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.

Save the Dates!

Students smiling at recess in the snow.

Saturday, May 11 
9:30a - 11:00a

Playdate for new PreK & K students

Thursday, August 29
10:30a - 12:00p

Open House for PreK & K students

Tuesday, September 3
First Day of School

Note: PreK & K students begin with a half day on either 9/3 or 9/4; 1st Graders begin with a half day on 9/3.  All students have a full day on 9/5.

Saturday, September 7
1:00p - 4:00p

Back to School Picnic
Garfield Park

Click below to see what great ideas CHDS Librarian Sylvie Shaffer has for your child's summer reading pleasure:

Getting Involved at Capitol Hill Day School

Capitol Hill Day School families have always participated in and contributed to the School community in a number of ways. The School seeks volunteers throughout the year for a variety of events.

Ways to get involed

  • Homeroom Parents
  • Annual Giving Chairs
  • Admissions Open House Volunteers
  • Off-Campus Admissions Fairs (Black Student Fund, Rainbow Families, World Bank/IMF)
  • School Auction Chairs and Volunteers
  • Members of Board of Trustees
  • School representatives at community events (Barrack's Row Street Festival, Yards Park Summer Concerts, Fourth of July Capitol Hill Parade)
  • Back to School Picnic Chairs and Volunteers
  • Community Service Committee (Extra Lunch Wednesdays, Giving Tree, food drives)

Additionally, parents may share their expertise and interests in support of the School's Field Education Program by contacting Lisa Sommers at lsommers@chds.org.

Learn more about getting involved:

Giving & Getting Involved

Frequently Asked Questions

PreK, K, & 1st Grade Start Days

Students entering PreK and K begin with a half day of school (8:10 am-12:30 pm) on either Tuesday, September 3 or Wednesday, September 4, 2019. All PK and K student have a full day on Thursday, September 5. Parents are notified of their child’s specific start date, as well as class placement (for PreK and K students) in the summer.

All 1st Grade students begin with a half day on Tuesday, September 3 only, after which, they attend for a full day.

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 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 announcements. You will receive your login information in August.

PreK & 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 3-4 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, and Middle Schoolers and Technology.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Tuesday of most months and are open to all current parents and staff. The majority of Board members are current parents.  In addition to the Head of School, Board membership includes faculty representatives, alumni, alum parents, independent school leadership, and community leaders.

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.

Useful Contacts

Jason Gray

Titles: Head of School

Laura Nakatani

Titles: Elementary and Early Childhood Head

Tom Sellevaag

Titles: Upper Grades Head & Outplacement Coordinator

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, Assistant to the Head of School

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