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The Bishop Walker School is committed to providing all of our scholars with academic programs that not only ignite their intellectual curiosity but also expose them to ideas and themes critical to their development as student leaders.

Academics: The Highest Standard of Scholarship


Our teachers have created a hands-on, engaging curriculum that integrates established, research-based curricula with a well-rounded, supportive learning experience.

All BWS academics are aligned to national and professional learning standards. BWS works to ensure our students are able to compete scholastically with their peers in both independent and public schools in the region.



  • Text: Journey's Reading Program 

  • Developing skills in reading and oral/written communications

  • Literacy skills advanced through shared language and reading interactions



  • Understanding our own and others' cultural backgrounds and histories

  • Answering essential questions such as “How?” and “Why?” to encourage creativity and deeper understanding

  • Expanding outward: from our Cathedral, to our neighborhood, to our city, to our nation



  • Text: Math in Focus (Singapore Math)

  • Learning to think critically about the world using mathematical concepts

  • Solving problems in concrete, pictorial, and abstract contexts



  • Inquiry-based exploration

  • Hands-on experiences observing, investigating, and experimenting

  • Students demonstrate scientific understanding in both classrooms and in nature


Early Elementary (K–2)

  • Maximum of 16 students in each class; K–3rd classrooms have a lead and assistant teacher 

  • Direct instruction, hands-on projects, songs/dances to make learning fun

  • Phonics, basic spelling, formal handwriting introduced

  • Writer's Workshop

  • Social Studies units: Families, fairy tales, Washington National Cathedral, Bishop Walker, DC as series of neighborhoods and a whole city

  • Science units: Dinosaurs, gardening, things that fly, water/Anacostia River


Upper Elementary (3–5)

  • Literacy focus: comprehension, fluency, vocabulary

  • Writing and grammar instruction

  • Increasing complexity in math

  • Making connections to real-world events and phenomena

  • Writer's Workshop

  • Social Studies units: States of the Union, Branches of the Federal Government, U.S. land formations, Ancient Greece, Colonial America and pre-Columbian cultures, the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, the Civil War

  • Science units: the structure of life, the human body, magnetism, mixtures/solutions, weather on Earth


It is critical to Bishop Walker's mission to provide the structured support necessary to develop each scholar's unique gifts. Instead of high-stakes testing we use data to create adaptive learning plans for each student, which is critical to preparing our scholars for middle school and beyond. Using the NWEA MAP Growth assessment three times each school year, teachers and BWS leadership are able to ensure  that all students are acknowledged, celebrated, and that their needs are incorporated into instruction consistently.

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