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K-12 Washington County Public Schools (WCPS)

With more than 22,000 students, 46 schools, and over 2,500 employees, Washington County Public Schools continues to deliver world-class education.  Most notably, “2010 America’s Best High Schools,” a report issued by U.S. News & World Report analyzing over 21,000 high schools across the country, included four of Washington County’s public high schools as among the best.  Analysis was based on state test performance, success in providing college-level coursework, and how well each school’s disadvantaged students performed.  Partnerships with higher education institutions and local businesses have enabled a framework for great achievements, highlighted below. 

  • Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, head of WCPS since 2001, was named National Superintendent of the Year for 2010 by the American Association of School Administrators
  • Maryland’s educational system has been ranked the number one state school system in the nation
  • WCPS ranks among the top five public school systems in Maryland
  • WCPS has the fifth highest attendance rating in the State of Maryland
  • Washington County students continue to meet state and federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards
  • Two county high schools recognized by Newsweek and The Washington Post as being in the top 5% of US schools for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureatetest-takers
  • WCPS has the largest number of elementary school students in Maryland taking world languages
  • Having revitalized and emphasized the arts as an integral part of the secondary school experience, WCPS opened the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in August 2009. There are currently over 200 students in grades 9 through 12.
  • The high school graduation rate has increasedfrom 78.3% in 2000, to 92.5% in 2010, and is well above the state average.  Of these graduates, over 68% pursue higher education opportunities.

Students in Washington County have unique opportunities for career and academic exploration at the high school level with programs focusing on academic rigor and workforce development. WCPS is constantly striving to provide advanced and enriched programs for students, by creating magnet schools including STEM programs. Participation in rigorous coursework continues to increase with higher numbers of high school students taking the advanced placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests in 2010.

Students participate in career-related internships with numerous WCPS business partners.  Opportunities to earn postsecondary credits are available in the ESSENCE (Early Support for Students to Enter College Education) dual enrollment program at Hagerstown Community College (HCC). Approximately 700 ESSENCE student are enrolled in HCC.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is held at North Hagerstown High School.  The IB Program is a world-class, rigorous, college preparatory educational program originally developed for the children of members of the diplomatic corps who may be stationed in embassies in any part of the world. In 2010, North Hagerstown High School's IB program was ranked 44th in the nation.

Approximately 4,800 are currently enrolled in Career Technology Education (CTE) courses and well over 300 students participate in career academies, which include:

Manufacturing and Engineering
Exposes students to the fundamentals of computerized manufacturing technology including robotics and flexible manufacturing systems.

Introduces students to the broad career opportunities in the financial services industry and provides classroom instruction integrated with workplace experience.

Medical Careers
Provides an edge to those students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. The program provides an opportunity for internships in a local health care setting.

Environment and Agriculture
Combines technical, academic, and work place skills into an integrated curriculum to prepare students for the environmental science and natural resource fields.

Civil Engineering and Architecture
Exposes students to state-of-the-art software that aids them in solving real-world engineering projects. The academy prepares students for engineering programs in higher education institutions.

Teaching Professions
Prepares students for careers in education, either as teachers or paraprofessionals.

Fire and Rescue
Provides training to students in the field of firefighting and emergency medical technology. Upon completion of the one-year training, students will be qualified to apply for National Certification at the Firefighter II Level and eligible to obtain a National Certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.

WCPS students can take classes at the Barr Construction Institute in Hagerstown, a partnership between WCPS and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) that provides practical training, education, and job experience for students interested in trades like plumbing and HVAC.

Primary & Secondary Public Schools

Enrollment: 22,206 (2011)*
Number of Schools:
Middle/Senior High1
Senior High8
Outdoor Education1
Technical High School1
Special Education1
Evening High School1
Pupil/Teacher Ratio23:1
Educational Attainment (age 25 & over):***
85.2%High school graduate or higher
+ NOTE: The teacher/pupil ratio is an estimated average for 2011-12. Actual class size varies according to grade, subject and enrollment.
*Washington County Board of Education. **MD Department of Education. ***U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey.

SAT Scores - 2011

Washington County495
Washington County504
Washington County489
Washington County Board of Education; MD Department of Education

100 W Washington St., Suite 1401
Hagerstown, MD 21740
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