Private Schools in the Washington, DC Area

Foreign Service families use both public and private schools in the U.S. Families who choose private schools do so for a variety of reasons: the parents may have attended private schools, the parents may want a religious atmosphere and training, and sometimes parents want smaller or specialized classes for their child.

Tuition at private secondary schools vary from school to school and depend on many factors, including the location of the school, peer tuitions, and the school's financial endowment. High tuition, schools claim, is used to pay higher salaries for the best teachers and also used to provide enriched learning environments, including a low student to teacher ratio, small class sizes and services, such as libraries, science laboratories and computers. The move from a small overseas school to an independent school in the United States may be easier for some students. Please remember, there is no Education Allowance while posted to the U.S.

Resources for Identifying Private Schools

  • The Independent Schools Guide for Washington Area – A copy is available for use at the Department of State's Family Liaison Office and in Community Liaison Offices overseas
  • Washingtonian Magazine: "A Private School for Every Student" – Guide to DC-area private schools
  • DC Pages.com – Listing of private schools in the District of Columbia
  • The Association of Boarding Schools – Search for private boarding schools nationwide
  • Maryland Private Schools – Listed by County. Click the county of choice which provides a list of all high school and elementary schools in that specific county. Also provides statistics about the county
  • Virginia Private Schools – Listed by County. Click the county of choice which then provides a list of all high school and elementary schools in that specific county. Also provides statistics about the county
  • Washingtonian – Special needs private schools in DC, Maryland and Virginia

Secondary School Admission Test Requirement

If you have a student looking to enter a private school for the high school years, many of the private secondary schools require a Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) result for admission, at a cost of $116 (in the U.S.) or $225 (international). Contact info@ssat.org  or (609) 683-4440 for more information.

At times, an individual test can be arranged overseas. If it is necessary to arrange for an individual test overseas, a family may request a school or embassy official to proctor the SSAT. Provide the following information to the SSATB (Fax: 609-683-1702):

  • Name and affiliation of person who will administer test;
  • Complete address of school or Embassy where the materials will be sent;
  • Telephone number;
  • Fax number;
  • Name of student to be tested and current grade; and
  • Statement by administrator agreeing to follow SSATB procedures

Private School Websites

Catholic Schools

Christian Schools

Montessori Schools

French Immersion Schools

Additional Resources

FLO Web Links for Education Options for Foreign Service Children (K-12)

 

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office