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Frequently Asked Questions

(please email with any additional questions or corrections)

note: some of the answers may change depending on SY2021 safety/operating guidance

  • Ahhh I feel so overwhelmed, will my student be OK?"
    Starting school is a big step for every family and luckily all of our students make it through the other side. We created this site to support you as you transition to SWWFS. The school's HSA has a board member whose one of their jobs is to help get you through this difficult period. Please reach out to if you have any questions or need anything that isn't currently available. You can do this!
  • Why is the school called SWWFS and what is the relationship with the High School?
  • Do students need to wear masks?
    Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and most students aren't vaccinated yet. There will be further guidance for in person learning before the beginning of the school year. Further information can be found at
  • What's going on with SWWFS' modernization?
    Planning/design is starting SY2021-2022 and construction is SY2022-2024. All the latest details can be found at the following site:
  • How does drop off and pick up work?
    The details of these are still being worked out for 2021-2022 and will align with DC Health's guidance for DCPS. In pre-pandemic years, caregivers of PK3 & PK4 students may escort their student to their classroom. Elementary school students are dropped off in the cafeteria and their teacher will walk them to their classroom. Middle school students start in the auditorium and are picked up by their teacher.
  • What aftercare options are there?
  • Where can I find the shool calendar?
    We follow the DCPS calendar and the details can be found here:
  • Are students required to wear uniforms?
    The policy for 2021-2022 is under review but updates will be available on the school's website. In past years, ECE and elementary students wear black tops and khaki bottoms. Middle school students wear white tops and khaki bottoms. Families have found that the Children's Place, Old Navy, and Lands End have great uniform selections.
  • What school supplies are required for the start of the school year?
    To avoid the last-minute school supply list scramble, this year SWWFS and HSA partnered with 1st Day School Supplies Inc. to offer a one-stop-shop, online school supply list ordering system. This online ordering system also includes delivery of supplies to our school or your homes and contains everything requested from our teachers for SY 2021-2022 preparation. How does this work? Families purchase their supply kits online in June and July 2021 at Prices for the items are competitive with (or even better than) local and online retailers. We are also able to include an option for families to sponsor supply kits for students in need - a great way for our community to help others! Kit Delivery? Kits are delivered to SWWFS or to your homes at the beginning of August 2021. Kits arrive in individually labeled boxes and contain name stickers for students to tag their supplies. If desired, you can choose to obtain communal supplies (like for ECE) and bulk supplies delivered to your classroom.
  • How do I sign up for school meals? (include available financial supports/go-to person)
  • What is Foodprints/the big garden outside the school?
    FoodPrints programming supports school communities with academic recovery, community building and healing during spring and summer 2021 and into the 2021-22 school year. Using our Grow-Cook-Eat-Learn model, FoodPrints engages students in hands-on lessons that are directly tied to our standards-based FoodPrints Curriculum which supports Science, ELA, and SEL instruction. Foodprints is led by Ms. Vincent of Fresh Farms and more information can be found at their website.
  • Is it OK if I park in the No Parking During School Days Zone during drop off and pick up?
    While technically not allowed, MPD provides some flexibility during the beginning and end of the school day.
  • What do BOY, MOY, and EOY mean?"
    BOY = Beginning of Year MOY = Middle of Year EOY = End of Year
  • Is there a nurse available during all school hours and what happens if my student becomes ill or hurt during school?
  • What if my child needs medication kept at school?
  • When do summer camps start filling up?
    Many summer camps start filling up as early as January or February. If you're able to, try to schedule your summer earlier than later. DPR provides more affordable camp options than the private ones and registration is typically in mid-march.
  • Do I need to re-enroll every year?
    Yes and you can do this at
  • What does ECE mean?
    ECE stands for Early Childhood Education and it includes the grades of Preschool 3 (PK3) and Preschool 4 (PK4).
  • When do we find out classroom teacher assignments? [incl home visits this year or not?]
    Teacher assignments are typically assigned a week or two before the start of the school year.
  • What is a typical day's schedule like for PreK students?
  • Does PreK have recess every day? What happens during recess if it is raining?
  • What happens during nap time?
    explain about the cots that are provided and what kids can bring (blanket) and not bring (stuffed animals etc). What happens if my student doesn't nap anymore? Students are encouraged to rest and not disrupt other classmates sleep. Talk to your student's teacher about appropriate alternatives during this time.
  • Where do PreK students eat their lunch? How does that work if they need meals from the cafeteria?
  • What are centers?
  • What specials do PreK students go to?
  • Does my child need to be potty trained?
  • Will my PK student interact with older students?
    SWWFS is a PK3 - 8th grade school and we try to build school-wide community. While the PK classrooms are set away from the older grades and lunch and playground and dismissal times are staggered appropriately in groupings by age, there are also programs that make ECE students feel connected to the older grades. SWWFS has a buddy classroom system, where elementary kids come in and read to ECE classes. There is also a costume parade in October that involves the upper grades cheering, and the upper graders being ushers at the elementary school assemblies.
  • What is classroom looping for ECE?
    Teachers "loop" with their students, where the teacher and students stay a cohort for both years of PreK.
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • What Specials do Elementary students particate in?
  • What is classroom looping for K - 3rd grades?
    Teachers "loop" with their students, where the teacher and students stay a cohort for two years. The looping grades are K & 1st as well as 2nd & 3rd.
  • How are students' schedules determined?
  • Where can I keep track of my student's grades?
  • Where do SWWFS students go for high school?
    Feeder High School Cardozo HS is the by right school associated with SWWFS. Selective High Schools These schools may require the following components: Report Cards. With the exception of Bard DC 9th and 10th grades, all DCPS selective high schools and programs require recent grades be uploaded to a student's My School DC application. Some schools ask that attendance information be included as well. PARCC Scores. No PARCC scores will be required for school year 2021-22 Essay. Some schools require that essays be completed through the application and others require the essay to be completed in person. School Without Walls does not require an essay at all. Recommendations. With the exception of School Without Walls, all selective high schools require two or three recommendations, which are submitted through the My School DC application. Click here to download a copy of the requirements for selective high schools and programs (PDF) Lottery into a High School Apply through the DCPS lottery
  • How can I get involved with supporting the school by volunteering or fundraising?
    The HSA (Home School Association) is the primary organization that support the broader SWWFS community. More information can be found on the HSA page.
  • What is the HSA (Home School Association)?
    The HSA is the equivalent organization as a PTA/PTO at other schools but acknowledges that not all members of the community may be parents. Its purpose is to further the SWWFS community by advocating for students and teachers as well as supplementing the school's budget to provide additional programming.
  • What is the TigerPride email group?
    Purpose: The purpose of our TigerPride group is to provide an online community for parents, families, caregivers, and community members associated with School Without Walls at Francis Stevens. Goal: Our goal is to provide another communication channel to share information that isn’t officially associated with the school’s administration or Home and School Association. It’s an opportunity to update the community on events and programs that might be of interest to them. It is easy to join the TigerPride group! Just send an email to and you will be added.
  • What is the LSAT (Local School Advisory Team)?
    The LSAT is group of elected and appointed members that advises the SWWFS administration about budget and organizational decisions. The team consists of parents, teachers, non-instructionalschool staff, and a community member.
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