originally built in
last replaced in
We are committed to working collaboratively to:

  • Personalize learning
  • Share responsibility for high expectations
  • Clearly communicate learning targets
  • Provide a safe school
The hazel brush- and fir-covered property that would eventually become Washington Elementary was purchased for $4,000 in 1911. In 1912, the school opened in a one-room portable building.

It wasn’t until 1921 that the first permanent unit was completed. This unit featured four classrooms and two unfinished rooms that served as a playroom and an auditorium.

A 1926 addition included space for seven more classrooms, a large auditorium, furnace room, office, teachers’ room and basement playroom.

Rapidly increasing enrollment required the district to construct classrooms in the school’s basement and use all available areas—including shower rooms and hallways—to supply classroom space during the World War II years. Classes were held in double shifts, and some of the students were sent to other schools to ease overcrowding.

The building remained in operation until 1965, when the school was declared structurally inadequate to withstand extreme winds or earthquakes. As the cost to bring the building up to safety standards exceeded the cost of a new school, Washington was rebuilt and reopened in fall 1966. The new school received recognition for its innovative design. This school stood for more than 35 years, until it was rebuilt again, in 2003.

Other historic moments:

1995—Washington’s fourth-graders are announced as the first “I Have a Dream” class in Southwest Washington. Local individuals and families each pledge $100,000 over a 10-year-period to provide mentoring and support and guarantee college educations for students who work hard.

2000—A voter-approved bond will help replace six remaining schools, including Washington.

2003—New building is dedicated.

2003—First class of Dreamers graduates. Fifty-six plan to attend college.

2007—Washington is one of two schools in the state to receive the National Title I Distinguished School Award.

2008—One of the goals of the district’s then-new strategic plan is to expand Family-Community Resource Centers to support students and their families. Washington’s FCRC is the second in the district.

2008—The Walking School Bus begins.

2009—Nine Vancouver schools, including Washington, receive Energy Star Awards for energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

2012—Washington celebrates its 100th birthday!