Skip to main content

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 has been recognized multiple times as 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 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 is strongly encouraged, but not required, to volunteer at least four hours per week in the program. In the event a parent cannot attend on a scheduled volunteer workday, that parent should contact their classroom teacher and classroom coordinator, if possible. If feasible, we also ask that the parent arranges for a substitute volunteer to take their place. Parent participation includes attendance at scheduled class meetings and at parent training sessions. To support our school as a community, families are encouraged to also volunteer for a classroom or school 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 Cupertino, 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 on 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 9 AM 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 kindergartener 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 lottery process that is fair to all students. Children not placed initially through the lottery will be placed on a waiting list for spots in the program. 

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 school for kindergarten through fifth grades located at 270 Washington Street. It is part of the Santa Clara Unified School District.