Our mission is to promote excellence in education by fostering closer communication among parents, students and independent schools.
Who We Are
The Parents Council of Washington (PCW) is a non-profit organization established in 1964 to foster communication within the greater Washington, D.C. independent school community. Our goal is to promote excellence in education by building a network among independent schools and their parent communities.
Our membership includes almost sixty independent, dues paying Member Schools, which encompass over 27,000 students. Our unique relationship with our member schools and our outstanding programs place us at the forefront of issues facing the local independent school community.
The Parents Council of Washington offers inspired and inventive Programs and Events that aim to inform and foster dialogue in the fields of education, child development and parenting. These programs are available to member school communities.
Lectures on Timely Issues
The PCW Speaker Series features well-known authors, educators, and other professionals presenting on today’s issues, theories, and practices impacting our independent school community. One presentation is held in the fall, and one in the spring. View our Program Archive
Best Practices on Current Topics
The Best Practices Forum facilitates collaboration among member schools on best practices in a topic of current interest identified by the PCW. Selected lower, middle and upper school teachers and administrators are invited to share their school perspectives, practices and findings in the program, which is open to all member school communities, including administrators and faculty. The information obtained in this forum is shared with the member school community and is included on the PCW website.
Prior Best Practices topics have included: “Re-thinking Success: How Schools Define, Recognize and Encourage Students’ Diverse Strengths; Community Service: Its Purpose, Impact and Programs Within Our Schools and “Best Practices on the Use of 21st Century Technology in our Schools.” Additional topics have included “Encouraging Kindness in our Schools,” “Diversity” and “Parent Networking.” For further information, view our Best Practices page.
Identifying and Sharing Student Issues
The PCW hosts two student leader breakfasts, which provide forums for confidential peer-to-peer conversation among member school-selected student leaders. These two events, one for upper school students and another for middle school students, generate great enthusiasm, participation, and follow-up written summaries that are shared directly with member schools. These summaries contain no specific school or student identification information. Subsequently, the PCW sponsors a Deans’ Lunch for upper school deans of member schools to discuss issues of common interest, including those raised at the Upper School Student Leader Breakfast.
School Information, Networking and Parent Resources
Our website and Facebook page offer additional content highlighting useful information for parents and schools. Our resources page contains links to webinars, online resources, and recommended books and speakers on specific topics of interest for the independent school community. View our “Resources by Topic” page. Our programs also offer networking opportunities for parents, including PA President and PCW Rep events, and “Parent Speak” which exists as a forum for sharing ideas, expressing concerns and obtaining advice on parenting at every age and stage of development.