Georgetown Day School

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Georgetown Day School
Washington, D.C., United States
Religious affiliation(s) Nonsectarian
Established 1945
Head of School Russell Shaw
Faculty 165
Enrollment 1075 (grades PreK-12)
Average class size 16
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
10 overall acres
2 buildings
Color(s) Green and White
Athletics 14 Interscholastic Sports
63 Interscholastic Teams
Athletics conference Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (Boys)
Independent School League (Girls)
Mascot Grasshopper

Georgetown Day School (Georgetown Day or GDS) is a PK-12 private preparatory school in Washington, D.C.. Georgetown Day School was established in 1945 as the city's first integrated school, with a focus on both academic excellence and equality.

The school has separate Lower/Middle and High school campuses. The High School is located in the Tenleytown neighborhood in NW DC and the Lower School is located in the Palisades neighborhood. The High School has an open campus policy. The current head of school is Russell Shaw.


GDS offers 18 Advanced Placement courses and has nationally recognized community service/service learning programs. The school is known for a strong emphasis on the arts, especially the performing arts, and its historical success in high school policy debate, It's Academic, Math Team, and Quiz Bowl[citation needed]. The High School features a comprehensive curriculum covering the humanities, mathematics, sciences, and the arts. Students are required to take a literature elective in addition to 4 years of English courses and freshman seminar focusing on diversity issues.

From its inception, the High School has cultivated in its students a deep appreciation of the arts, humanities, and sciences as equally valuable disciplines and perspectives on the world. While the majority of students complete four years in each of the five major disciplines, the minimum graduation requirement is:

  • 4 years English
  • 3 years Social Studies (including U.S. History or American Studies)
  • 2 years Foreign Language
  • 2 years Laboratory Science (one biological and one physical)
  • 2 years Math (at least Algebra II and Geometry)
  • 2 years Physical Education
  • 1 year Performing Arts
  • 1 year Studio Arts

As part of their English 12 course work and the culmination of their work in literature and writing, all students write a ten-to fifteen-page critical essay on an author or topic of their choice[citation needed].

The high school math curriculum is one of the most advanced programs among independent schools in the area. The program includes course work that goes beyond BC calculus to linear algebra, number theory, multivariable calculus, and discrete mathematics[citation needed].

Due to the strength of the studio and performing arts departments, many students go well beyond the one-year requirements; both departments also work closely with the local community on cosponsored events and shows[citation needed].

Continually aware of the reasons for its founding, Georgetown Day School inculcates in its students a concern for the world around them. Although many GDS students volunteer far more extensively, all students must complete at least 60 hours of community service outside of the school and home[citation needed].

The GDS philosophy states that students and teachers are partners in education, therefore everyone at the school — students, faculty, and administrators — go by first names[citation needed].

The school enrolls approximately 1,075 students and graduates about 129 seniors in any given year.

High School Activities[edit]

In addition to pursuing a demanding, balanced academic program, Georgetown Day School students achieve local and national distinction in extracurricular activities. Among the more than 50 activities offered, major pursuits include[citation needed]:

Academic Teams

  • Math Team, Debate, Harvard Model Congress, It’s Academic, Model UN, Quiz Bowl


  • Baseball, Basketball, Crew, Cross-Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

Music and Dance Groups

  • A Cappella, Barbershop, Chorus, Dance Troupe, Jazz Band, Orchestra


  • Literary, Humor, and Art Magazines, Student Newspaper, Yearbook


  • Fall Play, Winter One-Acts, Spring Musical, Cabaret

Various Others

  • And many more activities and clubs including Language groups such as the Latin Club, and Politics groups such as Student Voices, Conservative Club, and Democratic Club, and Diversity Affairs and Social Justice Groups

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Montgomery, David (2003-09-08). "Animal Pragmatism". The Washington Post. p. C01. Archived from the original on 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2012-12-30. "... says Paul Shapiro, 24, who founded Compassion Over Killing as a high school club at Georgetown Day School in Northwest Washington." 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′28.7″N 77°5′10.2″W / 38.907972°N 77.086167°W / 38.907972; -77.086167