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 that focuses 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 worldwide, as shown by the hundreds of acceptances from our students with scholarships to universities around the nation.
All the courses are taught in English except for an extensive, rigorous academic focus on Spanish as a dual primary language, foreign language electives, certain athletic programs, and the culturally based Puerto Rican history class taught in Spanish 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).
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. The school fosters our Puerto Rican heritage and conserves a bridge between numerous international cultures through our international student body and globally-focused educational activities. We are committed to complete English language instruction while keeping a relentless focus on teaching Spanish as a dual language. By the early and middle elementary grades, students who have studied at Washburn School from Pre-Kinder onward can read, write, and speak Spanish and English with high proficiency levels.
Washburn students participate in dozens of co-curricular activities. Our athletes compete as individuals and as teams at mini (grades 4-5), youth (intermediate), junior, and senior levels through the Catholic and Private School Athletic League ("Liga Atlética de Escuelas Católicas") and other local leagues and tournaments in southern Puerto Rico. Our students play volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, futsal, and participate in the league cross country, track and field, and olympic style competitions. Our students also compete in the Science fair, robotics, English Week, Math Week, Spanish Week, Poetry Out Loud, and many more region-wide academic competitions. Campus life includes dozens of opportunities to participate in many clubs and organizations related to entrepreneurship, neuroscience, reading, modern dance, music appreciation, media, podcasting, gaming, poetry, and even classical movie lovers. Most of our student-organization serve our broader community through both service and donations of thousands of dollars annually to various causes and fights against diseases.
What truly sets Washburn School apart is its tight-knit family feel. Our educators and staff sincerely care for our students, as evidenced by their relationships with each child in a small group setting. Our students are friendly and rally to support each other with one of the best student to teacher ratios in the region. Our lower school has a 15 to 1 in lower school and 13 to 1 in Middle and High School as of 2021-2022.
We are now raising funds to expand our campus space by acquiring nearby land for future expansion. Washburn School classrooms all have the capacity to work with visual and auditory learners in a comfortable, cool setting with inverter air conditioners and HEPA filters in all of our classrooms since our establishment in the year 2003. Our Learning Center offers a digital age classroom for elective classes such as Art, Neuroscience, and French alongside group activities (we have decided to postpone these three electives until 2022-2023 due to Covid-19 governmental orders that restricted in-person learning for 18 months to focus on the graduation requirement courses). We overhauled our electronic infrastructure to support high-speed wireless internet that matches the best colleges and universities. We acquired 25 new PCs with capabilities to teach coding and game design and 30 new laptops, 4K cameras, and microphones for teachers. We have been overhauling the classroom design with smart link desks and big-screen LED screens in each classroom since 2017.
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 multi-cultural rigorous academic environment.
Because Washburn students study, listen and read Spanish as often as English, they hone proficiency in their native language in much the same way they learned English. Washburn students become biliterate, dual language speakers!
We are a student body of approximately 261 (2021-2021), with over 36 professionals as part of our staff. We are an integrated school by design at Washburn, 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. 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 community as a whole 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 significant and life-changing decisions you make as a parent. Puerto Rico needed an alternative for many parents seeking the highest quality English education and a higher academic environment and school safety standard. In today's world, our children must be 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 a robust Spanish language development program.