PK and K student have a full day on Thursday, September 6.  All 1st Grade students begin with a half day on Tuesday, September 4 only, after which, they attend for a full day.  Parents are notified of their child’s specific start date, as well as class placement (for PK and K students) in a summer mailing.

Arrival & Dismissal

Doors open at 8:10 am and students should arrive no later than 8:20 am. Dismissal is 3:10 pm except on Wednesday, which has an early dismissal at 2:10 pm. Upper Grade students (grades 5, 6, 7, and 8) dismiss at 3:45 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.


Students bring lunch from home and eat in their classroom around noon each day. On Thursdays, 8th Graders raise money by selling pizza from We, The Pizza.

After School Program

Our After School Program (ASP) is available daily until 6:00 pm. ASP is also available on teacher work days and during Spring Break. ASP begins the first day of school for students in Grades 2 through 8, the second day of school for 1st Graders, and two days later for PK and K students. Children are grouped according to age, with two counselors assigned to each group. A healthy snack, recess, and study hall (Grades 3-8) are offered daily. Enrichment activities such as music instruction, Tae Kwon Do, soccer, chess, and yoga are available. Registration for ASP and enrichment classes opens in August.

Student Dress

Clothing should be informal, comfortable, and appropriate for school activities, including outdoor play in all types of weather. Clothing should be neat and not distracting to others.

Announcements About School Closings

School closings and delays are posted on the School's website, as a recording on the School's telephone line (202.547.2244), and on radio station WTOP (103.5 FM, 820 AM).

Parent Portal

The School's website gives parents access to school resources, classroom information, news, and annoucements. You will receive your login information in August.

PK & K Class Groupings

We strive to create balanced classroom communities, taking into account individual students as we balance gender, diversity, temperament, learning style, and personality. Every classroom grouping is designed to enrich each child’s experience, as well as offer children the opportunity to learn with and from one another.

Homeroom Parents

Each class has designated Homeroom Parents (HRP) who organize class-related activities, facilitate communication, and assist new families. Your HRP will contact you before the start of school.

Back to School Nights

Back to School Nights are held in September on two nights, divided by grade levels. Parents visit their child’s homeroom and teachers outline curriculum plans for the school year. Childcare is not available.

Parent Potlucks

Casual, adults-only dinners held at the School in the fall that give parents and teachers the chance to socialize. Childcare is provided by the After School Program.

Family Conferences

Family Conferences are held in October and March. In PK through 5th Grade, parents meet with their child's teachers. In Grades 6-8, students lead the conference with their parents and teachers. The After School Program is available all day on conference days.

Student Progress Reports

Student progress reports are sent to families at the end of each trimester for Grades 2 through 8, and at the end of the first and third trimesters for PK though 1st Grade.

School Newsletters

The Mashup is a monthly School e-newsletter that includes a message from the Head of School, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities.  Field Notes is published mid-month, and contains highlights of Field Education experiences.

Java with Jason / Coffee with the Head

Java With Jason is a monthly opportunity for parents to meet with Head of School Jason Gray to discuss topics of interest.

Community Conversations

Community conversations are held 4 times per year, and are hosted by the Student Support Team (SST). These sessions cover topics of interest for parents, such as Early Childhood Literacy, Helping Children Manage Anxiety, Defusing Sibling Rivalry, Middle Schoolers and Technology.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of most months and are open to all parents and staff. CHDS is unique among independent schools in having a parent and staff elected Board, the majority of whose members are current parents.

Curriculum Night

At Curriculum Night, teachers welcome parents to school and guide them through the curriculum in interactive and entertaining ways. Held in February; childcare is provided by the After School Program.

Extra Lunch Wednesdays

A long-standing activity of the Community Service Committee, every Wednesday, parents bring in extra lunches that are delivered to a nearby food distribution center.

Giving to the School

Like all independent schools, Capitol Hill Day School depends on its entire community to contribute to Annual Giving to cover the financial gap between tuition and the cost of educating our children. The School also holds an annual spring fundraiser and auction, a popular and lively social event for our adult community.

Safety and Emergency Procedures

The School has a detailed emergency plan, available in the Business Office.

Save the Dates
May 19, 9:30-11:00 a.m.

Playdate for New Pre-K & K Students at
Capitol Hill Day School

August 30, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Open House for Pre-K & K

Tuesday, September 4
First Day of School
Note: Pre-K & K students begin with a half day on either 9/4 or 9/5; 1st Graders begin with a half day on 9/4.  All students have a full day on 9/6.

September 8, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Back-to-School Picnic
Garfield Park

Useful Contacts

Jason Gray

Titles: Head of School
Phone Numbers:
School: 202-386-9925

Laura Nakatani

Titles: Elementary and Early Childhood Head

Tom Sellevaag

Titles: Upper Grades Head

Danielle Bowen

Titles: Director of Finance and Operations

Justin Harrison Watkins

Titles: Receptionist; Administrative Assistant

Debra MacLeod

Titles: ASP Music Director

Jmaw Moses

Titles: Registrar, Administrative Assistant, Administrative Assistant

Megan Robinson

Titles: Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services

Njonjo Smith

Titles: Director of Auxiliary Programs

Barbara Starchia

Titles: Receptionist/ASP Staff

Kelly Young

Titles: Operations Manager, Technology Coordinator