Friends & Family Campaign

 
 

$ Goal

$ Raised

$ to be raised

Support a classical education for the modern world!

We believe in the uplifting and liberating power of our classical education for all learners. Join our community of supporters with your donation to DC’s only classical school.

Are you a family member of a current student? Is your friend one of our dedicated teachers? Do you know one of our alumni?

Whatever your connection, we need your support to help close funding gaps without compromising the essential elements of our model: small classes and individualized attention, classical curriculum and excellent teaching, and a respectful culture and close-knit community. In recent years, we have made significant investments in technology, academic support, special education, college counseling, and mental health support. All these investments – made possible in part by donations – are aimed at better serving all our students.

Our biggest investment continues to be our faculty. Latin boasts one of the highest retention rates in the District and nationally. At a time when many schools are struggling to find qualified teachers, Latin retains teachers at an astounding 90%+ annually. This means our teachers are experienced and can develop and maintain strong relationships with students.

Our goal is to raise $35,000 by the end of the year. This relatively modest sum will have an outsized impact on experiences of our students!

To make a give by credit card, please use the button below. If you prefer to send a check (payable to Washington Latin), please mail it to the 2nd Street Campus (5200 2nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20011), or contact Kate Cromwell, Director of External Affairs at 202.223.1111.

Why we give

This is a wonderful school with passionate educators who are expanding young minds to embrace learning Having your grandchild share a newly-found passion in learning (without being asked) is pretty cool. Keep up the great work!

A Letter from Diana Smith, Chief of Classical Education

“Is Latin a school where students with different views can really voice their opinions?”

 

Dear Washington Latin Families,

Last week, at our first open house for the 2024-2025 school year, a prospective parent asked me a challenging question: Are you a school where students with different views can really voice their opinions?” It had been a long day and was after 8:00 pm, but as soon as I heard this question, I wanted to talk to these people. I wanted to tell them what makes Washington Latin so very important to me. READ MORE

Why Latin Matters to me - and is worthy of your support

I wanted to tell them what makes Washington Latin so very important to me. 

And now (willingly violating my long-standing reluctance to write a fundraising letter!), I want to tell you what makes Latin why this organization is deserving of your financial support.

In asking their question, these prospective parents wanted for their child something so simple, yet so rare: a place where a young person’s emerging thoughts could be heard, entertained, and, if necessary, challenged. They wanted a place where people talk about things that mattered and where educators do not shy away from potential conflicts that might arise. They listened, and they said, “that’s great and seems brave.” 

Brave. Wrestling with challenging questions is what every school should do, yet it is so rare as to be viewed as a courageous act. 

So, friends and families, here is my answer: yes, students really can voice their opinions at our schools. We believe this is essential for the kind of education we offer and so have created several ways to systemically support this.

First, we are set up for an exchange of ideas. We have kept our average class size low (19 students in our grades 5-8 and 15 students in grades 9-12). This feature  is the most expensive thing we offer, yet it is the key to our success. While schools across the country are doing the opposite and offering classes of 35-40 students, we are doing everything we can to trim the non-essentials so that we can maintain small class sizes.

Second, we hire adults who want to be with young people and who are themselves constantly learning. It may seem odd to those who don’t work in schools, but there are many teachers who do not posses these traits. At Latin, we look for people who thrive on the kind of questioning, pushing, wrestling that young people do from ages 10-18. We look for people who want to examine their own values as they impart them to the students. 

And third, we are guided by a classical mission that has self-critique built into it. The classical tradition gave to our world the process of dialectic, a conversational give-and-take that aims to get at the truth. Built into the tradition is its own examination; the practitioners of the classical approach would constantly be asking whether or not they are indeed moving closer to a truth. To stay true to our mission, we constantly ask ourselves, “Have we got this right? How could we do this differently?”

I left the open house that night at 9:00 pm, reflecting once again on why I am willing to devote my time, mind, and heart to Washington Latin. My answer is the same as ever: this country desperately needs schools where young people can be heard, where parents can ask their questions and get answers, where the voice of dissent is not an anomaly.

Washington Latin is just such a place. 

If you agree with me on the value of our schools, whether for your own children or as a model of the possible in public education, I encourage you to support Washington Latin this year.

Please share this letter with your friends, families, and neighbors, along with your own stories about how Washington Latin has impacted your family. Your support, in whatever amount, helps us to continue being a school built for the exchange of ideas.

I thank you in advance and wish you a wish you a wonderful holiday season and happy 2024.

Gratefully,

Diana E. Smith
Chief of Classical Education

Focus on Faculty

Excellent teachers and small classes are key to Washington Latin’s model. The model works because we know our students. And it is expensive. Your donation helps support these essential facets of the Latin program. 

Enriching student life

Your donation also provides direct funding to classrooms for materials and funding of important student experiences, such as field trips and after school activities.

Building community

Our social activities, from family picnics and orientations in the fall to teacher appreciation week, are arranged by family volunteers and the school working together. Your donation helps make these events possible.

Focus on Faculty

Excellent teachers and small classes are key to the Washington Latin. The model works because we know our students. And it is expensive. Your donation helps support these essential facets of the Latin program.

Enriching student life

Your donation also provides direct funding to classrooms for materials and funding of important student experiences, such as field trips and after school activities.

Building community

Our social activities, from family picnics and orientations in the fall to teacher appreciation week, are arranged by family volunteers and the school working together. Your donation helps make these events possible.