The Best Private Schools in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Suburban Maryland 2019

Choosing the right school for our children can be overwhelming. We have compiled our selection for the top schools we think you should be looking at. We included some basic facts and made it easier to get in touch with the right candidate schools to make your final decisions more straightforward.

9th-12th grades, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 11:1
Size: 1100 students
Head of School: Joseph E. Vorbach III
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
Mission/Philosophy: “We believe that our school is a great gift to our church and community, which carries out the mandate of teaching given to us by Christ to proclaim the gospel… We believe in the full development of the human person, including the spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical aspects of one’s being. Commitment to academic excellence is an integral part of our identity as a Catholic school.”
Highlights: 28 Advanced Placement (AP) courses; 36 honors courses; dual credit and dual enrollment programs; STEM program; music, drama & visual arts; 70 clubs; mandatory community service hours; global studies program; overseas mission/service trip.
Description: Bishop O’Connell is a well-rounded high school with solid academics and a surprisingly robust college preparatory program, as well as intensive sports, clubs, and service opportunities. Religious life is highlighted, with campus ministry and retreats, alumni in the priesthood and religious vocations (though students are not required to be Catholic). Merit and need-based scholarships are available. Special needs students integrated into classrooms.
Location/Contact: 6600 Little Falls Road, Arlington, VA 22213
(703) 237-1400

3rd-12th grades, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 180 students
Head of School: Matt Johns (Acting)
Religious Affiliation: None
Mission/Philosophy: “Commonwealth Academy is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for average to gifted students who benefit from small classes and instruction designed to address various learning styles, including those students who have organizational, attention, or learning differences.”
Highlights: Honors and AP courses; Visual thinking and strategy courses; Accommodations and support for learning differences like ADHD and other learning disabilities; coed and single-sex sports; summer academic enrichment, study skills workshops, college transition programs, and camps.
Description: This is an excellent school for students with learning disabilities or students who benefit from small classes. With classes generally capped at ten students, and one teacher to two or five students in the lower school, Commonwealth provides an impressive amount of individual attention. There is a focus on building social skills and confidence through a variety of extracurricular activities. The college prep curriculum includes college counselors to assist with applications. Financial aid is available for qualifying families.
Location/Contact: 1321 Leslie Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 548-6912

3rd-12th grades, all girls
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 664
Head of School: Susanna Jones
Religious Affiliation: None
Mission/Philosophy: “Holton is a vibrant place where girls are deeply engaged in the process of learning, and since they are both challenged and nurtured, they develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of competence.”
Highlights: Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses; Senior projects; global scholar curriculum; student-exchange programs and travel abroad programs; STEM; online courses; accommodations for learning disabilities; college counseling; visual and performing arts; widerange of sports; active student government and variety of clubs; community service requirement.
Description: Founded in 1901, Holton-Arms seeks to provide girls with an education that includes academic, arts, and athletics. Its diverse student body comprises 36% of students of color, and 24% of all students receive financial aid. 100% of recent graduates have been accepted to four-year colleges. Its 57-acre, the wooded campus includes a wide variety of athletic facilities as well as two libraries and several beautiful art studios.
Location/Contact: 7303 River Road, Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 365-5300

1st-12th grades, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 4:1 lower
school; 8:1 upper school
Size: 375 students
Head of School: Katherine Schantz
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “The Lab School believes every child, regardless of his or her unique challenges or learning difficulties, is capable of accomplishing extraordinary things. Our award-winning curriculum combines multi-sensory and experiential programs to accommodate different learning styles and strengths.”
Highlights: College counseling; community service requirement; extracurricular activities and internships; art classes taught by practicing artists; out-of-state and international, educational trips; championship sports teams; award-winning debate team, IEP or ILP individualized education plans; after-school and summer programs; shuttle service.
Description: Most students at the Lab School have languagebased learning differences (often referred to as learning disabilities), such as dyslexia and ADHD. Its curriculum emphasizes academics and the arts while encouraging students to discover what kind of learners they are, and what their interests are. 84% of faculty have advanced degrees, and over 90% of students go on to college. Need-based financial aid is available.
Location/Contact: 4759 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007-1921
(202) 965-6600

3rd-12th grades, all boys
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 680 students
Head of School: Jim Neill
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “Landon School prepares talented boys for productive lives as accomplished, responsible, and caring men whose actions are guided by the principles of perseverance, teamwork, honor, and fair play.”
Highlights: Twenty-three athletic options; 22 arts offerings; 17 Advanced Placement (AP) courses; 15 honors courses; bus routes and aftercare; college counseling; voluntary community service; summer camps and academic enrichment.
Description: 75-acre campus. Founded in 1929. Average class size 13. Diverse – 35% of students of color. Small classes, liberal arts curriculum. Focuses on mentorship, character education, and brotherhood. 23% of students receive financial aid. Merit scholarships are also available.
Location/Contact: 6101 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 320-3200

9th-12th grades, all girls, (boarding and day school)
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 320
Head of School: Pilar Cabeza de Vaca
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “In 1906, Lucy Madeira founded her school with the belief that it is our duty and privilege to help young women to understand their changing world and to have the confidence to live lives of their own making, their passions, their dreams. Our Mission: Launching women who change the world.”
Highlights: Advanced Placement (AP) coursework; college-level math; co-curriculum (hands-on experiential learning) program; modular schedule, STEAM, college counseling, global travel, and exchange programs; performing and visual arts; filmmaking; 50+ clubs; 12 sports and competitive horseback riding; post-graduate program; summer camps; financial aid.
Description: This all-girls boarding school sits on a 376-acre campus, overlooking the Potomac. About half the students board at the school, and the rest are day students. The award-winning co-curriculum program allows students to learn through experience by performing community service and interning on Capitol Hill. The student body is diverse and international, with 31% of students of color, 14% international students, 29 countries, and 22 states represented. Horse-back riding and stables on campus. Camp Greenway allows kids to have adventures like canoeing and whizzing down zip lines without traveling far away.
Location/Contact: 8328 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22102
(703) 556-8200

4th- 12th grades, all girls
Student-teacher Ratio: 8:1
Size: 585 students
Head of School: Kathleen O’Neill Jamieson
Religious Affiliation: Episcopal
Mission/Philosophy: “National Cathedral School’s promise to educate women for the world requires that we welcome and honor a diverse community. In keeping with our historical identity and close association with the National Cathedral, we believe in the dignity and worth of each and seek to promote equity, justice, and fairness. Diversity and inclusion enrich the learning environment of our school and are cornerstones of academic and interpersonal excellence.”
Highlights: Coordinate program of classes and extracurricular activities with St. Albans School; Advanced Placement (AP) courses; French, Spanish, Chinese, and Latin; fine arts; STEAM coursework; elective and independent study; Center for Ethical Leadership and Service; religious studies; sports, outdoor education, physical fitness; clubs and publications; global outreach, multicultural activities; college guidance; financial aid.
Description: National Cathedral School values diversity and multicultural programs, aiming to prepare students to be global citizens. Girls studying among girls are encouraged to take risks, speak up in class, and be leaders in extracurricular programs. Alumni include stateswomen, Olympic athletes, and rocket scientists. 19% of students are on financial aid, and 39% are students of color. The new library contains 60,000 books. Chapel services celebrate Episcopal traditions, as well as holy days of other faiths.
Location/Contact: Mount Saint Alban, Washington, DC 20016
(202) 537-6300

6th-12th grades, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 150 students
Head of School: Steve Roushakes
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We believe … Students are intrinsically motivated to learn, achieve, and create. A special dimension of equality exists in the teacher-student relationship. We celebrate this dimension because it allows students to see themselves as successful and creative learners and individuals. Teachers must help students develop the essential skills and habits of mind they need to use their minds well.”
Highlights: AP coursework; diverse and unique courses offered; performing and visual arts; diverse clubs and student government; competitive and inclusive club sports; study abroad and service trips; international program; ESOL; college counseling; summer academics and camps; needbased financial aid.
Description: Imagine a liberal-arts college for middle school and high school students. Students are taught to be thoughtful, to ask important questions, and to engage in dialogue with peers and faculty. The curriculum is student-center and skills-based; focused courses sound like college-level seminars. Students and teachers collaborate, are on a firstname basis and are even thought of as colleagues. Small classes of 5-12 students. The diverse student body includes about 25%, international students.
Location/Contact: 9431 Silver King Ct., Fairfax, VA 22031

K–12th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 8:1
Size: 1,060 students
Head of School: John Kowalik
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “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.”
Highlights: Advanced Placement (AP) courses; one-onone advisory (mentorship) program; Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish; computer science and engineering; visual and performing arts, including instrument lessons; global perspectives and citizenship curriculum; service learning; bus transport from MD, DC, and VA; 70 sports teams and 26 sports; after-school enrichment and extended day; summer program; financial aid.
Description: The Potomac School was founded in 1904 and sits on a 90-acre wooded campus. The students are surrounded by nature while engaged in rigorous studies and extracurricular activities. The campus includes three libraries and a science & engineering center. 71% of faculty hold advanced degrees. Upper school students can apply to the Global Perspectives and Citizenship Program, in which they study economics, politics, culture, and ecology. Another highlight of the upper school is the visual and performing arts concentration, which prepares high school students to enter a conservatory or university arts program.
Location/Contact: 1301 Potomac School Road, McLean, VA 22101
(703) 356-4101

9th–12th grades, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 15:1
Size: 1,000 students
Head of School: Virginia Colwell
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
Mission/Philosophy: “Every day at Paul VI Catholic High School, transformation happens. A lesson lights a spark that becomes a student’s lifelong passion. A service project turns into an enduring commitment to serving others. A role on a championship team inspires leadership off the field or court. A moment in prayer leads to a lasting journey of faith.”
Highlights: Advanced Placement (AP) courses; dual enrollment courses; honor courses; academic support program; learning disability support and accommodation; college counseling; inclusion and peer mentors for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities; computer science, engineering, theology, and five foreign languages; fine and performing arts; Christian service and mission trips; sports; summer camp; financial aid.
Description: Recognized as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country by the Cardinal Newman Society, Paul VI combines a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, vigorous sports, and extracurriculars with a focus on faith, service, and community. Construction on a new campus in Loudoun County will begin soon; the new campus is projected to open in 2020.
Location/Contact: 10675 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 352-0925
Loudoun County Location is under construction.

Pre-K-12th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 1:12
Size: 1,146 students
Head of School: Katie Smith Sloan
Religious Affiliation: Quaker
Mission/Philosophy: “Sidwell Friends School is a dynamic educational community grounded in the Quaker belief that there is ‘that of God in everyone.’ Individually and collectively, we challenge ourselves to pursue excellence in academic, athletic, and artistic realms.”
Highlights: Advanced Placement (AP) course; 4 foreign languages and study abroad programs; computer science and engineering; visual and performing arts; 65+ clubs and affinity groups; 22 varsity sports teams; service learning requirement; silent reflection worship; after school, technology, and athletic programs; shuttle bus; extended day; summer programs; financial aid.
Description: Guided by Quaker values of equity, justice, and community, Sidwell Friends encourages students to engage with the community and social justice, particularly in areas of environmental stewardship and global citizenship. The wide-ranging curriculum is reminiscent of a college course catalog. The student body is also diverse, with 47% of students of color and 23% of students receiving financial aid.
Upper/Middle School
3825 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016
Lower School
5100 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814

Preschool-12th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 9:1
Size: 904 students
Head of School: Clayton W. Lewis
Mission/Philosophy: “Our mission is to be an exemplary learning community—enriched by differences, informed through inquiry, global in reach. Core values: Inquiry-Based Learning; Global Perspective; Individual Responsibility.”
Highlights: International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program; language immersion and dual language programs; Spanish, French, Mandarin, Dutch; Confucius Classrooms Network; sports; fine arts; 13 varsity sports teams; university counseling; community service requirement; extended day, study hall, and after-school programs; summer camp; financial aid.
Description: The diverse student body includes American and international students. All graduates are proficient in at least one language; students can enroll in a dual-language program where they take classes in English and a second language and even study additional languages as electives. WIS’s inquirybased, multi-disciplinary curriculum prepares students for the IB Diploma, and the school was one of the first to adopt the IB program. Twothirds of graduates attend U.S. universities, while the other third attend universities abroad.
Location/Contact: Primary School Campus
1690 36th Street NW, Washington DC 20007
Tregaron Campus (6th-12th grades)
3100 Macomb Street NW, Washington DC 20008
(202) 243-1700

K-8 Schools or Preschool-8th grade (some end in 5th or 6th grade)

Preschool-8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 7:1
Size: 275 students
Head of School: Jeff Sindler
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “Burgundy Farm Country Day School believes that children learn best in an inclusive, creative, and nurturing environment that engages the whole child. Burgundy’s innovative, hands-on approach to education cultivates independent thinking, promotes academic excellence, instills respect for diversity, and teaches responsibility for self, for others, and the natural world.”
Highlights: Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies in West VA; hands-on, integrated curriculum; parent involvement required; community service requirement; language, technology, and fine arts; arts festival; middle school sports; bus and van transport; extended day and afterschool enrichment classes; financial aid.
Description: Burgundy has a strong commitment to social justice and was the first Virginia school to integrate racially. Multiculturalism, diversity, environmentalism, and conservation are part of the curriculum. Students engage in handson projects, group collaborations, and outdoor learning. One in four students receives some financial aid.
Location/Contact: 3700 Burgundy Road, Alexandria, VA 22303
(703) 960-3431

Infant–8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 6:1
Size: 320 students
Head of School: Janet F. Marsh
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We ignite the spark in young learners to become great thinkers and leaders who will positively impact our world. Mission: We provide an inspirational and challenging student-centered educational experience within our diverse and supportive community where children question, collaborate, create, and lead.”
Highlights: Experiential learning; project-based learning; art, music speech & drama, with spring musical; French, Spanish & Latin; competitive sports grades 5-8; 30+ clubs; extended day; after-school activities; bus transport; financial aid.
Description: The 40-acre campus includes two swimming pools, a ropes course, amphitheater, horseback riding, archery range, and sports fields.
Congressional students learn through experience both on and off campus, engaging in experiential learning on frequent field trips around the D.C. area.
Location/Contact: 3229 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 533-9711

PK-8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 5:1
Size: 229 students
Head of School: Linda Schreibstein
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “Edlin is an academically gifted private K4/K5 through 8 school established in 1989. The school emphasizes a classical curriculum in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), and uses proven methods to create the best learning conditions for gifted students.”
STEAM; performing and visual arts; French, Latin, & Spanish; science & technology; athletic and clubs; international immersion trips; extended day; summer camp.
Description: This school for gifted children provides an environment that allows students to grow both academically and personally. The STEAM curriculum combines science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Three foreign languages are offered, and an annual international immersion trip allows students to learn about foreign cultures first-hand.
Location/Contact: 10742 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 20190
(703) 438-3990

K–8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 8:1
Size: 174 students
Head of School: Dan Finkel
Religious Affiliation: Jewish
Mission/Philosophy: “At Gesher Jewish Day School we inspire our students to be passionate about learning; practice justice, kindness, and respect; and aspire to a life guided by Jewish values, Torah, and community.”
Highlights: Hebrew language; Jewish studies; Algebra I & geometry; carpools, bus, & van transport; field trips and outdoor learning; extended day; financial aid.
Description: The curriculum combines general studies and Jewish studies. Jewish studies include Hebrew language, cultural history, Torah study, and Tefilah (prayer). General studies curriculum provides a solid foundation in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Jewish traditions are celebrated daily; families include all level of Judaic practice as well as interfaith families.
Location/Contact: 4800 Mattie Moore Court, Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 978-9789

Preschool-8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 8:1
Size: 175 students
Head of School: Robert E. Gregg III
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We inspire young people of talent and promise to develop clear values, a desire for wisdom, and an appreciation for all endeavors which broaden the mind and enlighten the spirit. Our core values: achieve distinction; explore opportunities; inspire character, and become yourself.”
Highlights: Montessori preschool and kindergarten; experiential learning and outdoor excursions; middle school leadership program; French, Spanish & Latin; STEM, international trips and international week; service learning; performing and visual arts; extended day and after-school activities; summer camp; financial aid.
Description: This small, tight-knit school fosters a sense of community and allows children to collaborate and be mentored by faculty. Preschool and kindergarten students (ages 3-5) are taught in a Montessori classroom, by Montessori-trained teachers. Grades 1-8 begins a more traditional curriculum, balancing core academic subjects with the arts and world languages. All students learn French, starting at three years old. All middle schoolers study Latin.
Location/Contact: 415 Windover Avenue, N.W., Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 938-8323

The Best Private Schools in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Suburban Maryland


Bishop O’Connell High School
Commonwealth Academy, Alexandria, VA
Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD
The Lab School, Washington DC
Landon School, Bethesda, MD
Madeira School, McLean, VA
National Cathedral School, Washington DC
The New School of Northern Virginia, Fairfax VA
Sidwell Friends School, Washington DC
Paul IV Catholic High School
Potomac School, McLean, VA
Washington International School, Washington DCK-8/PRESCHOOL-8 SCHOOLS
Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Congressional Schools of Virginia, Falls Church, VA
Edlin School, Reston, VA
Gersher Jewish Day School of Northern Virginia, Fairfax, VA
Green Hedges School, Vienna, VA
Loudoun Country Day School, Leesburg, VA
Nysmith School for the Gifted, Herndon, VA
Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, Alexandria, VA
Montessori School of Northern Virginia, Annandale, VA
PRESCHOOLS (some with kindergarten)

Beantree Learning, Chantilly, VA
Eastern Ridge School, Great Falls, VA
The Farm School, Hamilton, VA
Montessori School of South Riding, Chantilly, VA
Primrose School of Ashburn

PK–8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 5:1
Size: 283 students
Head of School: Randall Hollister
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We pride ourselves on our rigorous core curriculum, nurturing the environment, and exceptional foreign language, arts, technology, and athletic programs. We cultivate the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and creative growth of each child and develop a foundation that inspires excellence, builds character, and prepares each child for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Highlights: Music; visual arts; physical education & athletics; middle school sports teams; Spanish & French; international festival and international pen pals; STEM Lab; bus service available; community service; student council; leadership program; extended day & after-school activities; summer programs; financial aid.
Description: Small classrooms and a challenging core curriculum prepare students to enter top area high schools. The arts, languages, and technology are also infused into the curriculum. Students engage in hands-on learning and give back to the community through service activities.
Location/Contact: 20600 Red Cedar Drive, Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 777-3841

Preschool-8th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 9:1
Size: 600 students
Head of School: Ken Nysmith
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We believe that a world-class education is a joy-filled experience. At The Nysmith School, your child will be inspired every day by passionate teachers, challenging content, and interactive activities. Imagine your child in an environment designed to stretch their creativity and critical thinking, guide them to explore the complexities of a complicated world, and help them become confident, compassionate, global citizens.”
Highlights: French, Spanish & Latin; high school level math up to pre-calculus available; music; art; STEM; computer programming & graphic design; character education classes; Mommy & Me program (ages 2-3); physical education; school buses and carpooling; extended day; afternoon clubs & sports; overnight field trips; financial aid.
Description: This school is designed specifically to engage gifted children, nurturing their love of learning. Beginning in kindergarten, children change classes for each subject and are taught by teachers who specialize in their chosen items. The curriculum minimizes repetition and homework volume so that bright children do not become bored. Reading and math classes are diversified up to four grade levels. French classes begin in preschool.
Location/Contact: 13625 EDS Drive, Herndon, VA 20171
(703) 713-3332

ages 2-12, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 11:1
Size: 252
Head of School: Betsy Mitchell (retiring 2018)
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “Our mission: We inspire and guide children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them. Our vision: We envision a humane and peaceful society where people of all ages feel reverence and responsibility for all that sustains life on Earth.”
Highlights: Practical life; sensorial training; Spanish; art; music & drama; band technology; physical education; outdoor education; learning support services; field trips; extended day and afterschool activities; summer camp; financial aid.
Description: MSNV’s Montessori curriculum offers a wellrounded education with a balance of academics, arts, and technology. Highlights of the classroom include multi-disciplinary Montessori approach; outdoors; movement; calm and beautiful learning environment; self-paced learning; focused observation and teacher interaction; mixed age groups; three-year cycle; and inspirational environment.
Location/Contact: Hillbrook Campus (ages 3-12)
6820 Pacific Lane, Annandale, VA 22003
Valleybrook Campus (ages 2-6)
3433 Rose Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 256-9577

preschool-5th grade, coed
Student-teacher Ratio: 8:1
Size: 67
Head of School: Anna Skidmore
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “PCWS educates children based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, a developmental approach which emphasizes goodness, beauty, and truth. We endeavor to build a diverse community that supports each other and works together to create a healthy social life.”
Highlights: Waldorf curriculum; parent-child programs for infants and toddlers; mixed-age kindergarten; experiential learning; music; Spanish; Handwork; games & movement/physical education; extended day; summer camp; financial aid.
Description: PCWS is the only accredited Waldorf School in Northern Virginia. The Waldorf curriculum nurtures critical and creative thinking skills, as well as healthy social development. Arts and academics are integrated. Learning outdoors daily, for extended periods, students take care of a biodynamic garden, take nature walks, and participate in hands-on learning.
Location/Contact: 3846 King St., Alexandria, VA 22302
(703) 486-1309
Top Preschools in 2018-2019

Student-teacher Ratio: 1:3-1:15 (depending on age and program)
Size: 3 campuses
Head of School: Jennifer Bower
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We believe: Children learn best, and more naturally, through interactive, experiential activities and both self-guided and teacher-guided play opportunities. A child’s learning should focus on experiences rather than the results of the experiences. Our program focuses on the process of learning while recognizing and celebrating each child’s efforts and determination rather than results.”
Highlights: Global learning; art, literature, music, active arts, gym; extracurriculars: tae kwon do, creative movement & dance; soccer; after-school, holiday camp, and summer camp programs for kids up to age 14.
Description: BeanTree is located in a sprawling 28,500 -sq. .ft. building with a variety of classrooms, outdoor playscapes, and a Chinese Pagoda Theater (with the life-size painting of pandas on the walls) where children can play and let their imaginations run wild. The school values the importance of play, experiential learning, nurturing teachers, diversity, and inclusion. The school goes through kindergarten, and after-school and camps are available to kids up to age 14.
Location/Contact: 43635 Greenway Corporate Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147 (Pavilion campus)
Two additional campuses: Chantilly and Ashburn
(571) 223-3113

Student-teacher Ratio:
Head of School: Julie Liddle
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “To be a community that inspires independence, creativity, and a lifelong love of learning in an environment that encourages self-expression, shared experiences, plus a passion for — and connection to—the natural world.”
Highlights Special Programs: Inspired by Reggio Emilia approach and forest schools; outdoor education in all weather; outdoor classroom; gardening; unstructured play; project based learning; parent involvement required; extended day; summer camps.
Description: Eastern Ridge is similar to a European-style forest school, where the kids are outside at least an hour every day, and much more, weather permitting. Children learn by doing: for example, understanding numbers after measuring wood for birdhouses. There is an active community with substantial parent involvement – 40 hours over the course of the school year.
Location/Contact: Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 757-7900

Student-teacher Ratio:
Head of School: Allison Huff
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “Could you imagine your child living the life of a Loudoun farmer while also getting a jump start on education before Kindergarten? Each week your child could be planting or harvesting herbs, fruits & vegetables to bring home to you!”
Highlights: Nature-based curriculum; agriculture focus; hands-on activities; arts & crafts; early literacy; outdoor learning; kids growing food; learn to farm; 2, 3, or 5 days per week; extended day.
Description: Started by a mom and teacher who lived on a farm and saw how much her kids loved to play on the farm, The Farm School is a unique preschool environment for kids in Loudoun County.
Location/Contact: 38580 Little Hampton Lane, Hamilton, VA 20158
(703) 269-8614

Ages 3-6
Student-teacher Ratio:
Head of School: Carmen Arenas
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “The Montessori School of South Riding, using the principles of Montessori education, provides a warm, enriched environment designed to stimulate the child’s natural desire to learn.”
Highlights Special Programs: Montessori-trained teachers; certified AMI/USA school; Baby and Me; half and full-day programs; unique language immersion program; mixed ages; cooking, gardening; art.
Description: This certified Montessori school was founded in 2003 and now provides preschool and kindergarten in an environment that balances choice with structure, and creativity with discipline. Their unique language programs encourage children to pick up a second language at a young age.
Location/Contact: 4229 Lafayette Center Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151
(703) 953-3771

Student-teacher Ratio
Size: 6 campuses
Head of School: Jo Kirchner, CEO
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “We’re a national family of accredited early education and care schools serving infants through kindergarten, after-schoolers, their families and communities. With our Balanced Learning® approach, we help empower children to reach their full potential by nurturing curiosity, confidence, creativity, and compassion.”
Highlights Special Programs: STEAM; phonics; creative arts; physical development; math; character development & life skills; “rhythm & notes” music program; “mud pies” gardening and nature program; after-school and summer camp programs.
Description: National network of accredited preschools and child care programs. Their Balanced Learning curriculum combines philosophies of Montessori, Piaget, Gesell, and Vygotsky, along with contemporary child development research.
Location/Contact: Six campuses in Northern VA: Bristow, Chantilly, Ashburn at Broadlands, Moorefield Station, Ashburn, South Riding
(703) 724-9050

Ages 1-5
Student-teacher Ratio: 1:4-1:10
Size: 2 campuses
Head of School: Portia Moore
Religious Affiliation: none
Mission/Philosophy: “STEM Preschool believes that ‘“teamwork makes the dream work’” and encourages a team centered learning experience that includes parents, educators, and the budding young scientists and creatives, your child. Our mission is to care for the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical health of your child while simultaneously allowing, encouraging, and orchestrating their creativity in a quality learning environment.”
Special Programs Highlights: STEM; science lab; theorizing, hypothesizing & predicting (intro to scientific method); language arts; reading and writing; Spanish (speaking and writing); sensory learning; art; music; introduction to famous artists, authors & illustrators; outside play; for PreK, focused science units like anatomy or air & space; physical education
Description: Led by teachers trained in both preschool education and STEM education, children learn about math and science through lab-structured activities and interactive units of study. They’re learning the basics of the scientific method as they make predictions, observe, and look for evidence. The school provides an excellent balance to the STEM curriculum by adding a significant focus on reading, writing, and storytelling. There is also a healthy dose of the arts, physical education, and outdoor play, and socialization.
Arlington campus
3120 South Abingdon Street Arlington, VA 22206
Capitol Hill campus
770 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Washington, DC 20004
(703) 639-4601