Capital City is one of the best examples of a high-quality, racially and socio-economically diverse charter school that you’ll find.


Michael Petrilli
Thomas B. Fordham Institute


Capital City Public Charter School was founded in 2000 by a group of parents and educators with a bold vision – a model school in the nation’s capital dedicated to the best practices in education reform.

In the fall of 2012, Capital City moved to its new permanent home in Ward 4 of Washington D.C., consolidating its two campuses into the former Rabaut Junior High School. The school now serves 973 students in grades Pre-K – 12 from every ward in the District of Columbia. We graduated our first class of 12th grade students in June 2012.

Learn more about our new location in Ward 4 at the former Rabaut Junior High School.


Our Accomplishments

  • Since our first graduating class in 2012, 100% of graduating seniors have been accepted to college, and we have had four POSSE scholars and one Trachtenberg Scholar.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama visited Capital City in Dec. 2014 as part of the school’s College March, saying, “Every young person in this country should have a team of teachers, and counselors and school leaders pushing them and supporting them like you [students] all have here at Capital City.”
  • The DC Public Charter School Board designated our high school a Tier One High Performing School in 2013 and 2014
  • Capital City won a 2014 $100,000 Breakthrough Schools grant from the CityBridge Foundation to support our integration of technology into classroom instruction
  • The formerly named Upper School won the 2012 Fight For Children Quality Schools Initiative Award, designating our program as one of three “Champions of Quality” in Washington, D.C.
  • Capital City successfully completed a $24-million renovation of our new state-of-the-art facility in August 2012
  • First school on the East Coast to be selected as a National Champion School and awarded a $100,000 state-of-the-art Live Positively fitness center by The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils
  • Julian Hipkins III, Former 11th Grade History Teacher, was honored with the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award from The Washington Post in 2012.
  • Founding Upper School Principal Kathy Byrd received the Outstanding High School Principal Award at the D.C. Association of Chartered Public Schools’ STARS Tribute (2012).
  • The Lower School was named Tier 1 High-Performing Schools by the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board for the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Designated an Expeditionary Learning (now EL Education) Mentor School in 2011; recognizes Capital City as one of the top performing schools in EL Education’s national network of 165 schools.
  • Named the top charter school in Washington, D.C. and awarded $100,000 to expand effective educational practices through the Fight For Children Quality Schools Initiative (2009).
  • President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan chose Capital City as the first school to visit following President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. The President called Capital City, “an example of how all schools should be.”
  • New Leaders for New Schools designated Capital City as an Effective Practices Incentive Community Silver-Gain school (2008).
  • Accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (2007).
  • Awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant through the Coalition of Essential Schools to develop a high school program (2006).
  • Won the Mayor’s High Performing School Incentive Award (2006).
  • Earned D.C. Public Charter School Board Chair’s Award for outstanding academic achievement and school management (2005).
  • Named a demonstration site by U.S. Department of Education for comprehensive school reform and dissemination of best practices (2001).