A tuition-free, academically demanding, private middle school (grades 4-8), WJA is all about improving the odds for low-income, underserved boys. Of nearly 300 alumni, 99% are enrolled in or have graduated from high school. And while only 17% of low-income minority students in DC go on to enroll in college, over 70% of WJA alumni do. How does it happen? WJA is a one-stop shop that integrates character education, health and nutrition, counseling services, and mentoring into an 11-hour school day, along with a five-week Summer Enrichment Program. Students play after-school sports, attend evening study hall, eat three nutritious meals with their classmates, and meet with a teacher-mentor each day to discuss challenges and triumphs. In the short term, WJA prepares every student for DC’s college preparatory schools; in the long-term, it supports them through the high school and undergraduate years ... on the road to college graduation.
WJA has distributed Chromebooks and facilitated internet access, addressed food insecurity, and provided school supplies for at-home learning. New 4th and 5th graders may come to campus twice weekly and a small group of 6th – 8th graders learn virtually on campus where they also get extra support from staff. For most, a successful remote curriculum continues, with additional assistance for students in need. WJA maintains its connection with graduates, offering support and guidance as they too navigate significant changes to their daily lives.