Stuart-Hobson Middle School is located in Ward 6. This ward is truly the heart of Washington, D.C.’s history. It is the only ward that is totally situated within the boundaries of the original city as set forth in the L’Enfant Plan. The southeastern tip of Ward 6 is also the confluence of the city’s two rivers, the Potomac and the Anacostia. The ward has a large collection of historic resources. Its communities range from industrial to military to residential houses – and houseboats. The ward also has public housing projects and a lot of struggling families.

The school is part of the Capitol Hill Cluster School, a unique D.C. public school spread across three Capitol Hill campuses spanning Prekindergarten through eighth grade. Stuart-Hobson Middle School serves sixth through eighth grade students, combining the warmth of a neighborhood school with a full range of academics and extracurricular activities. The school is a Title I school with a student population of about 508 that is predominantly black.

The demographics are 80% black, 12% white, 5% Hispanic/Latino and 3% other. 17% receive some kind of special education services. 36% come from low income families.

Stuart-Hobson offers Honors English and accelerated math classes and the chance to earn high school credits. All students create projects for History Day and the Science Fair. Wellness/fitness offerings include a variety of athletics, including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, track, volleyball and wrestling. Arts and cultural offerings include art, band (orchestral, funk and jazz), chorus and drama. There’s an after-school extended day program that provides tutoring as well as enrichment opportunities such as camera and cooking clubs.

This is a uniform school. Students are required to wear red polo shirts with the school logo and khaki pants.

Our coordinator here is Angeline. She is new, and is full of energy and enthusiasm.

Our visit started with a presentation by Angeline on Communities In Schools and its proven model of providing a community of support for the children. We were joined by Assistant Principal Taylor. After the presentation, Angeline called several Children Incorporated-enrolled students to her office. While we waited for them, she showed us her stock of hygiene items, backpacks and school supply kits. After we met with the students, it was time to take a tour of the school.

As we walked and talked, Dr. Taylor’s pride in his students was apparent. He explained that while many of Stuart-Hobson’s students come from Ward 6, there are a significant percentage from other wards. Parents may apply for their students to attend schools outside their neighborhood boundaries, so long as there is room. Stuart-Hobson is seen as a “destination middle school.” The school has been in existence since the 1920s although, as Dr. Taylor mentioned, until 1954 it was for whites only. Students have helped with archiving old records and artifacts for posterity, and the faculty has been able to help the children to appreciate their school’s history and the importance of Brown versus The Board of Education, which brought about school desegregation in the United States. The school also has an excellent sports program, and robust music and drama programs, where the students are involved in every aspect, from acting to stage management to lighting and sound. The school is also known for having better-than-average standardized test scores. Many of the students get into the more desirable high schools.

Dr. Taylor told us that many of the children come from difficult backgrounds and have to cope with adult level problems. They are waking their younger siblings and getting them ready for school, and they are coping with transportation issues, too. Many are often tardy and are regularly absent.

Angeline emphasized that school is seen as a stable haven. Everyone is supportive of the children. There are a lot of offerings to keep them occupied during regular school hours as well as during the after-school program, such as with clubs include art, cooking and photography.


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Education, Stories of Hope

written by Renee Kube

Renée oversees Children Incorporated’s work in the United States – from the rural southeast and southwest to our urban areas in New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. She works closely with our network of more than 100 volunteer coordinators at each affiliated site. For sixteen years, Renée managed our sites in the Appalachian Region before taking her current role in 2010.

» more of Renee's stories