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Cardozo Education Campus

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School type  Public high school
Principal  Tanya S. Roane
Phone  +1 202-673-7385
Colors  White, Purple
Established  1928 (1928)
Grades  6 to 12
Mascot  Clerks
Cardozo Education Campus
School district  District of Columbia Public Schools Ward 1
Faculty  63.0 (as of the 2011-12 school year) (on FTE basis)
Address  1200 Clifton St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
District  District of Columbia Public Schools
Similar  Columbia Heights Educatio, Benjamin Banneker High Sch, McKinley Technolo High Sch, Gonzaga College High Sch, Coolidge High School

Cardozo education campus graduation

Cardozo Education Campus, formerly Cardozo Senior High School and Central High School, is a combined middle and high school at 13th and Clifton Street in northwest Washington, D.C., United States, in the Columbia Heights neighborhood.


Cardozo is operated by District of Columbia Public Schools. The school is named after clergyman, politician and educator Francis Lewis Cardozo.


Known locally as "the castle on the hill", Cardozo's iconic building was designed by architect William B. Ittner. Prior to 1949, it was known as Central High School, but was renamed when the school district assigned it for "colored" students in the segregated system. The school started as the Advanced Grammar School for Boys in 1877 and was then combined with a similar school for girls to form Washington High School, the first high school in the city. In 1890, the High School was split into three, with one high school opened in the current Peabody Elementary School building on Capitol Hill and another in Georgetown in the Curtis Building. As a result, the Washington High School became known as Central High School. In 1916, the school moved from Seventh and O to Thirteenth and Clifton. The U Street Metro station is partially named after this school, with "Cardozo" in the station's subtitle. Likewise, an alternative, Urban Renewal-era name for the Columbia Heights neighborhood is Upper Cardozo, and some of the public buildings in the area still bear this name.

Until the 1954 opening of the all-black Luther Jackson High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, Cardozo and several other DCPS schools, along with a school in Manassas, Virginia, enrolled black secondary school students from the Fairfax County Public Schools as that district did not yet operate secondary schools for blacks.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Cardozo High School's marching band was one of the best in Washington, DC, and won several band competitions. Due to their enormous popularity, the band was invited to participate in the Rose Parade in 1981.


In December 2011, work began to completely renovate Cardozo from the inside-out. Everything from exterior facade's crumbling masonry and shoddy window panes to the interior's dark, dingy hallways and outdated classroom spaces were replaced or restored to their original glory. Technology was added to classrooms, wood floors throughout the building were refinished, and the two courtyard spaces in the center of the school were turned into enclosed atrium spaces with the addition of glass skylights. The athletic facilities were improved and expanded as well, with a regulation-size gymnasium added onto the west side of the building. The swimming pool was also restored. In all, the renovation cost approximately $130 million and the school reopened for a new school year in August 2013. In addition to the physical changes to the building itself, the student body was increased with the addition of middle school students from the now-closed Shaw Middle School and the campus was renamed as Cardozo Education Campus.

In popular culture

The video for the Don't Copy That Floppy anti-software piracy campaign was shot at Cardozo.

The school appears in Wale's "Chillin" music video.

The school's marching band appears in the parade at the end of the movie, D.C. Cab.

Notable alumni

  • William G. Draper
  • Pat Foote
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Charles D. Griffin
  • J. Edgar Hoover
  • Yvonne Levy Kushner
  • David Howard Kushner
  • James E. Mayo
  • John S. McCain, Jr.
  • Lansdale Sasscer
  • Arthur Cutts Willard
  • Maury Wills
  • Feeder patterns

    The following elementary schools feed into Cardozo:

  • Marie Reed Elementary School
  • Cleveland Elementary School
  • Garrison Elementary School
  • Raymond Education Campus
  • School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens
  • Seaton Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School
  • The following middle schools feed into Cardozo:

  • Raymond Education Campus
  • School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens
  • References

    Cardozo Education Campus Wikipedia

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