Cardozo Education Campus

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Cardozo Education Campus
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
1200 Clifton Street Northwest[1]
Washington, DC 20009
United States
Coordinates 38°55′19″N 77°01′42″W / 38.9219°N 77.0284°W / 38.9219; -77.0284Coordinates: 38°55′19″N 77°01′42″W / 38.9219°N 77.0284°W / 38.9219; -77.0284
School type Public high school
Established 1928 (1928)
School district District of Columbia Public Schools Ward 1
Principal Tanya S. Roane
Faculty 63.0 (as of the 2011-12 school year) (on FTE basis)[2]
Grades 6 to 12
Enrollment 797 (as of 2016-17)[3]
Student to teacher ratio 10.02[2]
Campus type Urban
Color(s)      Purple
Mascot Clerks[4]
Then-U.S. President George W. Bush helping to paint a mural of local landmark Ben's Chili Bowl with City Year Americorps members at Cardozo.

Cardozo Education Campus, formerly Cardozo Senior High School and Central High School, is a combined middle and high school at 13th and Clifton Street in northwest Washington, D.C., United States, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Cardozo is operated by District of Columbia Public Schools. The school is named after clergyman, politician and educator Francis Lewis Cardozo.


Known locally as "the castle on the hill", Cardozo's iconic building was designed by architect William B. Ittner. Prior to 1949, it was known as Central High School, but was renamed when the school district assigned it for "colored" students in the segregated system. The school started as the Advanced Grammar School for Boys in 1877 and was then combined with a similar school for girls to form Washington High School, the first high school in the city. In 1890, the High School was split into three, with one high school opened in the current Peabody Elementary School building on Capitol Hill and another in Georgetown in the Curtis Building. As a result, the Washington High School became known as Central High School.[5] In 1916, the school moved from Seventh and O to Thirteenth and Clifton. The U Street Metro station is partially named after this school, with "Cardozo" in the station's subtitle.[6] Likewise, an alternative, Urban Renewal-era name for the Columbia Heights neighborhood is Upper Cardozo, and some of the public buildings in the area still bear this name.[citation needed]

Until the 1954 opening of the all-black Luther Jackson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia,[7] Cardozo and several other DCPS schools, along with a school in Manassas, Virginia, enrolled black secondary school students from the Fairfax County Public Schools as that district did not yet operate secondary schools for blacks.[8]

During the 1970s and 1980s, Cardozo High School's marching band was one of the best in Washington, DC, and won several band competitions. Due to their enormous popularity, the band was invited to participate in the Rose Parade in 1981.

The view from Cardozo's parking deck: Florida Ave and Howard University to the southeast and U Street to the south.


In December 2011, work began to completely renovate Cardozo from the inside-out. Everything from exterior facade's crumbling masonry and shoddy window panes to the interior's dark, dingy hallways and outdated classroom spaces were replaced or restored to their original glory. Technology was added to classrooms, wood floors throughout the building were refinished, and the two courtyard spaces in the center of the school were turned into enclosed atrium spaces with the addition of glass skylights. The athletic facilities were improved and expanded as well, with a regulation-size gymnasium added onto the west side of the building. The swimming pool was also restored. In all, the renovation cost approximately $130 million and the school reopened for a new school year in August 2013.[9] In addition to the physical changes to the building itself, the student body was increased with the addition of middle school students from the now-closed Shaw Middle School and the campus was renamed as Cardozo Education Campus.

In popular culture[edit]

The video for the Don't Copy That Floppy anti-software piracy campaign was shot at Cardozo.

The school appears in Wale's "Chillin" music video.

The school's marching band appears in the parade at the end of the movie, D.C. Cab.

Notable alumni[edit]

Feeder patterns[edit]

The following elementary schools feed into Cardozo:

  • Marie Reed Elementary School
  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • Garrison Elementary School
  • Raymond Education Campus
  • School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens
  • Seaton Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School

The following middle schools feed into Cardozo:

  • Raymond Education Campus
  • School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens


  1. ^ GNIS entry for Cardozo Senior High School; [[USGS; January 1, 2000.]
  2. ^ a b National Center for Education Statistics. "Cardozo Senior HS". Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "School Profiles Home". Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ribbon Cutting Ceremony" (PDF). Retrieved 29 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "The High Schools" (PDF). The Evening Star. 22 September 1890. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Station names updated for new map" (Press release). Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. 2011-11-03. Archived from the original on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  7. ^ "History." Luther Jackson Middle School. Retrieved on June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "A history of Luther P. Jackson high school : a report of a case study on the development of a black high school" (abstract). Virginia Tech. Retrieved on June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Brown, Emma. "At Cardozo school, high hopes for a cultural transformation to match physical one". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "James Mayo, Director Emeritus Of Anacostia Museum, Dies". Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2012.   – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  11. ^ "SASSCER, Lansdale Ghiselin, (1893 - 1964)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 

External links[edit]