Principal's Message

  • Welcome to Frederick Douglass Elementary School! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by our website to learn more about the opportunities available for our children and families. I invite you to visit our school in person to learn even more about our instructional program.

    At FDES, we work each day  to prepare our students to achieve great success in an ever changing world. Our global theme, Growing Global Leaders in Language and Literacy,  provides a real world context for learning, allowing students to make connections with other cultures, locations, environments and relationships around the world. We provide rigorous learning opportunities to meet the needs of every student, from engaging Science and Math activities to dual language immersion instruction. Our classrooms establish the pathways and supports for each student to discover his or her own passion for learning.

    In our dual language immersion classes, children learn a second language in a natural way through everyday conversation and content instruction. Students spend 50 % of their time learning in a Spanish-language classroom and the other half of their time in an English environment.This develops fluency in two languages and fosters caring, respectful and supportive cross-cultural relationships.

    Our dual language program is currently offered in Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. We are proud to have an outstanding staff, including 10 international teachers who provide Spanish instruction for our students.

    I am confident that you and your child will find our school  to be a positive, nurturing learning environment where you are always welcome.  I encourage you to get involved in all that goes on at FDES.  There are several ways to stay in touch. Each grade level team will communicate on a monthly basis through a classroom newsletter which can be found on our website:   Follow us on Twitter@FDESPandas and feel free to contact me through email at any time.  I welcome your suggestions, comments, and ideas.  Don’t forget to be a part of the FDES PTO, another great way to get involved.

    Together, staff members, families, and community members make FDES an amazing place every day. ​The possibilities are endless!  I hope you will join the excitement!

    Stephanie Downey

Education & Experience

  • Mrs. Downey earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education from Bridgewater College and her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.  During the first ten years of her career, she worked for Harford County Public Schools in Maryland, teaching elementary grades and then working for the school system as a Curriculum Specialist.  In Winchester, Mrs. Downey taught fifth grade at VACDES and worked at FDES as an Intervention Teacher and Lead Teacher before taking the role as Principal in 2012.