Ross History

John W. Ross (1841-1902)

The school is named for John W. Ross who was an attorney, commissioner of the District of Columbia, and a member of the school system’s board of trustees.



Built in 1888 at a cost of $27,000, the John W. Ross School at 1730 R Street NW is a prime example of redbrick box design used by the Office of the Building Superintendent to build many schools in the District of Columbia in the 1880s and 1890s. When it opened for classes in 1889, the building was initially named the Adams School (for the nation’s 6th President, John Quincy Adams); the Adams School subsequently moved to its current location at 2020 19th Street NW. The original Ross School was on Harvard Street NW between 11th and 13th and it moved to the R Street building in 1935.


Mission Statement

R: Rigorous Academics

O: Open-minded, Respectful Community

S: Strong Sense of Self

S: Service to Others