By Southwester Staff

As parents approach the March 2 school lottery deadline to apply for PreK-3 through Grade 8 schools, “The Southwester” reached out to current parents from the quadrant’s only public elementary school to hear their perspectives on the school. Below are the responses we received.

Sylvia and Mohamed (parents to 1st grade student)

We have been very happy with our experience at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School (ABES). Our son started in PreK-3 in 2016 and since then we have seen him blossom both academically and socially. We love that our school community overlaps with our physical neighborhood. We also love that there are many opportunities to support the school. Mohamed is currently the PTA co-treasurer and I participate in VIBE, the parents’ community dialogue group. Finally, ABES’ faculty and administration have been very responsive to our son’s medical condition. We are confident that the school’s nurse is able to assist our son with any health problems he may face at school.

Jay (parent to Kindergarten student) 

Seeing our daughter grow up at our neighborhood school has been one of the joys of our adult lives. She began attending back in PreK-3 and has built wonderful relationships with the teachers and staff at Amidon. The education she’s getting is far superior to what my wife and I received growing up in Michigan in the 1980’s. Our daughter has quickly developed social and emotional skills that surprise us every week. The other kids have been both interesting and kind. We are already looking forward to sending our son to PreK-3 in 2021.

Sara (parent to Kindergarten and PreK-3 students)

I am proud to send my children to our neighborhood school, and I am grateful that the school is Amidon-Bowen. We have a kindergartner and a PreK-3 student at the school. Their academic growth and social development have been perfect and amazing. The teachers know their students and care about them. Both teachers and administrators are responsive and friendly. There is a feeling of community around Amidon-Bowen, not only within the walls of the school, but also on the playgrounds, in stores, and at neighborhood events. The connections made by our children and us parents have anchored us in Southwest, as only a good neighborhood elementary school can do.

Lauren (parent to two PreK-4 students)

It was my dream from when I moved to the SW neighborhood a decade ago that I would be able to send my kids to our neighborhood school. My twins are now in their second year at Amidon-Bowen and we have loved our experience there. Their classrooms are as diverse as our city and their teachers are wonderful. 

Laura (parent to 1st grade and PreK-3 student)

We have lived in Southwest since 2007, way before we had kids. I don’t even think we realized there was a school on 4th and I SW until we found the Amidon-Bowen playground. We toured the school at an open house and attended many PreK playdates and so glad we did. This is our fourth year at Amidon-Bowen and we now have two children attending. The fact that the school is in our neighborhood is one less thing to stress about on the morning commute. 

Grace (parent to 1st grade student) 

The PreK program is excellent and was a step up from the federal agency daycare we sent our daughter before she started at Amidon-Bowen. We are in our fourth year at the school and all of our daughter’s teachers have been kind, dedicated, and highly trained. Over the holidays, our daughter said she missed seeing her teachers. I see the relationship she has with the teachers and staff (including the school librarian) and I know we did right in choosing this school. 

Important Reminders

Applications for the DC Public School Lottery are due on March 2. If you have a child entering pre-K next school year, and are interested in Amidon-Bowen you must enter the lottery at:

There is no early action option this year for Amidon-Bowen (which provided guaranteed access for in-boundary families) for Pre-K. However, there is a high chance for in-boundary families who put Amidon-Bowen as #1 to get a spot. 
The next open house is Feb. 12 from 9-10 a.m, at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School at 4th and I (eye) Streets, SW. For questions, email

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