Wilson High School

3950 Chesapeake St. NW, Washington, DC 20016
(202) 282-0120

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 & ungraded 1713 students 13 students/teacher (DC avg is 14)

Test Scores by grade


District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS)

In 2013-2014 Washington, D.C. used the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS) to test students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and 10, science in grades 5, 8, and 10, and composition in grades 4, 7, and 10. Currently GreatSchools is displaying results for reading and math only. The DC-CAS is a standards-based testing program, which means it measures specific skills defined for each grade by the District of Columbia. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
  • This school in 2014
  • District of Columbia Public Schools average
  • Washington, DC state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Wilson High School is a public high school in Washington. The principal of Wilson High School is Pete Cahall, whose e-mail is pete.cahall@dc.gov. 1,713 students go to Wilson High School and identify mostly as Asian/Pacific Islander; Asian; and Black, non-Hispanic. 9% of the Wilson High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 37% of the 1,713 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Wilson High School is 13:1. National Cathedral School is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish


  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Asian/Pacific Islander 8% 2%
Asian 8% %
Black, non-Hispanic 47% 75%
Multiracial 3% %
White, non-Hispanic 22% 9%
Hispanic 19% 13%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.3% 0.07%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 37% 53%
Limited English proficiency 9% 9%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (1 year ago)

    I am not a Washingtonian and was terrified of my 1st daughter attending a DC Public high school. A smart student she did well and graduated from Wilson in 2010. The school was old and outdated her teachers were great. Now my son 12th grade & daughter 9th grade attend the new improved Wilson school. Administrators Principal Cahall Alex Wilson Ms. Bean Ms. Arrington and others are totally involved and engaged in the school and its diverse culture(s). Ms. Williams (Choir Director and performing artist/mom) exposes the students to a variety of performances from the Mayor s office the White House the Kennedy Ctr etc. Teaches like Dr. Smith (Math) David Heckler (History/swim coach); Joseph Herbert (Math) Ms. Grant (English) Mr. Downing (Spanish) Ms. Lambert (Ceramics) and I could go have been observed going above and beyond to make Wilson a model Urban high school. There are some disruptive students but that is something Wilson is working on. Wilson has come a long way and is continuing to make major improvements. A great school with diversity to fit any type of student (academically athletically artistically socially etc) Kudos to the Wilson High School Staff!

  • (2 years ago)

    It's my first year in wilson as a freshman student and i would not recommend it to any 8th graders or other students.Coming from a small school and always going to a small school wilson has been a very big change for me.The teachers never have time to help the students one-on-one they constantly forget to change your grade since every teacher in the school has about 100 students and they can't take control of the noisy students that never let the teacher teach anything.I really regret not applying to more school's last year it's a good school and has great students but horrible control behavior and learning system.In my old school teachers would always come up to students and help them in wilson there are to many students for the teachers to do anything.I would not recommend this to any applying student.

  • (4 years ago)

    I went to woodrow wilson highschool for a couple of months when i lived in d.c and i absolutely loved it!!! the teachers were great and everything is so open and diverse. the students are really nice and d.c is a great and fun place to live in. i had a great time there even though i lived there for a short period of time. i wish i could move back! the school that i go to now is horrible and the people are sooo different and theres no diversity here i miss wilson so much.. i think any student would love wilson and you should definitely go!!

  • (4 years ago)

    Wilson at this time have to many students so it is not as effective as it should be. I think that because of this issue the teachers do not have much time to attend to the students that do not understand the concepts of the class that they are teaching. For the students that get it that is great. For the students that do not get it it is a challenge for the student. This is really hurting our students in the DCPS system.

  • (4 years ago)

    As a proud former Tiger I can truly say that Wilson was a big part of my education both academically and socially. The diversity of the Wilson student body and the diversity of the staff-are the school's biggest assets. Wilson has five academies to choose from- 1. The Academy of Finance 2. AAA (Academic Athletic Achievement Academy) 3. HAM (Humanities Arts and Media) 4. SciMaTech (Science Math and Technology) and 5. WISP (Wilson International Studies Program). Wilson also has a variety of sports and extra-curricular activities ranging from Football to Crew from Track to Band Soccer to Baseball and everything else in-between!

  • (5 years ago)

    School is doing well for what they have to work with. Presently in transation at another location while their school is being renovated. Need more parental involvement and engagement tactics for children of color to increase their grades and participation. More accountablilty options.

  • (5 years ago)

    Wilson has a great range of classes and a student body that is diverse in every way. Whether it survives the trip to UDC during the upcoming construction remains to be seen but until then if you want to go to the best public school in the city then look no further

  • (5 years ago)

    Wilson is a large urban school with a wide array of students. It has four academic academies. Both of my children attending Wilson's academies. Although the DC administration has sometimes caused frustration Wilson's teachers and staff have almost always been helful and supportive. Most of its teachers have been excellent. A few have been not up to the challenge of teenagers.

  • (6 years ago)

    It is probably the most ethnically inclusive school in the nation. It includes many children from the Embassies here in DC who come from all over the world.I am a grandparent of several grandchildren who have gone to Woodrow Wilson. My daughter was President of the PTA.

  • (6 years ago)

    Very bad and the teachers are so-so. The kids are noisy.

  • (6 years ago)

    Like any other Public School Wilson lacks a few things. Wilson provides a wonderful education if you want it. Don't blame the school blame yourself. Wilson is excellent and has so much to offer. It is diverse and the teachers are very understanding. You should see some of the colleges people get into. Its amazing. GO TIGERS!

  • (6 years ago)

    Wilson has such a terrible reputation but speaking as a student I know that it's not nearly as bad as most people think. Although some of the teaching is slightly lacking most of the teachers especially in AP courses are educated in their subjects and know how to make it so the students want to learn. Wilson tought me more about diversity and acceptance than any other schools in the neighborhood ever could and under a new administration things are really looking up with their motto 'Creating the model urban high school.' There is adequate help in college counceling and most teachers are more than willing to help with anything and there are countless clubs and athletic teams that are available. I mean our country's second richest man attended Wilson along with Dave Chappelle.

  • (6 years ago)

    I just wanted to say that i love this school. I have moved so many times in my life and i am actually from another country originally. I attended wilson last year and it was my first year of american high school ever. I was nervous at first because i heard so many bad things about it and my parents pushed me to go to a private school but i insisdid that i should go to wilson. I have never had a better year in my whole life and all the places and schools i have lived and gone to. I have now moved to vermont and i go to a private school an di hate it! wilson makes you feel like everybody is welcome and theres so many amazing people to meet i loved the feeling last year of being a part of wilson. I met great teachers and students. Wilson is the best!

  • (7 years ago)

    Wilson is one of THE worst schools possible True if you push yourself i guess you can get a decent education but thats only after you manage to avoid the uncontrollable behavior of many of the students. I currently am i student there-sadly- and am hoping to transfer forcing me to repeat my junior year. If you have the change to go to a private school DO IT! Not only is there a minimual aspect of socializing at this school (i.e. great friends to make) but the teachers are so unhelpful they make you not want to push there it and do well. However the one thing you get from Wilson is the feel of what many different people are like but frankly i'd rather have a good eduacation and high school experience than the ecletic experience of this school.

  • (7 years ago)

    I attended Wilson and it is a school where you will get an education if you really want one and if your parents push for you to get the good teachers and put you in the advanced classes. I had some awesome teachers and I had some horrible ones. The school is poorly funded and it definately helps for the parents to be active or donating money for their children to have an advantage. Overall it is a good school but only for independent students or students with great support systems.

  • (10 years ago)

    I attended wilson in going to school there gave me great insight on diversity. I live in an all African-American community and when I went to Wilson it allowed me to experience alot of brand new things. The teachers there have always been supportive and they prepare you for college because of the numerous things they have to keep organized within the school year; they show you how to keep yourself focus and determine. I would say that Wilson is the number ONE! public school in the Distric.

  • (10 years ago)

    Wilson generally gets a pretty bad rap. It's largely undeserved as Wilson sends almost 95% of its graduating class to college. We are also more diverse than any school in the area; we arent a rich white suburban school or a forgotten urban school. An oft heard complaint is that the teaching quality lags far behind our private and Mont Co. counterparts.If you search out the good classes with the good teachers the quality of your education is at worst equal to that of the expensive private schools and overfunded Mont. Co. schools. Give Wilson a break its not dangerous kids learn and we all do well. Remember the 2nd richest man in this country is a Wilson alum.

  • (10 years ago)

    Wilson is a school where you have to decide yourself if you're going to succeed. They don't do much to make you do anything but once you decide that you're going to succeed they're behind you 100%.

  • (11 years ago)

    Overall my child has done well and received a good education. The physical facilities are what you would expect from an inner city school. The teachers my child has had have been good especially the ones teaching AP classes. The Athletic/Activities Director is the weakest member of the staff. His actions could be interpreted as petty autocratic and extremely self-serving. He has refused independent audits of the Activites Budget and has gone on personal vendettas against teachers and coaches that don't see eye-to-eye with him. The Principal is sound and does the best he can with limited resources.

  • (12 years ago)

    the staff has been really nice. the diversity is great.

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Overall score

(based on 30 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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