Washington Studio School Policies

March 2018

Welcome to the Washington Studio School! We are glad you have chosen to study visual arts at our school. To help us maintain our beautiful building and provide for everyone’s convenience and safety, please observe the following policies.

General Registration

Students may register in-person, over the phone or via email. Payment can be made by credit card (VISA or Mastercard) or by check. As a non-profit organization, WSS appreciates payment by check, which reduces our transaction fees. Students now may also register online using PayPal for any 10-week class or workshop by making their selection under Courses and Programs.

Tuition payment in full must be received at time of class registration to secure your placement in a class. For those registering for multiple classes, please call 202-234-3030 to inquire about a payment plan. Limited funds are available for student scholarships. Please request an application.

Partial Registration

So that students may best benefit from the sequential nature of our 10 week classes, WSS does not allow pro-rated or partial registrations.

Class Make-Up Policy

WSS make-up policy applies only to students who have registered for a 10-week class. There is no make-up session for short classes or workshops. Students can make up a class that they have missed during the 10-week term but only in a similar class offered during the same term. To maintain continuity of instruction and student’s learning, a maximum of two substitute classes are allowed.

Make-up classes must have the approval of the instructor for the class in which the student would like to attend. Students should contact WSS administration at admin@washingtonstudioschool.org in advance, and WSS staff will obtain the instructor’s approval and notify the student. Make-up classes must be completed during the term in which the student is enrolled.

Refunding Tuition

WSS will only refund tuition under two conditions:

Course Cancellation

If WSS cancels a class at the start of a term or workshop, enrolled students will receive a full refund of the tuition paid. This will be done by issuing a check or processing a credit card refund.

Student Withdrawal

– A $25 administrative fee is applied to all withdrawals from a class, with class refunds applied as follows:

Withdrawal one week before the start of the term – Refund, less $25.
Withdrawal in week 1 – Refund, less $70.
Withdrawal in week 2 – Refund, less $115.
Withdrawal in week 3 – No refund
No refund given for offerings less than 10-week such as workshops, special classes or marathons.

WSS School Closure Policy

Federal Holidays

Washington Studio School is closed the following holidays: July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and classes do not meet the week of th or Thanksgiving.

Inclement Weather

WSS weather closures follow the DC Federal government office closures. In the case of a delayed opening, WSS will open one hour late. When classes need to be cancelled due to inclement weather or treacherous travel conditions, WSS staff and instructors make every attempt to notify students by email or phone. Please make sure your contact information is current. Weekend cancellations will be determined by WSS and will be posted on the website.

Classes canceled by WSS due to inclement weather, instructor illness, or other reasons will have make-up classes scheduled.

Transportation and Parking

There is limited metered and timed street parking available by the school in addition to daily and hourly car parks. Students are encouraged to use public transportation. The Dupont Circle Metro Station is 0.3 miles away and there are several buses routes that serve the neighborhood.

Recycling, eco-friendly practices

Please help WSS be as eco-friendly as possible. Please recycle plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminum cans in the blue recycling bins located on each floor. Recycle paper and cardboard too, and reuse or repurpose materials as much as possible. Paper towels, rags, palette paper and other items soiled with oil paints or acrylic paint must be placed in the red or yellow disposal cans located on each floor.

To conserve energy use, temperatures are kept at a minimum of 70 degrees. Instructors may change the temperature if necessary. Students should not alter the set temperature.

Building Systems are Green

The building has been completely renovated using green principles and technology wherever possible. For example, the heating and cooling system is a high efficiency system with room control units set to run only when the room is in use. The hot water units installed on each faucet, heat the water only when it is turned on. The elevator is a non-mechanical elevator that does not require the use of oil.

Kitchen, drinking water, general building use

A water cooler is located for your use in the basement next to the elevator.

Please feel free to use the kitchen located in the basement. There is a refrigerator and microwave there for your use. Please be sure to clean up any spills in the microwave and clean up counters and tables after use.

Please help WSS keep our building clean and pleasant for everyone’s use by properly discarding food and other trash, and keeping the restrooms clean.

Please raise and lower window blinds with care to avoid damage to the blinds.

Please fold and put easels back into their storage area at the end of each class.

Lockers, canvas drying racks, large drawing pads

Lockers are available for storing your materials free of charge for so long as you are registered for a class. The lockers are located in the basement. Please see administrative staff at the front desk to complete a registration form to reserve a locker. You may only use a combination lock on your locker and you must provide the combination to administrative staff. Use of other kinds of locks or failure to provide the combination to staff will result in the removal of the lock and loss of locker privileges.

Wet canvases may be stored in drying racks located in the basement. Please be sure to mark your name on all stored canvases. Please remove canvases as soon as they are dry.

Large drawing pads may be stored in the racks above the sink in the second floor drawing classroom. Please be sure to mark your name on all drawing pads.

Please be sure to empty your locker at the end of the term, unless you are registering for a class in the next term. So that there is room for new paintings, please be sure to remove all canvases no later than the end of the term.

Materials may not be left in the basement unless they are placed in a locker or drying rack. WSS is not responsible for loss of materials left outside of lockers. To prevent overcrowding, WSS may discard materials left in the basement that are not properly stored in a locker or drying rack.

Use of solvents, use of sinks

Please follow signs posted in the classrooms and guidelines from your instructor for proper cleanup of paint and paint brushes. According to DC regulations, paint residue and cleaning fluids MUST NOT be poured into the sink. Brushes must be cleaned with a rag or paper towel before rinsing. Round metal self-closing trash cans are provided for disposal of these flammable trash items. Use all thinning fluids from a glass container with a lid and seal this product after every session.

Only odorless solvents (such as Gamsol) and mediums may be used at WSS. Turpentine may not be used at any time. Liquin medium is discouraged due to its toxicity.

For both acrylic and oil paints, you must thoroughly first clean your brushes with rags or paper towels. After removing as much paint as possible, you may use sinks located in the classrooms to wash your brushes with soap.


  •          Never put solvents down the sink
  •          Never clean brushes in bathroom sinks

If you have any questions about solvents, mediums, or proper brush cleaning techniques, please talk with your instructor.


WSS employs professional adult models who pose nude in drawing, painting, and sculpture classes. Teens under the age of 18 must provide written parental permission to participate in WSS classes that use nude adult models. We request that you DO NOT photograph the models.

WSS non-discrimination policy, community involvement, volunteerism

WSS is a non-profit organization whose day-to-day operations are run by a board of directors, a small paid staff, and various volunteers.

WSS welcomes students of all backgrounds and seeks to promote inclusion, diversity, and equity to all. WSS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We offer classes to adults and teenagers (14 years of age and older).

We encourage all students to become active participants in our community by volunteering for and attending free lectures, exhibit receptions, and other events held at the School. Your help with other activities would be very much appreciated – please talk with our Managing Director about other volunteer opportunities.

Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome. Please feel free to talk with faculty, staff, the Managing Director, or board members at any time.

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