Washington High School (Milwaukee)

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Washington High School
Whslogo academic.png
2525 North Sherman Blvd.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Type Public (magnet) secondary
Established 1912
Oversight Milwaukee Public Schools
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,006
Color(s) purple and gold
Nickname Purgolders

Washington High School is a magnet high school located in the Sherman Park neighborhood on the north side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. It is one of the oldest schools in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. In 2011 WHS celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. WHS is noted for its successful uses of technology (especially computers) by teachers and students. In 1976 the first Career Specialty Program oriented around Computing opened a new era for Washington. The Business Advisory Board with its 20 members is a model for successful school-business collaboration for the support of students.

In September 2005 Washington was divided into three "schools within a school," which are divided among the school's four floors. These are the School of Law, Education, and Public Service (LEAPS) (2nd floor), Washington High School of Expeditionary Learning (EL) (3rd floor), and Washington High School of Information Technology (4th floor). In June 2010, LEAPS closed and was combined with EL and was renamed Washington HS. The Washington HS of Information Technology which continues the legacy of the Career Specialty Program begun in 1976, has continued to operate.

In June 2011 the combined LEAPS and EL school was closed and merged into Washington HS of Information Technology thus creating a single Washington HS once again. Unfortunately this was announced as Washington HS is closing which is fortunately not the true situation since the legacy of WHS as a technology-oriented school continues unabated from 1976.


Washington's athletic teams are known as the Purgolders, named for the school's colors of purple and gold. It competes in the Milwaukee City Conference.

Washington has garnered four Division 1 state titles since 1985. It is part of an intense three-way rivalry with Rufus King High School and Vincent High School. These schools have accounted for 14 of the last 23 state titles in Division 1 boys basketball.

The girls' basketball team is one of three Milwaukee City Conference girls teams to have won a WIAA state title (Harold Vincent High School and Riverside University High School are the others), having done it five times, a Division 1 record. They also won three consecutive state titles (1994, 1995 and 1996).


  • 77% Black, 774 students
  • 15% Asian/Pacific Islander, 150 students
  • 8% Hispanic, 80 students
  • 0% Am. Indian/Alaska Native, 2 students

Notable alumni[edit]