Special Section

Schools Open House Guide: Fall 2016

Here’s our guide to finding just the right independent-school fit for your child.
By By Rebecca Kirkman —
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Jennifer and Jeffrey Zwillenberg thought they were set. They identified a preschool for their son, Max, that allowed them to check off several boxes on their “must-have” list. And the security deposit was in. But then, Jennifer Zwillenberg got a recommendation from an unlikely source that changed the course of her son’s education completely.

“I actually found out about Greenspring Montessori School from a moms’ group on Facebook,” says the mother of two.

The Zwillenbergs had three priorities in mind when deciding where their son would start his educational journey: a dual-language setting, religious instruction, and, “most importantly, a place where he was going to love learning,” Jennifer Zwillenberg says. She polled other moms in the Facebook group about their experiences, and when she found out that Greenspring Montessori School—a coed school in Lutherville-Timonium that enrolls students from 18 months through eighth grade—offered a dual-language program, things started to click. “I really used other moms as resources,” she says.

Seeing the Greenspring Montessori classrooms in action confirmed the family’s decision. “I remember my husband saying, ‘I want to be in that classroom,’” Zwillenberg recalls. “We had already put down a deposit somewhere else, but we fell in love with the way they focused on the kids, the way Montessori prioritized the kids’ interest and their learning.” In August, 4-year-old Max began his second year in Children’s House (primary education for children ages 3-6) in a Spanish dual-language classroom.


The Power of Independence

For many families, the strength of independent schools is in their individuality. “The primary advantage is that with independent schools, families get to choose the school mission and the type of community that works best for them,” says Myra McGovern, vice president of media at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Whether the best fit is a school with a specific parochial, athletic, or academic program, there are more than 20 unique NAIS members to choose from in the greater Baltimore region.

With so many choices and types of schools, the decision-making and selection process can be overwhelming for parents. But your child’s interests can help narrow the list. “Look at your child and think about what he or she most needs in a school,” McGovern suggests. “Are there particular programs that the child is interested in? Does he or she need a particular type of environment, like a really nurturing or really competitive environment?” So when you research and visit potential schools, ask questions to obtain a sense of those qualities.

Parents also choose independent schools because instructors get to know students on an individual level. At Greenspring Montessori, Jennifer Zwillenberg witnessed how the staff and teachers “fell in love” with Max. “I didn’t anticipate that along with the learning style of Montessori, part of the commitment to the individual student is that all the adults know the kids really well,” she says. “I know that he’s going to grow because there are so many people there that are so invested in him.”

Fostering a sense of community is an important part of any independent school, and that means teachers know what makes each student tick. “If you have a teacher who really knows what your child is interested in, he or she could tailor the lessons to really motivate the child,” says McGovern.

An Investment in Intellect

What makes these schools worth the (often very substantial) money? For one, freedom from any state-mandated curriculum—that’s the “independent” part of independent schools—which translates into often unique and specialized curricula. “They don’t have to teach to the test like a lot of public schools, so they have the opportunity to try out different types of lessons and build programs that are really engaging,” says McGovern. Many independent schools offer programs or classes much like those at small liberal arts colleges, with innovative approaches to learning. “We have a number of schools that use design thinking as an instructional technique, so students have to solve problems,” she says. “Again, it’s really a benefit of the curricular freedom.”

At Greenspring Montessori, that means multi-age classrooms and individualized pacing. “Each child receives the lessons for which he or she is ready, at the exact time he or she is ready, regardless of what any other student is doing,” says Margaret Jarrell, former director of admissions. “This flexibility allows a child the time he or she needs to fully absorb concepts. Students are also free to pursue their own interests, guaranteeing that the work is both exciting and challenging.”


After a year of Montessori instruction, Jennifer Zwillenberg has seen her son progress academically and socially. She was particularly impressed by his level of independence.“He’s engaged in what he wants to do and he’ll sit there and do his work,” she says. “He’s focusing because it’s a perfect match of ability level and challenge. And now, when he comes home and he wants to play with his toys, he’s like, ‘Would you please get your own work? Don’t distract me,’” she says with a laugh.

Other independent-school pluses? Of course, there are excellent public schools—based on test scores—in greater Baltimore, particularly in Baltimore, Howard, and Harford counties. But the private school environment generally ensures smaller classes, a tailored educational and/or religious philosophy that meets the different requirements of parents, and an atmosphere of enforced civility that makes what happens in class no more important than what happens between classes.


School Search Timeline

Many retirees who choose to leave their longtime homes—where the mortgage was often low or may have been paid off—and move to a condo or retirement community face a significant increase in costs.


➼ Define your ideal school.
➼ Create a list of schools that match your child’s needs.
➼ Research and ask questions of schools on your preliminary list.


➼ Attend school fairs to gather materials and get first impressions.
➼ Browse schools’ websites to learn more about their programs and philosophies.
➼ Request admissions and financial aid materials.
➼ Create a calendar of deadlines for the schools on your list.
➼ Register for any standardized tests required for admission.
➼ Schedule school tours, class visits, and interviews.


➼ Visit schools during open houses, attend information sessions, and take tours.
➼ Finalize the list of schools to which you will apply.
➼ Take required standardized admission tests.


➼ Request teacher recommendations from your child’s current school.
➼ Start working on applications, financial aid forms, student questionnaires, and essays.


➼ Request transcripts at the end of your child’s first semester.
➼ Complete applications, questionnaires, and essays.


➼ Most applications are due in
January or February, along with test scores, references, transcripts, and financial aid forms.


➼ Turn in any final applications before the deadlines.
➼ Visit schools and have your child participate in a student shadow day.


➼ Watch for school and financial aid decisions starting in mid-March.
➼ If your student is accepted by multiple schools, decide which ones your child will attend.


➼ Sign and return enrollment contracts and send deposits.


➼ Attend events and activities for new parents and students.


Acing Admissions

Some parents worry that independent schools are only for the most academically gifted students. Thankfully, the number and variety of schools out there means there is a school to fit each student.

“Some schools focus on gifted students, some focus on students with learning differences, some focus on gifted students with learning differences—there really is a broad range,” McGovern says.

Plus, each school is looking to assemble the best class of students—not just students with the highest scores. “A good class for each grade has students with lots of different skills and abilities—students who are going to challenge each other,” McGovern points out. “It takes all types.”

Does your child have a passion for cinematography? What about ceramics, horseback riding, or squash? Make sure that comes through in their application.

“We’re interested in the full picture and want to know about an applicant’s other interests, as well as academics,” says Steve Birdsall, director of admissions and financial aid at the 143-year-old McDonogh School, a coed day and boarding college-prep school in Owings Mills for prekindergarten through 12th grade. “We’re looking to build a class with a range of talents, so sharing that community-service involvement, or even something as obscure as juggling or a passion about robotics, can provide us with important insight.”


Remember, too, that as a child grows, what he or she needs out of a school can change. The perfect middle-school environment may no longer be a good fit when transitioning to high school.

“It’s a good time for some self-reflection from the student’s side to think about what they’re really hoping to get out of the high-school experience,” Birdsall says. “There are so many great options here in town and each school has its own flavor.”

When describing McDonogh’s most attractive applicants, Birdsall uses the word “eager.” “There’s an appetite for higher-level academic work, but there’s also an eagerness for new things and being open to new opportunities,” he says. Although it can be hard to quantify, he adds, the admissions office can get hints of that quality through each aspect of the admissions process, like shadow days, recommendation letters, the student essay, and the interview.

Open houses and shadow days, where prospective students spend part or all of the day attending classes, are the most common ways to get to know a school. Birdsall encourages potential students visiting McDonogh to engage in classrooms and activities. “We do hear about students here on visit days that are not just sitting back and watching the lesson, but are diving in at appropriate times with invitation, and I think that’s a great way to show your excitement for the program and the school,” he says. “They should not be afraid to do that.”

In addition to typical admissions events, there are more fun, creative ways to experience a school’s spirit. Many, like sports events, plays, and other performances, are free and open to the public. “It’s a great way to be a fly on the wall to observe the students in action,” Birdsall says. He also offers an insider tip: When the admissions office invites students to these types of events, it makes note of how many they attend, and showing up is a great way to emphasize your interest in a school. (Birdsall also recommends a handwritten thank-you note after the interview. “I still believe in putting pen to paper,” he says.)


Footing the Bill

The median 2015-2016 day-school tuition in Baltimore was $25,935. Add up 12 years of private-school tuition, multiply that by two or more children, and it’s enough to make your heart skip a beat. (We’re not even going to mention college.) But proper financial planning, and taking advantage of grants and merit-based scholarships, can make all the difference. We asked John Borth, senior vice president and private financial adviser at SunTrust Investment Services, for his tips on funding a private-school education.

How can parents determine their budget for private schooling?

Project how much money a private school will cost over the course of your child’s K-12 education (assume a 5-10 percent tuition inflation rate each year), and then make sure you have the financial resources—and desire—to make the investment. Switching from a private to public school due to inadequate financial planning can be stressful for parents and children, so it’s important to count the cost at the beginning. If your 401K and 529 plans are on track—and paying for private school won’t reduce your contributions to those accounts—sending your child to a private K-12 school will be less financially stressful to your long-term financial goals.

Are there any special ways to
maximize savings for education?

Parents who want to begin saving for K-12 education expenses have fewer options than those saving for their child’s college education, at least from a tax benefit perspective. An Education Savings Account is the most popular option and allows contributions to grow tax-free. The money can be used for elementary, secondary, and college education, but it must be used by the time a child reaches age 30. Contributions are limited to $2,000 per year and must end once a child reaches age 18.

Parents can also put money in a target-date fund that automatically becomes more conservative when the money is needed. A Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account gives the child more control over how the money is spent. The money automatically goes to the child at age 18 or 21, and can be used for anything, including education expenses. These funds become less aggressive as you get closer to spending the money, but there are no tax benefits.

What are some common mistakes?

It’s dangerous to assume you will be able to finish paying for your child’s education and then start saving for retirement. Catching up is hard.

Another misconception is that parents are doing their children a favor by putting them through private school—at the expense of their own retirement. No parent wants to be a financial burden on their child, especially if the situation could have been avoided. Private school can be a great investment, but parents should consider all the financial factors before making the commitment.

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Save the Dates

The following is a list of open houses at schools in the Greater Baltimore region.

» Archbishop Curley High School

3701 Sinclair Lane. 410-485-5000. archbishopcurley.org. Grades: 9-12, all male. Enrollment: 562. Affiliation: Catholic/Franciscan. 10/22 and 10/23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

» Archbishop Spalding High School

8080 New Cut Road, Severn. 410-969-9105.
archbishpspaulding.com. Grades: 9-12, coed. Enrollment: 1,200. Affiliation: Roman Catholic.
10/30, 12-2 p.m.

» Baltimore Lab School

2220 St. Paul St. 410-261-5500. baltimorelabschool.org. Grades: 1-12, coed. Enrollment: 130. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Third Thursday breakfast tour each month, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

» Beth El Congregation

8101 Park Heights Ave. 410-484-0411. bethelbaltimore.com. Grades: 3 months-5 years of age, coed. Affiliation: Jewish. Call for open house times.

» Beth [email protected] Hill

1530 Battery Ave. 410-602-2245. bethelbalto.com. Grades: 2-5 years of age, coed. Enrollment: 32. Affiliation: Jewish. 11/17, 3-6 p.m.

» Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

3300 Old Court Road, Pikesville. 410-413-2323. bethtfiloh.com. Grades: age 2-grade 12, coed. Enrollment: 960. Affiliation: Jewish. 11/21, 7 p.m., high school; 11/16, 7 p.m., middle school; 11/21 and 11/29, 9 a.m., lower school.

» The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland

822 W. Lake Ave. 410-377-5192. boyslatinmd.com. Grades: K-12, all-male. Enrollment: 615. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/16, 11 a.m.

» The Bryn Mawr School

109 W. Melrose Ave. 410-323-8800. Grades: K-12, all-female except coed Little School. Enrollment: 690. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/5 and 11/9, 9 a.m., lower school; 10/30, 11 a.m., K-12; 10/11, 11/17, and 12/8, 8:30 a.m., upper school; 10/20, 11/15, and 12/8, 8:30 a.m., middle school.


Six Schools at a Glance

With more than 120 independent schools to choose from in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area, parents and students have plenty of options. It’s narrowing down those options that can be a challenge. As an example, we’ve highlighted facts about half a dozen schools in the Baltimore area.

Gilman School

➼ At a glance: A boys’ college preparatory school founded in 1897 with 1,030 students in the lower, middle, and upper schools.
➼ College acceptance rate: 100 percent attend four-year colleges; 81 percent attend a most-competitive or highly competitive college (as defined by Barron’s).
➼ Athletics: Gilman’s football team has 11 A conference MIAA championships.
➼ Fun fact: Gilman was the first country day school in the U.S.

Severn School

➼ At a glance: Founded in 1914 to provide academic preparation for the U.S. Naval Academy, the day school currently enrolls more than 800 students, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, at its two campuses near Annapolis.

➼ Athletics: Accomplished sailing team, nationally recognized chess team, and championship-winning mock-trial club.

➼ College acceptance: 95-100 percent of graduates enter four-year colleges or universities.

➼ Fun fact: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin attended Severn in preparation for the Naval Academy entrance exams.

The Boys’ Latin School of Maryland

➼ At a glance: This nonsectarian boys’ school was founded in 1844, and is
the oldest in the state. It enrolls about
600 students in kindergarten through
12th grade.

➼ Athletics: The school’s lacrosse team competes in the MIAA A Conference, and last year sent a player to the Under Armour All-American Football Team. The lacrosse team was ranked No. 19 in the U.S. by Nike and Lacrosse magazine in 2015.
➼ College acceptance rate: 100 percent of graduates attend college.

➼ Fun fact: John Waters finished high
school here after transferring from
Calvert Hall.

St. Paul’s School

➼ At a glance: Founded in 1849, St. Paul’s is an Episcopal school on 95 acres with an enrollment of 766. The school is coeducational in kindergarten through fourth grade, and all-boys in fifth through 12th grades.

➼ Athletics: The lacrosse team holds a record 25 championships, and was ranked No. 20 in the U.S. by Nike and Lacrosse magazine in 2015.

➼ College acceptance rate: Typically, 100 percent of graduates attend college. Over the past seven years, graduates have attended all eight Ivy League schools.

➼ Fun fact: Orioles pitcher Steve Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers while playing at St. Paul’s.

McDonogh School

➼ At a glance: Founded in 1873, McDonogh sits on an 800-acre property in Owings Mills and enrolls 1,350 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. More than 100 students are part of a five-day boarding program.

➼ Athletics: Its undefeated girls’ lacrosse team was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. by Nike and Lacrosse magazine in 2015. Its football team won the MIAA A conference championships in 2013.
➼ College acceptance: Each year, graduates attend Ivy League schools.
➼ Fun fact: McDonogh’s chief rival is Gilman, and the two football teams have met on the field for 100 years.

The Park School

➼ At a glance: Founded in 1912, Park offers pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education for 780 students on a 100-acre campus in Baltimore County.

➼ Athletics: The girls’ lacrosse team won the 2013 B conference IAAM championships and three students were selected for the 2015 All-American lacrosse team.

➼ College acceptance rate: 99 percent of graduates enroll in a four-year college within one year of graduation.
➼ Fun fact: Park teachers offer adult night-school programs, like Bees and Beekeeping and Islam 101: Principles and Practices.

» Calvert Hall College High School

8102 La Salle Road, Towson. 410-825-4266. calverthall.com. Grades: 9-12, all-male. Enrollment: 1,200. Affiliation: Roman Catholic and Lasallian.
11/13, 12-4 p.m.

» Calvert School

105 Tuscany Road. 410-243-6054. calvertschoolmd.org. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 600. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/13, 10/25, 11/16, 9-11 a.m.

» Cambridge School

110 Sudbrook Lane, Pikesville. 410-486-3686. cambridgeschool.com. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 110. Affiliation: Christian. 10/18, 6:30-8 p.m.; 10/19, 9-11 a.m.; 4/5, 9-11 a.m.

» The Catholic High School of Baltimore

2800 Edison Hwy. 410-732-6200. Grades: 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 335. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/22, 10 a.m.

» Columbia Academy

10350 Old Columbia Road, Columbia. 410-312-7413. Grades: Junior-K to 8, coed. Enrollment: 200. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/22, 10 a.m.-noon.

» Concordia Preparatory School

1145 Concordia Dr., Towson. 410-825-2323. Grades: 6-12, Coed. Enrollment: 245. Affiliation: Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
10/22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

» Eastern Technical High School

1100 Mace Ave., Essex. 410-887-0190. easterntechhs.bcps.org. Grades: 9-12, coed. Enrollment: 1,200. Affiliation: nonsectarian, public. For eighth-graders, 10/6, 6-8 p.m.

» Friends School of Baltimore

5114 N. Charles St. 410-649-3200. friendsbalt.org. Grades: pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 812. Affiliation: Quaker. 10/17, 9-11 a.m.; 11/16, 9-11 a.m.; 1/12, 9-11 a.m.

» Garrison Forest School

300 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills. 410-363-1500, gfs.org. Grades: pre-K to 12, all-female except coed pre-K. Enrollment: 629. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Lower school parent visit days, 10/10, 8:10-10:30 a.m.; middle school, 10/28, 7:45-9:30 a.m.; upper school, 10/18, 9-10:30 a.m.; all school, 10/30, 2-4 p.m.

» Gerstell Academy

2500 Old Westminster Pike, Finksburg. 410-861-3000. Grades: pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 375. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/5, noon; 10/23, 2 p.m.; 11/13, 2 p.m.; 12/5, 11 a.m.

» Gilman School

5407 Roland Ave. 410-323-3800. Grades: K-12, all-male. Enrollment: 1,020. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Upper/middle open house, 10/28, 10/29, 12-2 p.m.; upper/middle visiting days, 10/18, noon and 11/19, 8:15-9:30 a.m.; K-first grade, 10/11, 8:40-11 a.m.; grades 2-5, 11/16, 8:30-11 a.m.

» Glenelg Country School

12793 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City. 410-531-8600. Grades: age 2-grade 12, coed. Enrollment: 750. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/21, 11/8, 12/7, 9 a.m.

» Greenspring Montessori School

10807 Tony Dr. Lutherville-Timonium. 410-321-8555. Grades: 18 months-grade 8, coed. Enrollment: 255. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 11/5, 10 a.m.-noon.

» Harford Day School

715 Moores Mill Road, Bel Air. Harfordday.org. Grades: pre-K (age 3) to grade 8, coed. Enrollment: 300. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/18, 9 a.m.-noon; 11/8, 1-3 p.m.

» The Highlands School

2409 Creswell Road, Bel Air. 410-836-1415. highlandsschool.net. Grades: K-11, coed. Enrollment: up to 80/rolling admissions.. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Call to schedule tour.

» Immaculate Conception School

112 Ware Ave., Towson. 410-427-4801. theimmaculate.org. Grades: pre-K (age 3) to grade 8, coed. Enrollment: 570. Affiliation: Catholic. Middle school open house, 10/12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; general fall open house, 11/10, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

» Institute of Notre Dame

901 Aisquith St. 410-522-7800. Grades: 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 354. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. Call for times.

» Jemicy School

11202 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills (upper school). 11 Celadon Road, Owings Mills (lower and middle schools). 410-653-2700. Grades: 1-12, coed. Enrollment: 354. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Call to schedule tour.

» John Paul Regional Catholic School

6946 Dogwood Road, Windsor Mill. 410-944-0367. Jprcs.org. Grades: preschool-grade 8, coed. Enrollment: 150-200. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 1/29, 12-2 p.m.

» Krieger Schechter Day School

8100 Stevenson Road. 410-486-8640. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 281. Affiliation: Jewish. 10/14, 9 a.m.; 12/13, 7 p.m.

» Loyola Blakefield

500 Chestnut Ave., Towson. 410-823-0601. Grades: 6-12, all-male. Enrollment: 970. Affiliation: Jesuit Catholic. 10/16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

» Maryvale Preparatory School

11300 Falls Road, Lutherville. 410-252-3366. Grades: 6-12, all-female. Enrollment: 417. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/23, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

» McDonogh School

8600 McDonogh Road, Owings Mills. 410-363-0600. Grades: pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 1,370. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/6, 10/19, 11/8, 9 a.m. (lower); 10/23, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (middle); 10/23, 3-5 p.m. (upper).

» Mercersburg Academy

300 E. Seminary St., Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. 717-328-6173. mercersburg.edu/openhouse. Grades: 9-12, plus postgrad year, boarding and day. Enrollment: 441, coed. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; 12/12, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

» Mercy High School

1300 E. Northern Pkwy. 410-433-8880. Grades: 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 300. Affiliation: Catholic. 11/12, 10-2 p.m.

» Mother Seton Academy

2215 Greenmount Ave. 410-563-2833. Grades: 6-8. Enrollment: 75. Affiliation: Catholic. 1/7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

» Mount de Sales Academy

700 Academy Road, Catonsville. 410-744-8498. Grades: 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 475. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 11/1, 12-3 p.m.

» Mount Saint Joseph High School

4403 Frederick Ave. 410-644-3300. Grades: 9-12, all-male. Enrollment: 880. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/30, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

» Notre Dame Preparatory School

815 Hampton Lane, Towson. 410-825-6202. Grades: 6-12, all-female. Enrollment: 800. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/15, 12-3:30 p.m.

» The Odyssey School

3257 Bridle Ridge Lane, Stevenson. 410-580-5551. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 152. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 1/18, 6:45-9 p.m.

» Oldfields School

1500 Glencoe Road, Sparks-Glencoe. 410-472-4800. Grades: 8-12, all-female. Enrollment: 180. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/23, 1-3 p.m.

» Our Lady of Grace School

18310 Middletown Road, Parkton. 410-329-6956. Grades: preschool-8, coed. Enrollment: 169. Affiliation: Catholic. Call for times.

» Our Lady of Mount Carmel

1704 Old Eastern Ave. 410-686-4972. Grades: preschool-12, coed. Enrollment: 550. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/16, 9 a.m., pre-K; 11/10, 6:30-9 p.m., grades K-8; 10/20, 6-9 p.m., grades 9-12.

» Our Lady of Perpetual Help School

4801 Ilchester Rd. Ellicott City, 410-744-4251. Grades: Pre-K to Gr. 8 Co-ed. Enrollment: 210. Affiliation: Archdiocese of Baltimore, OLPH Parish, National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. 10/12, 10 a.m.; 11/3, 10:45am; 12/6, 7pm.

» Our Lady of Victory School

4416 Wilkens Ave. 410-242-3688. Grades pre-K to 8, coed. Enrollment: 180. Affiliation: Catholic. 11/11, 9-11:30 a.m.; 1/29, 8:45-10:30 a.m.; 12/13, 11:30.

» The Park School of Baltimore

2425 Old Court Road. 410-339-4130. Grades: pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 829. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Tour with principals, 10/7, 11/4, 12/1, 8:45-10:30 a.m.; 10/15, 10-11:30 a.m., lower school; 10/23, 1-3 p.m., middle and upper schools.

» The Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University

21 E. Mount Vernon Place. 667-208-6640, peabody.jhu.edu. Grades: music and dance instruction for all ages and abilities, coed. Enrollment: approx. 2,000 per week at four locations. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Visit Peabody online for information and registration.

» Redeemer Classical Christian School

6415 Mt. Vista Road, Kingsville. 410-592-9625. Grades: pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 240. Affiliation: Christian. 11/12, 6:30 p.m.

» Roland Park Country School

5204 Roland Ave. 410-323-5500. Grades: preschool-12, all-female except coed preschool. Enrollment: 667. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/16, 1-4 p.m.

» St. James Academy

3100 Monkton Road, Monkton. 410-771-4816. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 300. Affiliation: Episcopalian. Call for times.

» Saint James School

17641 College Road, Hagerstown. 301-733-9330. Grades: 8-12, coed. Enrollment: 230. Affiliation: Episcopalian. 10/22, 1/16, call for times.

» St. John’s Parish Day School

9130 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. 410-465-7644. Grades: age 3-grade 5, coed. Enrollment: 350. Affiliation: Episcopal. 10/10, 10/26, and 11/11, 10-11:30 a.m.

» Sandy Spring Friends School

16923 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring. 301-774-7455. Grades: preschool-12, coed. Enrollment: 575. Affiliation: Quaker. 10/16, 1-3:30 p.m.

» The School of the Cathedral
of Mary Our Queen

111 Amberly Way. 410-464-4100. Grades: K-8, coed. Enrollment: 405. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 11/2, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

» St. Paul’s School

11152 Falls Road, Brooklandville. 410-825-4400. Grades: K-4, lower school is coed; 5-12, middle/upper school is all-male. Enrollment: 766. Affiliation: Episcopalian. 10/19, 8:30-10:30 a.m., lower school; 10/6, 8:30-10:30 a.m., upper school; 10/18, 8:30-10:30 a.m., middle and upper.

» St. Paul’s School for Girls

11232 Falls Road, Brooklandville. 410-823-6323. Grades: 5-12, all-female. Enrollment: 405. Affiliation: Episcopalian. 10/6, 11/3, 1/6, 8:30-10 a.m., upper school; 10/27, 12/1, 1/5, 8:30-10 a.m., middle; 11/9, 6:30-7:30 p.m., middle and upper.

» St. Mark School

26 Melvin Ave., Catonsville. 410-744-6560. Grades: pre-K to 8, coed. Enrollment: 350. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/10, 11/8, 9-11 a.m.

» St. Timothy’s School

8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. 410-486-7400, stt.org. Boarding and day, grades 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 200. Affiliation: Episcopalian. 10/22, 11/12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

» St. Ursula School

8900 Harford Road. 410-665-3533. Grades: pre-K to 8, coed. Enrollment: 600. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 11/8, 1/29, 1-3 p.m.

» St. Pius X School

6432 York Road. 410-427-7400. Grades: pre-K to 8, coed. Enrollment: 215. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. Call for times.


By the Numbers

Aren’t stereotypes wonderful? And there’s no shortage of preconceived notions when it comes to private schools (e.g., they’re all rich kids there). But here are a few actual facts about the region’s independent schools.


Students of color


median annual tuition, day school


number of students enrolled in 15 independent schools across
the greater Baltimore area


median annual
tuition, boarding


median enrollment
per school


students receiving financial aid


median need-based financial aid grant

» The Seton Keough High School

1201 Caton Ave., Halethorpe. 410-646-4444, setonkeough.com. Grades: 9-12, all-female. Enrollment: 205. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/29, 1-3 p.m.

» Severn School

(now merged with Chesapeake Academy) 1185 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Arnold (lower school). 410-647-7700. Grades : pre-K to 12, coed. Enrollment: 810. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Call for times.

» Shady Side Academy Senior School

423 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 412-968-3180. shadysideacademy.org. Grades: 9-12, coed, day and boarding. Enrollment: 510. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Call for times.

» Trinity School

4985 Ilchester Road, Ellicott City. 443-498-5040, trinityschoolmd.org. Grades: pre-K to grade 8, coed. Enrollment: 350. Affiliation: Roman Catholic. 10/6, 9 a.m.; 11/13, 11 a.m. (visitors invited to 10 a.m. mass); 12/1, 9 a.m.; 1/13, 9 a.m.; 2/12, 11 a.m. (mass at 10 a.m.); 3/9, 9 a.m.; 4/7, 9 a.m.; 5/4, 9 a.m. Kindergarten open houses: 11/3, 9 a.m.; 11/11, 9:30 a.m.; 1/16, 9 a.m.

» The Waldorf School of Baltimore

4801 Tamarind Road. 410-367-6808. Grades: nursery-8, coed. Enrollment: 133. Affiliation: nonsectarian. Call for times.

» West Nottingham Academy

1079 Firetower Road, Colora. 410-658-5556. Boarding/day, grades 9-12, coed. Enrollment: 130. Affiliation: nonsectarian. 10/15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; 11/11, 10 a.m.-noon; 12/4, 2/12, 4/2, 1-3 p.m.

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