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5 Best Private Schools In DC: The Info You Need

If you thought securing admission into a prominent university was difficult, private schools in DC  can be just as challenging!  As any parent with children in local private schools can tell you, getting accepted is an exercise in patience.

We know how overwhelming filling out lengthy applications, meeting with admission directors and setting up “play dates” to see how well your child interacts with the other students can be.

That’s why it’s always a good idea to plan early for the next school year. There are so many things to consider when selecting the right school: Commute, cost, academic fit, religious affiliation, and the school year calendar are just a few. Make a checklist of what the most important things are for your child. There is a private school for practically every need.  For success, ask many questions and stick to your requirements.

Here is our list of the five best private schools in the metropolitan DC area:

Sidwell Friends School

Close to a metro station in Bethesda, Maryland is the 5-acre campus is the primary school of Sidwell Friends School.  The upper grades are on a 15-acre campus in Washington DC near several bus lines and the Tenleytown Metro station.  They affirm diversity and community.

Grades:  PK, K-12 Students: 1,152.

Students of Color: 54%

Tuition:  $39,360 yearly

Philosophy: Balanced Lifestyle

Religious Affiliation:  Christian/Quaker

Address: Lower School: 5100 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD    Middle & High School: 3825 Wisconsin NW, Washington DC

In their own words:  Sidwell Friends is a place where students and faculty thrive on deep and imaginative inquiry-both intellectual and ethical.

Review:  A parent said, “Very challenging academics. Students will have already experienced college-level academics by the time they graduate from Sidwell. Lots of high achievers. NO grade inflation here. Not for everyone but a great school.”

Georgetown Day School

Founded in 1945 as the first integrated school in Washington DC, the high school is a college preparatory where 100% of their students attend college or university globally. Their mission is to engage students in real-world issues.

Grades:  PK, K-12 Students: 1,075

Students of Color: 40%

Tuition:  $39,788 yearly

Philosophy: STEM Focused, College Preparatory

Religious Affiliation: None

Address:  Lower & Middle School: 4530 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington DC   High School: 4200 Davenport NW, Washington DC

In their own words: Georgetown Day School honors the integrity and worth of each individual within a diverse school community. GDS is dedicated to providing a supportive educational atmosphere in which teachers challenge the intellectual, creative, and physical abilities of our students and foster strength of character and concern for others. From the earliest grades, we encourage our students to wonder, to inquire, and to be self-reliant, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

Review:  “This school is so amazing! The teachers are great and the academics are some of the best in the city. It’s a laid-back environment, but there are very high expectations. Students, there are prepped not only for college but for life.  This school has something for everyone, sport, arts, education, and a wonderful social atmosphere. I recommend this school to anyone who is hardworking and can keep up with the demands.”

National Cathedral School

The National Cathedral School is an all-girls-only learning environment since 1900.  Situated on a beautiful and peaceful 59-acre campus this school has a strong affiliation with St. Albans (boys school) and Beauvoir School (co-ed primary school).

Grades: 4-12 All-girls school  Students: 595

Students of color:  44%

Tuition: $45,440 yearly

Philosophy: STEM Focused, Balanced Lifestyle

Religious Affiliation: Christian/Episcopal

Address: 3612 Woodley Rd NW, Washington DC

In their own words: NCS is an educational community that inspires each student to become her best self. NCS students are confident, creative, independent, and resilient. Our program is designed to capture students’ intellectual curiosity and fuel their academic, artistic, athletic, and personal growth.  NCS’s identity as an Episcopal school and historic affiliation with the Washington National Cathedral provides a remarkable opportunity to learn and grow in the embrace of a spiritual community that honors people of all faiths, nurtures each community member, and values service to others.

Review: “NCS is a great place to learn and thrive. Although it is incredibly challenging and the workload is sometimes tough to manage, the teachers prepare you to be able to take on anything. When alum comes back to visit, they often tell students how much easier college is, even if they attended an Ivy League. I am so lucky to be at this school!”

Maret School

In the heart of DC is this co-ed, K-12 private school. Founded in 1911 for international students, this school cares–and teaches–about global issues and other cultures.

Grades:  K-12 Students: 651

Students of color: 44%

Tuition:  $36,730

Philosophy:  “To Learn is to Live”

Religious Affiliation:  None 

Address: 3000 Cathedral Ave NW, Washington DC

In their own words:  Our historic campus in the heart of Washington, DC, offers a unique setting, where students from kindergarten through high school and teachers alike demonstrate a sense of energy, imagination, and entrepreneurial spirit. At Maret, everyone seeks a broader perspective – an expanded understanding of each other, our community, and the larger world.

Review: “I am the parent of three Maret alumni, all of whom started in kindergarten. Each of them, though very different individuals, had a fabulous experience at Maret. We could not be happier with the high-quality academics, sports, and other extracurriculars the school provided them. The ongoing strong sense of the Maret community has benefited our entire family. All three of my children were well-prepared academically to attend rigorous colleges post-graduation and were recruited varsity athletes at their respective higher education institutions. They – and we as a family – are still very involved with their Maret alma mater.”

The Potomac School

Rated the #1 independent school in Virginia, this school sits on 90 gorgeous wooded acres only three miles from Washington DC.  Serving K-12, The Potomac School seeks to bring teachers, parents, and students together on your child’s academic journey. Has convenient bus routes throughout Virginia, DC, and Maryland.

Grades: K-12, 1060 students

Students of color: unknown

Tuition:  $38,550

Philosophy:  Balanced Education

Religious Affiliation: None

Address: 1301 Potomac School Rd, McLean, VA

In their own words:   At The Potomac School, we believe that intellectual development, love of learning, and strength of character are complementary and equally essential educational goals. With a firm commitment to our core values and a rigorous academic program, we prepare students to lead lives of purpose, achievement, and generosity of spirit.

Review: “I have 2 children who attend the Potomac School – one in K and one in 4th grade. We couldn’t be happier with the teachers, the administrators, the community, and the curriculum. The transportation is fantastic, with late buses that allow my kids to participate in extracurriculars without creating a logistical challenge.”

Washington DC has many good private schools and, in the end, discovering the best fit for your child and your family is what’s most important.

If you’re looking for a home near one of these best private schools in DC– any of DC’s great schools– let our experienced realtors here at Eng Garcia help you find the perfect home near the perfect school.

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One Response to “5 Best Private Schools In DC: The Info You Need”

  • Thanks for sharing this my uncle is searching best school in DC and i found your post this really help me and will share to my uncle keep it up thanks again

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