Education in Washington Court House, Ohio
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Washington Court House City Schools
The Washington Court House City School District enrolls most school-age children within the city limits of Washington Court House. Presently, operating school buildings include:
- Cherry Hill Elementary (Grades K-2)
- Belle Aire Intermediate (Grades 3-5)
- Washington Middle School (Grades 6-8)
- Washington High School (Grades 9-12)
The district also operates a combination administrative office and school bus garage.
Sunnyside Kindergarten was used as the Kindergarten building for 11 years. The hallways are covered in murals. This school building was sold to Heritage Memorial Church in "Capture the Dream" school facility reconstruction project. The school is now a free clothing center for low income families called "The Well."
Washington Elementary Schools
The four elementary schools (Belle Aire, Cherry Hill, Eastside, and Rose Avenue) were demolished (With the exception of the newer portion of Belle Aire) in accordance with the school reconstruction project. New Cherry Hill and Belle Aire facilities house K-2 and 3-5, respectively.
Washington Middle School
The current middle school houses grades 6-8 and is located on Elm Street, conjoined to the high school by a building called Liberty Hall.
Drama and Choral Music The Middle School Choir was directed by Jane Morse, who recently[when?] retired. She and Mrs. Wright, who is the study hall director, present a Jr. Broadway musical each year. In the past they have done Annie Get Your Gun, Bugsy Malone, The Music Man, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Oklahoma!, The King and I, Once Upon a Mattress, Aladdin, and most recently, Annie. Choirs include sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade. Mrs. Morse also coached students for the annual solo and ensemble competition.
Instrumental Music In fifth grade, students interested in band choose their instruments. The Middle School Band Department is led by Ben Streitenberger. Bands include sixth grade, seventh grade, eighth grade, and jazz. The seventh and eighth grade bands participate in annual solo and ensemble and large group contests.
Washington Senior High School
The oldest standing high school is the city's old middle school, which is home to the city's auditorium. The second-oldest standing high school was the city's old Sunnyside Kindergarten, which is now The Well, a free-clothing store for low-income houses. In the early 1960s, a new high school was constructed on Willard Street. However, that high school has been recently demolished, as it was built upon a marsh-like ground, and began to sink. In 2009, the newest high school was built, which currently sits on Elm Street along with the new middle school. Both schools are connected by a building called Liberty Hall, which has a very small auditorium that can fit roughly 150 people.
Some residents protest that the high school does not participate in the National Honor Society, and that the district's substitute, the "Academy of Scholars," does not hold as much weight with colleges as the NHS.
Washington Senior High has approximately 50 staff members, and approximately 700 students in grades 9-12. Only the school board is aware of numbers as to teacher/student capacity in the new schools.
Drama and Choral Music
In the past several years, Washington has performed annual Broadway musicals, such as South Pacific, Big, Footloose, Children of Eden, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical, The Sound of Music, Godspell, Peter Pan, and most recently, The Phantom of the Opera. The school also has the concert choir, the symphonic choir, and the show choir.
The director of the high school's bands is master teacher Matt Stanley. He directs the school's jazz band, concert band, symphonic band, marching band, and pep band.
On Friday Nights during the Autumn Football Season, the marching band can be heard throughout town. The marching style of the band is modeled after The Ohio University Marching 110, which is not a true "marching" band but more a "performance" band. The WCH Marching Band currently has 140 members. The band plays a variety of songs from Classic Rock Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, to newer hits like Bad Romance by Lady Gaga. The trademark song of the marching band is Long Train Runnin' by The Doobie Brothers.
The pep band supports the school's boys' basketball team.
This class in Washington Court House's high school curriculum places seniors within reach of leading national scholarship through the analysis of primary source documents. Master teacher Paul LaRue instructs students for this class.
Some projects either completed or in progress are as follows:
- Compiling a single record of all who are buried in the Soldier's Home Cemetery, Washington, DC (the companion national cemetery to Arlington) from two separate and conflicting records.
- Constructing and maintaining two websites on the Civil War U.S. Colored Troops, or USCT. One website is dedicated to USCT from Ohio and is highly ranked in Google searches.
- Obtaining and installing headstones for many unmarked black veterans in the Washington Cemetery, many from the USCT.
- Obtaining and installing headstones for unmarked veterans in the Bloomingburg Cemetery, Bloomingburg, OH. (For which the students earned an award from The History Channel, below)
- Compiling a publishable historical account of the Bloomingburg Cemetery
- Obtaining Historical Site Markers from the Ohio Historical Society for many historically significant areas in and around Washington Court House
- Developing pamphlets for distribution about various historical sites around Washington Court House
In 2005, the research history team sent two representatives to Washington, DC to compete in a national history research competition sponsored by "The History Channel." The program, called "Save Our History," included project submissions from hundreds of schools and extracurricular teams from across the country. Washington Court House's Research History class placed in the final four high school teams, and thus, was offered an all-expenses-paid trip for two student representatives to the nation's capital. For the same project work done, the class received plaques from the Veteran's Administration's headquarters in Washington, DC.
New School Buildings
Some time ago, some residents voted on a levy in order to secure tax monies to replace the aging school buildings currently in use, with a total budget of $60,693,801. The majority of funds, $39,694,272, were provided by state, while the local community is providing $13,946,000. Locally funded initiatives provided an extra $7,053,529.
On May 7, 2006, a groundbreaking ceremony took place near the old high school and Eastside Elementary.
Washington City Schools began a two-year construction project which replaced the existing facilities with four new school buildings. The project took roughly three years to complete, and was met with mixed reviews from the community.
Miami Trace Local School District
The Miami Trace Local School District serves parts of the city in question, while providing education for almost every area in Fayette County which surrounds the city. The vast amount of land area covered by this school district, while less population-dense of an area, warrants a larger student body than the "city" school district. As a tradition, Miami Trace and Washington city schools are athletic rivals.
In 2009, a new elementary school for Miami Trace was completed, which lies adjacent to the high school along S.R. 41-NW. Currently under construction is a state-of-the-art middle school, which is slated for open for spring of the 2010-2011 academic year. With the completion of the new middle school, Miami Trace Local School District will be known as a centralized education district.
Fayette Christian School
A small number of students attend Fayette Christian School, placing it as the only alternative to public education in Fayette county.
Southern State Community College
The Fayette County campus of Southern State Community College (SSCC) is the only college in this town. It is primarily used by students at the local high schools for college classes and credit, or for getting primary classes finished. Southern State Community College allows students to transfer their credits to some other colleges.