The original school at this site was the Bancroft Way School. It was later renamed the Longfellow School. In 1905 the structure was moved to the present Longfellow site. In 1905 or 1906 a new school was constructed at the current site. The original architect was Stone and Smith. The first principal was J.A. Imre. The school opened with approximately 155 students. The original site was smaller, about 60% of the current site. Additional property was purchased in the late 1940’s and throughout the 1950’s.
In 1910 it was one of the two intermediate schools serving middle school aged children.
In 1952 the old school was demolished and a new school built. The architects selected for this work were Dragon, Schmidts and Hardman.
By 1970 there were 532 students enrolled. Temporary structures were added and subtracted over the years.
In the early 1980’s, while the C Building at Berkeley high School was being retrofitted, a portion of the school was used by Berkeley High School students. When the C Building was completed, the school reverted to exclusively elementary school use.
In 1994 the school was vacated because it was seismically unsafe. The District hired Baker/Vilar Architects to design the retrofit. In 1996 the renovated school reopened.
In November 2011, Washington was one of four district schools named to receive a three-year, nearly $3-million magnet school grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Washington will receive roughly $600,000 during 2002-03 and two following school years. The LeConte, Thousand Oaks and City of Franklin Microsociety schools will divvy up the remaining funds.