High Road Upper School of Washington, DC

High Road Upper School of Washington, DC

homepage photo711-B Edgewood Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202-635-7171
Fax: 202-635-7172

Russell Waller

Russell Waller photo

The High Road Upper School (HRUS) of Washington, DC, opened its doors in February 2004. At HRUS, we recognize and identify the behavioral challenges faced by our students. Our school strives to assist them with strategies to make academic as well as social gains.

HRUS offers special education programming for students earning their DCPS diploma or IEP certificate. Some students may be preparing to take the GED examination. Students are generally grouped in classes according to their ages, levels of achievement, and required course work. Students completing all diploma course requirements earn 6 Carnegie Units each school year.

Within the same classroom, the variety of instructional materials is apparent immediately. In any given classroom, you may readily notice that our special education teachers use about 5–8 different reading and writing programs and 3–4 different math programs. The use of different workbooks, textbooks, and computer programs reflects the uniqueness of each student’s academic needs, learning style, and personal interests.

Our tutorial-based model ensures that each student’s instruction supports their individual learning style. We start by helping the student master achievable skills. Once a student experiences that success, a certain excitement about learning is felt. Gradually, we introduce more challenging, but never overwhelming, topics.


Small Class Size
Each classroom, limited to a maximum of 12 students, is staffed with a special education teacher and a teaching assistant. This small student-to-staff ratio enables us to teach in a manner most appropriate for each student and allows the student to progress at her or his own pace.

Establishing Core Academic Skills
Throughout the morning, the special education teacher and teaching assistant work with students, individually or in pairs, in direct instruction of the core skills of reading, writing, and mathematics, toward the IEP and DCPS curricular goals. An essential tool to help each student continue the process of lifelong learning is reading. Our teachers employ a variety of reading, spelling, and writing methodologies to help the student establish this most basic foundation.

In mathematics, students learn computation skills followed by problem-solving applications. We guide the student along this skills/application sequence by gradually introducing him or her to more demanding material. At every age, we emphasize math applications essential for adult life, such as time and money management.

Afternoon instruction includes content area classes in science, social studies, physical education and health, and art, as dictated by DCPS course scope and sequence and by the student’s IEP outcomes. A student may earn Carnegie Credits and work toward completion of (1) a high school diploma, (2) a high school certificate at age 21, or (3) a high school certificate prior to age 21.

Student Population
HRUS is designed to help male and female adolescents, ages 13–21, who have educational difficulties with an emotional or behavioral component. Many students have a classification of ED (emotional disability). Students with other classifications (e.g., ADHD, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities) present with a variety of behaviors and social-emotional deficits.

Student Goals

  • Emphasize academics to prepare young adults for postsecondary life
  • Provide continuous positive feedback on building skills and abilities
  • Develop identified personal career and vocational plan
  • Integrated therapeutic insight and limit-setting to promote healthy living
  • Tangible results based on data-driven instructional decisions

School Calendar and Hours of Operation
The High Road Upper School generally follows the DCPS academic year calendar.

Click here for School Flyer.