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George Washington School
George Washington School, April 2010
1198 S. 5th St.,|
|Area||2 acres (0.81 ha)|
|Architect||Irwin T. Catharine|
|Architectural style||Moderne, Art Deco|
|MPS||Philadelphia Public Schools TR|
|NRHP reference #||86003343|
|Added to NRHP||December 4, 1986|
Vare-Washington School, is a K-8 school in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a part of the School District of Philadelphia. It occupies the former George Washington School building in the Dickinson Narrows neighborhood, in proximity to Southwark.
The historic school building was designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built in 1935-1937. It is a three-story, brick and limestone building in the Art Deco / Moderne-style. It features ribbon windows, brick piers, and a projecting entrance with skyscraper-like details and rounded corners with decorative figures. The school was originally established to serve children of workers in the Philadelphia Navy Yard and had been in operation since the U.S. Civil War period.
In 1985 Washington and one other school were the first two Philadelphia public schools to sign up for Education for Parenting, a program in which students are taught about parenting by observing real infants.
In December 2012 Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. presented a proposal that would close Washington and move Abigail Vare School into Washington's building. At the time Washington's building was in a better condition compared to Vare's, while the Vare school had an academic performance superior to that of Washington's. In March 2013, the school district voted to close Washington. Vare moved from its previous building to current building, and was renamed Vare-Washington School. Since the move, the former Vare School has remained empty.
As a result of the closing of Washington, all Washington staff and teachers were to lose their positions, even though the Washington building was staying open. On May 14, 2013, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers filed a grievance to try to reverse this decision.