Washington DC – Public Schools

CONGRESS annually appropriates about $500,000 for the support of the public schools of the District of Columbia. The schools are in charge of trustees, subordinate to whom are two superintendents, one having the management of the white schools, and the other of the colored schools. The salary of one superintendent is $2,700; that of the other, $2,250. Five hundred and twenty-five teachers are employed, their salaries aggregating S349,000 per year There are twenty-four prominent school buildings, most of which are in Washington, and a number of smaller ones. The large buildings were erected at an expenditure of many thousands of dollars, and are considered models of school architecture. They have every approved appliance and convenience, and will accommodate large numbers of pupils.

The schools of Washington, up to 1864, were very poor and in-adequate. In that year the Wallach School, a fine, spacious brick building, was erected on Pennsylvania Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth streets southeast. It was named after Richard Wallach, who was mayor of the city from 1862 to 1868. Other large and suitable buildings followed, and great attention was paid to educational matters, nothing being left undone which would make the school system equal to that of any city of the country. Washingtonians now point with proper pride to their splendid school buildings and admirable system of education, which furnishes equal advantages to white and colored children. Nearly thirty thousand pupils are enrolled in the schools.

The Franklin School is the finest of the school buildings, although some of the others approximate it in elegance of design. It is a large brick edifice, with three stories and a basement, and contains fourteen school-rooms. It stands on the corner of Thirteenth and K streets northwest, opposite a beautiful park, and in a locality filled with costly residences.

The High School, on 0 Street northwest; the Seaton School, on I Street northwest; and the Jefferson School, on Sixth Street south-west, are imposing buildings. The latter is the largest school building in the city, haying ample accommodations for twelve hundred scholars. There are six prominent colored schools, the most notable of which are the Sumner School, corner of Seventeenth and M streets northwest, and the Lincoln School, corner of Second and C streets southeast. The former was erected at a cost of $70,000, and is a very fine building.

Among the important Catholic educational institutions is the Con-vent of the Visitation, or Visitation Academy, which occupies the entire square on Connecticut Avenue between L and F streets. It emanated from the famous institution in Georgetown, which is the mother ” community of the order of Nuns of the Visitation in the United States, and for twenty-seven years had its home in the old convent building on Tenth Street, recently demolished. In 1877 the community removed to the large and beautiful building it now occupies. The conyent is surrounded by spacious grounds enclosed by a brick wall, and is an attractive and prominent object in the section of the city in which it is located.

On I Street, between North Capitol and First streets northwest, is the Gonzaga College, conducted by fathers of the Society of Jesus. It was incorporated as a university in 1858.

The National Medical College, connected with the Columbian University, is located on H Street, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets northwest. It was founded in 1824, and the present building, erected at a cost of $40,000 in 1864, was the gift of Mr. William W. Corcoran. The Law School of Columbian University, established in 1826, is located on Fifth Street, opposite Judiciary Square.

The Medical and Law Schools of Georgetown College are located in Washington, the former at the corner of Tenth and E streets northwest, and the latter on F Street, between Ninth and Tenth streets northwest.