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Teacher helping group of students working on laptops

Student Life

Since 2002, the Washington Jesuit Academy has fostered a culture of community and care. We can do this because we are just the right size. We remain nimble so we can meet our students where they are and address their specific sets of strengths, gaps, and obstacles. We go deep enough to have a real impact.

WJA is small enough so every teacher can be a real role model and change-maker in each student’s life. And we reinforce this goal with our signature extended-day and -year schedule and a long list of programs, activities, services and supports that help us meet their diverse and ever evolving needs.


The mission of WJA’s athletic program is to develop and strengthen the abilities of WJA student athletes, and to use athletics as a tool to encourage the pursuit of excellence in education, while nurturing the students’ capacity to achieve both academically and athletically.

As school districts all over the country slash athletic programs due to budget cuts, WJA remains committed to physical education and athletics as an important way of promoting the success of our students.

Track and Field

Extra Curricular Activities

Our students participate in a number of clubs and activities, that meet the interests and curiosities of each student. Whether it is Art, Robotics, “Weird” Sports or our Retreat Program, the young men of WJA are encouraged to embrace their interests and try new things.

Students playing chess

Student Clubs

Students are able to participate in various clubs throughout the year, including:

  • Art Club
  • Life Skills Club
  • Cooking Club
  • Ping Pong Club
  • Gardening Club
  • Geography Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Chess Club
  • “Weird” Sports Club
  • Mrs. Brennan’s School of Etiquette
  • And many more!
Students playing foosball


Washington Jesuit Academy promotes spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical growth, and the retreat program is an integral part of spiritual formation. Retreats are privileged experiences of stepping away from life’s regular activities in order to encounter God more intensely and to reflect, pray, and grow together.

All students participate in different overnight retreats each semester. Topics of discussion include the purpose of our lives and God’s mercy. Away from the regular school schedule and setting, students can grow even closer to God and to one another. And, WJA retreats are not just for students. Seventh grade families are also invited to participate in an interfaith family retreat.

Food and Nutrition

WJA invests in its students by serving a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, free of cost to families. Through its partnership with the DC Central Kitchen’s Fresh Start Catering, these meals are prepared on-site with fresh, natural and often local and organic ingredients. Students have access to an unlimited salad bar each day.

This emphasis on nutrition is a part of WJA’s commitment to its students’ health and wellness. WJA encourages daily physical activity at recess and through competitive, club and recreational sports and incorporates health education into all elements of its program.

Student Counseling

The Counseling Department at Washington Jesuit Academy supports the emotional and social development of our students through a range of counseling services offered by a full-time licensed graduate social worker and a part-time clinical social worker and through partnerships with community resources.

Services offered include:

  • Individual and small group counseling
  • Parenting workshops
  • School-wide programming on various topics
  • Referrals to outside resources and clinicians
  • Parent and teacher consultation about students’ social, emotional and academic needs

Families are encouraged to contact the Counseling Department with any questions and/or concerns. In particular, please contact us if your child:

  • Has recently lost a loved one
  • Has experienced a trauma (e.g., witnessed or was involved in violence, experienced a car accident)
  • Is having difficulty concentrating at school or at home
  • Has severe mood swings
  • Has strong worries or anxieties that get in the way of daily life
  • Shows changes in sleeping or eating habits (e.g., is eating/sleeping a lot more or less than usual)

For more information

Adrienne Biel, LICSW, School Counselor
(202) 832-7679 x215

Briana Barnes, LGSW, School Counselor
(202) 832-7679 x291

High School Placement

The High School Placement Program is designed to assist students, parents and guardians with choosing a “right fit” high school. To help families prepare for this important transition, our services begin for students in the 7th grade.

7th grade
  • Increase awareness of high school options, including area private and Catholic schools, boarding schools, and public magnet and charter schools
  • Help students and families determine realistic and appropriate high school choices
8th grade
  • Help students develop the skills needed to prepare for the high school admissions process
    • Essay writing
    • Test prep
    • Interview skills
    • How to make a good first impression
  • Work through application process with students and families
    • Arrange high school shadow visits
    • Complete applications
    • Complete financial aid paperwork
  • Provide high school transition assistance for students and families to address expectations and skills needed to have success in high school

Contact us

For more information on the High School Placement Program, please contact Shannon Keller at 202-832-7679.