Thurgood Marshall Academy

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Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School
Thurgood Marshall Academy
2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE
Washington, DC
United States
Coordinates 38°51′44″N 76°59′38″W / 38.86222°N 76.99389°W / 38.86222; -76.99389Coordinates: 38°51′44″N 76°59′38″W / 38.86222°N 76.99389°W / 38.86222; -76.99389
Type Law-themed, college preparatory
Established 2001
School district DC Public Charter School Board
Grades 9-12
Gender Co-educational
Color(s) Burgundy and white
Athletics Flag football, boy's and girls basketball, girls volleyball, track and cross country
Mascot Warriors
Nickname TMA
Accreditation Middle States

Thurgood Marshall Academy is a charter school in Washington, D.C., United States.,[1] the first law-themed school in DC. Thurgood Marshall Academy was founded based on the principles of Justice Thurgood Marshall that every child should have a world-class education and the opportunity to reach their full potential. The school is located in the Congress Heights region of Washington D.C.


Thurgood Marshall Academy grew out of the experience of law students and professors in the DC Street Law clinical program at Georgetown University Law Center.[2]

Thurgood Marshall Academy opened in 2001, serving 80 9th-graders in a rented church basement; the school added a grade each year. In 2005, the school renovated, expanded, and moved into its permanent facility in Anacostia.[3] In 2009, the school opened a new gymnasium to be shared with next-door A. Kiger Savoy Elementary, creating a full-service educational campus to meet a range of youth development needs in Ward 8.[4] The school also broke ground for an expanded school garden shared with Savoy Elementary School. Thurgood Marshall Academy earned a full continuance of its charter in 2007 and full accreditation in 2008.


The school offers a college-preparatory curriculum in electives and advanced courses, but since the majority of its students enter the 9th grade with 5th or 6th grade reading and math skills, the college-preparatory coursework is coupled with remediation. Instructional planning is guided by a benchmark assessment program that is aligned to District of Columbia learning standards and the DC Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS). A benchmark assessment program makes it possible for teachers to use a battery of data to differentiate instruction, measure mastery of standards, and modify teaching plans as necessary. Additionally, TMA offers Honors and AP courses including AP Literature, AP U.S. History, AP Calculus, AP Computer Applications, and AP U.S. Government and Politics.[5]

Law theme[edit]

Thurgood Marshall Academy offers law theme programs, including:

  • Law Days, which give 9th graders exposure to the world of law. Held once a month during the school year, Law Day introduces students to cases or legal issues and explores the legal principles involved. Each law firm organizes legal seminars for Thurgood Marshall Academy students in their downtown offices.
  • Law Firm Tutoring, a program that acquaints students with a professional work environment. On Tuesdays during the school year, 11th graders travel by bus to one of several downtown law firms, where legal professionals provide tutoring and mentoring.
  • The Youth Judicial Internship Program, which provides upperclassmen with legal exposure and experiences by placing them as interns for judges at the DC Superior Court and US District Court.
  • Courses in DC History, Introduction to Law, and Street Law

Student life[edit]

There are around 25 extra-curriculars at TMA, like Drama Club, Debate, Flag football, Anti-Defamation League, VYBE, and the TMA Brief newspaper. The school provides daily homework help for students from 3:30 to 5:45pm for anyone needing help with assignments.

Students compete in the Washington Charter School League in flag football, boys' and girls' basketball, track, cross country and volleyball.


Thurgood Marshall Academy has 13 classrooms, and a library holding over 10,000 volumes, a moot courtroom, a school garden, a basketball court, and a gymnasium.

Going green[edit]

Through the educators in the science field and other faculty sponsors at Thurgood Marshall Academy, the school has taken steps to become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Along with the TMA Green Club, the school has an organic garden with home-grown vegetables, and 15 solar panels on the roof of the school. The school won the 2011 Mayor's Environmental Award for Excellence by an Educational Facility for its efforts.[6]


100% of the students have been accepted to a college or university. Students receive college counseling from the school's college counselor. TMA offers advisors, legal education taught by lawyers and law students, a clinical counselor, classroom technology, and a summer enrichment program for incoming students.

Awards and media[edit]

According to the DC Public Charter School Board's 2011 PMF ranking, TMA was one of three charter high schools to receive Tier 1 status, meeting the standards of high performance.[7]

The school has been ranked as a Bronze Medal School by U.S. News & World Report'.[8]

CBS Evening News featured the school in its broadcast in June 2010.[9]


  1. ^ "2012 - 2013 Public Charter School Directory" (PDF). DC Public Charter School Board. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ Parks, Ann W. (Fall–Winter 2011). "The Schools That Law Built" (PDF). Georgetown Law: 45–51. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Financing Projects". Building Hope. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  4. ^ "Green Charter School Guide Case Study - Thurgood Marshall Academy". WorldChanging. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Thurgood Marshall Academy Course Offerings". Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS. September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Case Study - Thurgood Marshall Academy". The District of Columbia. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Charter School Board Announces List of High Performing Charter Schools; Report cards show schools' annual performance". DC Public Charter School Board. December 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School". U.S. News. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Couric, Katie (June 18, 2010). "D.C. High School Where Everyone Goes to College". CBS News. 

External links[edit]