New & Prospective Families

Why consider Shepherd?

Since 2011, Alexander R. Shepherd Elementary has implemented the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme. Shepherd underwent a rigorous, years-long process to receive designation as an IB World School. IB is a trans-disciplinary, inquiry-based approach to learning that focuses on critical thinking skills, socio-emotional development, and one’s place in a rapidly changing global world. In alignment with the IB curriculum, starting in PK 3, Shepherd students take up to three language classes per week in either French or Spanish. As of 2016, Shepherd is one of only four DC public elementary schools that are designated IB World Schools, along with one independent school (Washington International School) and two charter schools (Yu Ying and Friendship-Woodridge).

Shepherd just completed a $30 million renovation to modernize and expand its classrooms and other facilities.  As one example of the renovations, a sparkling and spacious new PK 3 class was added for the first time during the 2014-2015 academic year. For the 2016-2017 school year, the school added renovated “specials” and special education classrooms, a modern and airy atrium, and a spacious courtyard.

Shepherd is located in a peaceful residential neighborhood in Ward 4, in the northwest quadrant of DC.  Located in Shepherd Park and steps from Rock Creek Park, some of the benefits of this location are plentiful street parking for drop-offs and pick-ups, easy access via public transportation, attractive tree-canopied streets, and separate playground areas for older and younger students. The school is adjacent to a recently renovated public playground and soccer field maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation and popular with neighborhood kids.

Shepherd Elementary is a school of dedicated staff, engaged families and diverse learners who leave Shepherd well-prepared for further academic challenge and growth at Alice Deal Middle School, our feeder.

Alice Deal Middle School is considered one of the top-ranked public middle schools in Washington, D.C. Deal students have a right to attend Woodrow Wilson High School, one of the top-ranked high schools in the city.

Prospective families with further questions should contact Shepherd parent Jen Liberto at