Washington Elementary School was built in 1926 to replace the old frame Dady School that was on Keller Avenue. Old Dady, consisting of two rooms and one portable was sold for $150 which went toward the $29,940 it took to build the four-room new brick building known today as Washington Elementary School. Extended city limits gave rise to the birth of the first four rooms. A zooming enrollment prompted a portable classroom on the west side of the building. It was removed in 1937 when a four-room addition was built. The gym was added in 1938, and in 1952, a six-room addition was built. In 1996, ten classrooms, a multi-purpose room and new office space were added to accommodate the growing population in Waukegan. Washington School also became a bilingual center in 1996, bringing its current enrollment to 600 students.
Our current principal has been at Washington School since 1993. The original faculty of four teachers increased steadily as did the original salary of $1,100. The school’s population also changed over the years from a K-8 building to a K–6 building in 1956 and from a K–6 building to a K–5 building in 1992. Washington School is currently a K–5 building housing a monolingual as well as a bilingual program.
Although Washington School has experienced many changes since 1926, the basic rules of conduct have not changed. High academic standards and respect for each other are encouraged and supported by staff and parents alike. Along with the traditional subjects of reading, writing, and mathematics, computer instruction has been added to the curriculum. All classrooms have computer stations that are connected to the Internet. A mobile lab consisting of 15 laptop computers is available for student use. One interesting change is that a school uniform policy was adopted in 1998. Students dress in uniform colors of navy blue and white.
It is our mission as educators to continue to support and encourage the original high standards that were established when Washington School opened its doors back in 1926.