Commitment to Equity Statement
Washington Elementary School District (WESD) is proud to serve a diverse population of over 20,000 students. WESD is committed to achieving equitable outcomes for all students and staff in order that they find academic, as well as, social and emotional success.
Our students, their families and staff represent multiple races and ethnicities with over 70 home languages and cultures. Students need to see a strong connection between their home life, their community, and their school, which strengthen a student’s sense of belonging and motivation. Honoring the varied talents, backgrounds and experiences of our students’ families and community members greatly supports student success. Learning depends upon social interactions and students actively constructing knowledge and understanding by connecting their experience of home culture, language and life experiences with what they learn in school.
Therefore, WESD places a high priority on being informed and knowledgeable about each students’ cultural background and their unique home and community experiences. District leadership, school leaders and staff are committed to partnering with students, families and community members to develop policies, procedures and practices that create and continuously improve equity, diversity and inclusion in WESD
Washington Elementary School District (WESD) is proud to serve a diverse population in north central Phoenix and east Glendale. The largest elementary school district in Arizona, WESD is comprised of 33 schools (19 K-6 schools, one K-5 school, seven K-8 schools, one online 1-8 and five middle/junior high schools).
WESD has many achievements of which to be proud:
- According to The New York Times, WESD was named one of the Top 20 school districts in the country for student growth.
- Lookout Mountain Elementary School was selected as a 2020 Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Acacia Elementary is a four-time A+++ School of Excellence and a National Title I Distinguished School.
- Ocotillo Elementary was named 2020 A+ School of Excellence by the Arizona Educational Foundation.
- 2023 Maricopa County Expemplary Principal, Kara McDivitt, Chaparral Elementary
- Two WESD principals were named Maricopa County Exemplary Principals in 2020 - Christine Hollingsworth, Acacia Elementary, and Tricia Heller-Johnson, Lookout Mountain Elementary.
- WESD is home to a 2020 Top 10 Finalist for Arizona Teacher of the Year.
- Roseanne Knight, PE Teacher at Sunburst Elementary, was awarded the 2019 Arizona Education Association, Christa McAuliffe "I Touch the Future, I Teach" Award.
- In 2019, a WESD teacher was a Top Five Finalist for the Arizona Teacher of the Year.
- WESD is home to a 2018 Arizona School Association Distinguished Administrator, Acacia's Christine Hollingsworth.
- Rhonda Warren, Sunburst principal, was selected as a 2018 Maricopa County Exemplary Principal.
- WESD is proud to have the Social Worker of the Year for 2015, Dorothy Watkins, 2017, Donna Denial, and 2021, Emma Sanchez as well as the 2019 Public Educator of the Year, Dr. Lyn Bailey, as selected by School Social Work Association of Arizona.
- Justin Wing, Director of Human Resources, was awarded the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association.
- Phoenix Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues recognized Dr. Craig Carter, Administrator of Special Services, as the 2018 Outstanding Educator.
- Open enrollment and free full-day kindergarten opportunities are available at all schools.
- Gifted Services are offered at all schools, with approximately 1,153 students being challenged beyond the traditional classroom setting, including two self-contained programs that serve highly gifted students.
- Music, art and physical education programs are offered in all District schools.
- Abraham Lincoln Traditional School features open enrollment and a traditional approach to learning.
- Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy for grades 6-8 provides a small-school experience through a community partnership with Cardinals Charities.
- National Junior Honor Society organizations are offered at all middle/junior high schools.
- Parent/teacher organizations (PTO/PTAs) are active throughout WESD schools.
- National Board Certified teachers and staff are employed at most schools in the WESD.
- Title I supplemental services for students in need of additional academic assistance are available at 30 schools.
- Special Education services are provided for approximately 15 percent of the student population.
- A District-wide English language learner program supports the English language acquisition of students from more than 50 different language groups.
- Translation Services provides interpreters at over 6,770 Parent/Teacher Conferences annually.
- WESD schools and District departments reduced electrical use almost 30% since 2008 through a comprehensive District-wide energy conservation program.
- Solar installations at Desert Foothills, Moon Mountain, Mountain View, Roadrunner, Sunnyslope and Sunburst provide more than one megawatt of solar energy to the WESD.
- After-school programs are available at 32 schools to meet the unique needs of school communities and families.
- District-sponsored before- and after-school child care is available at 23 schools.
- Grant funds 21 sections of Head Start PLUS full-day programs at 17 sites, serving 341 Head Start 4-year-old students and 30 Early Childhood Expansion students.
- WESD embraces the community through active partnerships with neighborhood associations, local businesses, elected officials and civic organizations.
- BEGIN, three-year teacher induction program, began over 35 years ago and is the longest functioning program of its kind in Arizona.
- Approximately 2,500 students gain extra academic support through WESD summer school programs.
- Breakfast and lunch are served free of charge daily to all students.
- All school buses are equipped with GPS tracking that assists with communication and keeping students safe.
- WESD’s Business Advisory Team includes more than 1,000 representatives of local businesses, community groups and civic organizations.
- School-based social workers are available to support families at all 33 schools.