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 – Available in bookstores or may be ordered by contacting Independent School Guide, 7315 Brookville Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Telephone: 301-986-5370. A copy is available for use at the Department of State's Family Liaison Office and in Community Liaison Offices overseas. Also available from online bookstores.
  • Washingtonian Magazine: "A Private School for Every Student" – Guide to DC-area private schools
  • DC – Listing of private schools in the District of Columbia
  • The Association of Boarding Schools – Search mechanism for identifying private boarding schools in any state in the country
  • 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
  • Top 30 Private Schools in Northern Virginia – I Am Modern magazine lists private schools from preschool to 12th grade. There’s basic information provided as well as contact information

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 (U.S.) or $225 (international). For information on the test, international test locations, registration, and study guides, contact Princeton, NJ 08543
Tel: 609-683-4440 / Fax: 800-442-SSAT

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

  • The Cultural Services office of the French Embassy in Washington DC provides a list of French or international schools in the area.

The French Maternal School
3115 P St., NW,
Washington, DC 2007
(202) 333-2255

The French Institute
4000 Albemarle St., NW,
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 362-8667

The French International School
3200 Woodbine St.,
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 907-3265

Association of Counselors and Consultants for Educational Support and Services (ACCESS)
Educational Consultants
Alexandria House
400 Madison Street, Suite 2008
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: 703-683-7764

AISGW Directory of Member Schools
Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW)
P.O. Box 9956
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: 202-625-9223
Fax: 202-625-9225

Lutheran Schools in the D.C. metro area

Independent Schools
Available from:
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
1620 L Street, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-973-9700 or 1-800-793-6701

Independent Education
1524 35th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 625-9223
Fax: (202) 625-9225

World Class Learning Schools – British Schools of America

Choosing the Right School for Your Child
Available from:
Independent Education Consultants Association (IECA)
3251 Old Lee Highway, Suite 510
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-1504
Tel: 703-591-4850
Fax: 703-591-4860

Vincent Curtis Educational Register - Free catalogs and referrals for 1,200 programs in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

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


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