The DC Prep Way

DC Prep schools are positive, purposeful places that reflect respect for the students and teachers who learn and work there.

In the hallways, students walk quietly, requiring little redirection. Classrooms are lively, engaging places where students are challenged and inspired. Teachers are focused and dedicated, determined to provide the best for their students and to continuously improve their craft. Pride, energy, and a shared sense of mission are palpable, with every member of the school community committed to our students’ success.

Rigorous academics and character education are at the heart of all we do. The principles and practices that determine how these two elements translate into action across each of our campuses comprise The DC Prep Way.

Unapologetic Focus on Academics

  • More Time

    DC Prep students spend approximately 25% more time in school than other DC public school students. The school day includes extended literacy and math blocks, as well as science, social studies, and specials classes. Meaningful nightly homework reinforces classroom learning. Teachers are on call until 8:00PM each school night to assist students with homework questions and to talk with families. In addition, DC Prep offers Prep EX!, an optional aftercare program available to preschool-6th graders until 6:00PM daily on a space-available basis.
  • Standards-Based Instruction

    Curriculum maps and scope and sequence documents aligned with nationally-recognized Common Core standards guide instruction at all campuses. DC Prep’s departmentalized approach to instruction in 1st – 8th grade allows teachers to focus their curriculum planning and lesson delivery on targeted curricular areas — and provides students with expert instruction from the earliest years. Teachers develop daily lesson plans based on rigorous, vertically-aligned curriculum maps and draw upon recognized curricular resources to ensure mastery of appropriate standards.
  • Targeted Intervention

    An individualized academic intervention program ensures that every student is being taught at the appropriate level, including those who may enter school significantly below grade level or those performing at or above grade level. Our inclusion model promotes the integration of students with special needs in regular classrooms and activities.
  • Meaningful Assessment

    Regular monitoring of student progress — using a range of nationally-recognized assessment tools, selected for their validity and developmental appropriateness — ensures an academic program that is rigorous and targeted for every child. Teachers reflect on data and instruction frequently, including during weekly professional development sessions led by campus-based instructional leadership teams and quarterly, post-interim “Data Days.”
  • Schoolzilla — Our "Triple A" Data Tool

    Schoolzilla is DC Prep’s customized data system that provides teachers with real-time information on students’ academic progress on formative and summative assessments. It also includes social skill and behavior reports, and data on attendance and punctuality. One founding faculty member describes Schoolzilla as DC Prep’s “Triple A” tool because it presents accessible, accurate, and actionable data – better equipping teachers and leaders to plan individually-tailored instruction based on unique student needs.

Creating Self-Aware, Reflective, and Disciplined Learners

Social Skills Development

We believe that character counts and we teach it explicitly. From the earliest years, our students are supported to develop Prep Skills — the essential qualities of successful students and good citizens. All members of the DC Prep community strive to live up to the school motto, “Do the RIGHT Thing" (Respectful, Intelligent, Genuine, Hardworking, Team-oriented).

Sweating the Small Stuff

We pay close and consistent attention to all aspects of student behavior including attendance, punctuality, and homework completion. Teachers are united in reinforcing the school values, the discipline policy, and the incentive system so that students receive clear and consistent messages about appropriate and productive behavior. Students wear the DC Prep uniform to reflect team and community values and instill a sense of appropriate dress. 

A Sense of Community

A personal handshake each morning, daily homeroom and advisory meetings, and frequent all-school Community Meetings that celebrate individual classroom academic and character successes promote a shared culture and pride of place for all students.

Family Communication

DC Prep fosters shared expectations and aspirations between home and school. Informal and formal communication with families builds trust and parent/teacher teamwork to achieve the best outcome for every student.



What Parents are Saying

“It was important to find a school that could work with my daughter on her level - she's very free thinking and needs some structure. I went to 35 schools. I talked to other parents. I went to open houses. I popped up at DC Prep. And I love love, love, love my choice! I am so happy.”
Talisa Sutton-Stephenson, Parent