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About John Lewis Elementary School

Previously known as West Education Campus, John Lewis Elementary School (JLES) is the world's first net-zero-energy, LEED Platinum, and WELL-certified public school. Originally named after Joseph Rodman West, a U.S. senator and Union general, Mayor Muriel Bowser passed legislation to rename the school to John Lewis Elementary School. Joseph Rodman West "gave the order to torture and murder Apache chief Mangas Coloradas, who had come to meet with him to discuss terms of peace,” Mayor Bowser wrote in a letter to D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson.

Our school now proudly represents John Lewis, who is "a lifelong champion for justice, is a far superior role model for students in the nation’s capital. Despite numerous attacks, injuries, and arrests, Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the civil rights movement and nonviolence.” 

Our school has the capacity to serve over 350 students in grades PK-5, and is designed to achieve sustainability, wellness and educational goals. JLES is a compassionate community of critical thinkers and global citizens, with more than 100 years of excellence in education. We are proud to be the JLES Tigers...ROAR!

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Features of the new John Lewis Elementary School include:

  • Among the first Net Zero Energy-Ready and WELL Certified Schools in the District.

  • Integrates elements of the WELL Building program that focuses on the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of a building’s occupants.

  • Interactive Early Childhood play area focused on natural play that fosters social and physical development and skills.

  • Gracious monumental stairs prominently placed in the heart of the school and wide, naturally lit corridors designed to promote activity and movement.

  • School as a Teaching Tool — placing elements of the sustainable design in locations where students and visitors can see, and with which teachers can utilize to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.

  • Flexible classrooms designed to allow the easy collaboration of an open plan school but can also reconfigure to provide acoustic separation when heads down time is required

Local & National News Articles on John Lewis Elementary School:
Video: Reopening of John Lewis Elementary School with Mayor Bowser
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