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 970 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 here.


Our Accomplishments

  • 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.”
  • High School designated a Tier One High Performing School by the DC Public Charter School Board in 2013 and 2014
  • Won a $200,000 Breakthrough Schools grant from the CityBridge Foundation to support our integration of technology into classroom instruction (2014)
  • Won the 2012 Fight For Children Quality Schools Initiative Award for the Upper School, designating our program as one of three “Champions of Quality” in Washington, D.C.
  • 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 Mentor School for the 2011-2012 academic year; award recognizes Capital City as one of the top performing schools in Expeditionary Learning’s national network of 165 schools.
  • In June 2012, every student in our first graduating class was accepted into college and collectively offered nearly $2 million in scholarships, including one graduating senior who was a recipient of the POSSE scholarship
  • 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 and Mrs. Obama visited in 2009 with Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan. The President called Capital City, “an example of how all schools should be.”
  • Designated an Effective Practices Incentive Community Silver-Gain school by New Leaders for New Schools (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).