Engaging with communities through service, partnership, education, and advocacy is the focus of the community engagement program at Georgetown Day School. Community engagement is integrated into student experiences across all three divisions—the Lower School, Middle School, and High School.

Advocacy and community engagement are embedded into classes, clubs, assemblies, and trips. When our students engage in multiple levels of communities, we find that they gain a greater sense of responsibility that is carried throughout their years at our school. We provide structured opportunities for students to engage with communities from the earliest grades. For example, when you visit to the Lower/Middle School, you might see pre-K/kindergarten students making sandwiches for Martha’s Table. As students get older, they are challenged to explore their own interests through sustained service activities, student-led clubs, discussions in the classroom, and advocacy initiatives of their own design.

Being located in Washington DC, we believe that it is incredibly important for our students to work towards social justice in our city. GDS is committed to social justice and honoring the integrity and worth of each individual and our students live out our mission through their community engagement actions.

Community Engagement Goals

Through a focus on community engagement, a GDS student will... 
  • Gain a deepened understanding of inequities and injustice in the world.
  • Develop relationships with communities beyond our campus.
  • Realize individual and collective agency in meeting needs of others.
  • Advocate for social justice issues through words, art and action.
  • Engage in ongoing reflection


List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What makes community engagement different at GDS?

    Georgetown Day School's pre-K–12 Community Engagement Program provides a continuum designed to move students from an understanding of the meaning of service and altruism to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of significant social and environmental issues. In building this foundation of engagement and awareness, students come into contact with a variety of communities and cultures that may differ from their own and gain a better sense of where they themselves fit in the larger community.
  • Q. How is community engagement different from community service and service-learning?

    Community engagement is an intentionally expansive term to describe all the ways in which GDS participates and connects to the world beyond our school. "Community service" and "service learning" do not accurately capture all the work our students are doing nor does it reflect why GDS has placed such an emphasis on these experiences.
  • Q. Is community service required?

    To graduate from GDS, there is an expectation that community engagement is an integral part of the high school experience. Students must make an ongoing commitment to an organization, completing a minimum of 60 hours of direct service.
  • Q. How do we identify opportunities for partnership?

    We seek to develop sustained, reciprocal partnerships with organizations that address demonstrated community needs. Frequently, we expand our partnerships in response to student or staff interests and pursuits. We aim to work with a variety of organizations that address different needs such as food insecurity, homelessness, increasing access to education, and environmental sustainability.

Community Engagement Team

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Leigh Tait

    Leigh Tait 

    Program Associate, Community Engagement and Experiential Learning


4530 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, Washington, DC 20007


4200 Davenport Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016

Georgetown Day School is a coed, preK-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC with small class sizes and a diverse school community. Our comprehensive, innovative curriculum includes hands-on learning, honors and AP classes, as well as advanced-level math and STEM courses. An education is not just college prep and SAT scores. GDS teachers focus on providing the best education for each child, from elementary grades through high school. The school performing arts program includes theater, dance, and music. The athletics program offers competitive sports for student athletes, including cross-country, track, soccer, lacrosse, and crew/rowing. With our strong commitment to financial aid, an independent school tuition is affordable.