Washburn School – A place of opportunity in Southern Puerto Rico.
Washburn School is a private, college preparatory, non-profit, value-based, multi-cultural, total English immersion school with a focus on Spanish as a dual language for Pre-K to 12th grade located in Ponce, Puerto Rico. We provide a rigorous academic program that prepares students for public and private universities and colleges around the world as shown by the hundreds of acceptances from our students with scholarships to universities around the nation. All the courses are taught in the English language except for an extensive rigorous academic focus on Spanish as a dual main language, foreign language courses, such as French, and the culturally based Puerto Rican history class taught in the island's native language in Middle School. Washburn School earned accreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), accreditation divisions of AdvancED (currently named Cognia).
The school fosters our Puerto Rican heritage and conserves a bridge between numerous cultures. We are committed to full English language instruction while keeping a relentless focus on teaching Spanish. At Washburn, we embrace multilingualism in its active and passive form, as it becomes a social necessity while we move towards globalization and cultural openness. By the early elementary grades, students who have studied at Washburn School from Pre-Kinder onward can read, write, and speak both Spanish and English with high levels of proficiency. Brain research has shown that bilingual students easily acquire a third language, therefore Washburn incorporates French in elementary school and middle school as a foreign language.
Besides its accreditations and registration with Puerto Rico’s state department (2019) and the “Consejo General de Puerto Rico", Washburn holds membership in the Puerto Rico Private Education Association, National Association of Secondary School Principals, College Board, National Honor Society on all levels, National Association of Student Councils, Catholic School Athletic League (LAEC), National Association of Science Teachers, National Association of Math Teachers, and Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESOL).
"Unlike traditional 'bilingual' schools in Puerto Rico that classify themselves as bilingual by just exposing their students to English or a foreign language for 50 minutes once a day in a couple of subjects, Washburn School immerses its students daily in a stimulating bilingual and multicultural rigorous academic environment." - Ronnie Lopezcepero, Former Graduate Research Assistant 17' at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Current Board Member at Washburn School
Because Washburn students study, listen and read Spanish as often as English, they hone proficiency in their native language, in much the same way that they learned English. This is a rare phenomenon in children who are also known in research as dual native language speakers. Washburn students are not only bilingual, but they are biliterate, well before reaching middle school!
At Washburn, we are an integrated school by design and we value our tight-knit community. Teachers and students at Washburn School have the opportunity to enjoy working closely together and have easy access to one another at every single level from Pre-K to 12th Grade. We are a student body of approximately 230, with over 39 professionals as part of our staff. This distinguishes us as having one of the best student: faculty ratios in Puerto Rico. Programs such as adopt a child and unique collaborations between Washburn Middle and High School with Kindergarten and other cross-grade level activities provide rich opportunities to build community throughout the student body. At Washburn, we not only nurture and care for each other, but the entire community values how we, the adults, treat children, and how we insist children treat one another. Everyone knows each other personally and this is a unique strength that you can only find in our community.
Why Choose Washburn School?
Choosing Washburn School for your child can be one of the most powerful and life-changing decisions you make as a parent. In today's world, it is imperative that our children are engaged in quality academics and are given opportunities to participate in appropriate life-preparing activities that will lead them down the road to success. We believe that we can create fully multilingual students with a full English immersion curriculum in connection with strong Spanish and Foreign Language departments. Puerto Rico needed an alternative for many parents seeking the highest quality English education and a higher standard of academic environment and school safety.