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In Depth

Before Registration Facts and Footnotes

What is Washington Open?

Washington Open is a parent-participation elementary school for Kindergarten through Fifth grade students. As a public school of the Santa Clara Unified School District, Washington Open enjoys the best of both traditional and alternative programs. Washington Open is a California Distinguished School.

At Washington Open families participate together in the educational process and, at the same time, are able to enjoy the 'whole child' open learning approach where academic, social, physical and emotional growth are equally important, interrelated and acknowledged.

Our Community strives for student, parent and staff relationships where mutual respect, trust and acceptance are key in working together towards the common goal that 'every child shall succeed.'

Our curriculum and environment encourage children to develop positive self-concepts, work cooperatively with others and to learn from choices and firsthand experiences. Our classrooms provide a flexible, enriching atmosphere that excites children, stimulates their natural curiosity for learning, and is neither too permissive nor restrictive. We all have lots of fun times together!

Parent Participation

Parents are a valued and necessary resource in the school. Each family volunteers at least four hours per week to the program. Class field trips may require additional time. In the event a parent cannot attend on a scheduled workday, that parent arranges for a substitute to take his/her place. Parent participation includes attendance at scheduled class meetings and at parent training sessions. To support our school as a community families are asked to also volunteer for a classroom or community job.

Do I Have to Live Near the School?

Washington Open is one of Santa Clara Unified's two district alternative elementary schools (school of choice) and not a neighborhood school. As such, students attending Washington Open may live anywhere within the school district boundaries. Attendance at Washington Open is, however, restricted to district residents only. Please be aware that school district boundaries and city boundaries do not coincide and portions of Santa Clara are not within the district boundaries while parts of San Jose and Sunnyvale are. If you are not sure if you reside within the district our office staff is happy to check your address for you.

What is the Enrollment Process?

The Enrollment Process begins at the Santa Clara Unified School District website at the SCUSD Open Enrollment page. Next you will attend a Classroom Observation tour at Washington Open. Observation in the Classroom is essential for making the correct educational decision for your child as we want you to see firsthand and understand the kind of commitment needed by every family.  To observe, please call the school office to see when tours are available. Tours begin at 9AM in the school office and last 90 minutes. Tours are for adults only. Parking is available in the large lot between Washington Open and Buchser Middle School . Whether you need a place for your Kindergartner or your Fifth-grader, you will visit a lower and an upper grade classroom.

If more students apply than the capacity of the grade, there will be a random, unbiased selection process that is fair to all students (a lottery). Children not placed initially through lottery will be placed on a waiting list for spots in the program. Until a few years ago, the state reimbursed the school district based on the number of students who were educated here, no matter where they came from. The higher prices of houses and the expanding businesses in Santa Clara have increased the amount of money we receive in property taxes. Funds available to our school from property taxes now exceed what we would have been entitled to based on the number of students. Property taxes go to provide funding to educate children of families who live within the school district boundaries. Unlike past years, we no longer receive money to educate students who live outside of the district. To provide the best possible education for residents of the district, the Board of Trustees approved a policy restricting the transfer of students into the district from outside of our boundaries. This policy is sensitive to the families who have been part of our district for many years, yet balances the need to preserve funds for educating district residents. As a result, we are unable to accept applications from families residing outside the school district.

For more information about:

  • Registration, parent information meetings, openings in the upper grades or general question about Washington Open - contact the Membership Chairperson.
  • Observing, sign-ups, Open Enrollment forms - call the school secretary (408-423-3900).
  • Fears, hand holding, worries, etc. - contact the Parent Board President.

Are you looking for...

A school that:

  • Teaches to the whole child
  • Produces excellent academic results
  • Lets children grow at their own speed
  • And develop their love of learning?

Would you like a place where families care about each other?

How about a school with as many as 6 adults working in every classroom?

Would you like to help in your child's school?

Are You Looking For...

  • Just the right school?
  • one where children use their hands, eyes, ears and voices as well as their brains to learn?
  • Where they have field trips, music, art and much more?

This school exists.

It is Washington Open.

Washington Open is a parent-participation program for kindergarten through fifth grades located at 270 Washington Street. It is part of the Santa Clara Unified School District.

It is the policy of the District to not discriminate unlawfully in it's educational programs and personnel practices on the basis of race, ethnic background, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability or medical condition. This policy applies to students, employees, and prospective employees of the District. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the district's programs.

Inquiries regarding:

  • Title IX affirmative action or sex discrimination should be directed to:

Dr. Stanley Rose III
(408) 423-2005

  •  Section 504 or Special Education should be directed to:

Pat Smith
(408) 423-2072