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Washington School Overview

Washington School is located at 815 W. LeFevre Road in Sterling, Illinois. Originally, Washington was a K-6 building, but in the early nineties with Challand Junior High School adopting a middle school philosophy, sixth grade students were moved from Washington to Challand. In 2003, with the District's move to attendance centers, Washington became a 3-5 building. Students from Franklin and Washington were combined to create the new attendance center.

We currently serve 389 students within the school. Washington serves 127 third graders (in five classrooms), 123 fourth graders (in five classrooms), and 132 fifth graders (in five classrooms) and 7 students in our life skills classroom. Our class sizes range from 23-30 students. Our students range from 8 to 12 years of age. Washington has 49 staff members; 26 certified staff (all highly qualified), and 20 support staff. In addition, we have a full-time counselor and Title I teacher, and a part-time social worker. Washington School is one of four elementary centers in the district.

Building History and Functions

Built in 1951, Washington School was opened for the 1952-53 school year. The south wing addition was completed in 1957. Over the past several years window shades have been installed in each of the classrooms and roof top ventilation fans have been repaired to decrease the effects of heat on students and staff. An air handler was installed in the gymnasium to improve air flow and ultimately allowed the temperature in the gym to be more easily regulated.

Various support groups and community organizations use Washington school well into the evening. Project SOON, (sponsored by Sterling Township) provides an after-school tutoring program for Washington students two days per week. Project SOON also provides an after-school bilingual tutoring program for Washington students. Other community organizations that use Washington include the YMCA with their after-school child care, the Whiteside County Extension Office with the Quest Program 4th and 5th graders, as well as a Girl Scout group and a Brownie Troop. The Sterling Park District provides an after-school sports program held at Westwood.

Parent & Student Involvement

Washington students and their parents are very involved in school life. Various activities have been held at Washington such as Gathering for Grandparents and Be Nice to Your Neighbor Week. Muffins for Mom and Donuts for Dad will be held early in the 2008 school year. Search Institute of Minneapolis, has identified 40 key building blocks (also known as Assets) of healthy development that help young people grow up caring and competent. It is a goal of Washington School to increase assets of its students. We feel the community involvement is an important part of increasing these assets.

Washington/Franklin PTO sponsors a family reading night and a scholastic book fair is held in conjuction with the open house. A pumpkin make and take is held in October. The Washington/Franklin PTO also sponsors a fun fair for students and families. Events are well attended by students, families, and staff.

Washington students also are involved in community life. Students at Washington participated in the United Way Penny drive with P.T. Penguin and Toys for Tots. Students participated in two food drives: one for all the local food pantries in conjunction with the high school, and one for the Salvation Army at Christmas. Student Council is very active at Washington School. This group has sponsored numerous activities raising money for several charitable organizations. All were very successful and students learned a lesson in caring and sharing.

Washington also sends out a monthly newsletter "in an English and Spanish version, in order to keep parents up-to-date on what is going on in the coming month and what has happened in the months since school started.