How To Apply

The information below outlines the various steps and deadlines in the admission process. We ultilize the online admission module, Ravenna, for our admission process. Through Ravenna, families can schedule tours and school visits, complete an inquiry and/or application, and submit supporting documents. Additionally through this portal, families can monitor the progress of an application.

Please contact the Admission Office (301-841-2130) if you have any questions about the application process. We look forward to getting to know your child and introducing you to Norwood!

Applications for admission to Norwood School are accepted beginning in September for the following academic year and are due January 15. Sibling applications are due November 15. If the application deadline has passed, please contact the Admission Office to discuss a late application.

Individual Tour and Parent Conversation

An individual tour combined with a parent conversation provide families with the opportunity to see Norwood students and teachers in action and allow the admission team an opportunity to get to know your family better and help to bring your child's application to life. Additionally, they provide parents with time to ask questions and share information specific to their family and child.

A lower school tour and parent conversation (grades PK-4) last about 90 minutes and are for adults only. A middle school tour and parent conversation (grades 5-8) also lasts 90 minutes but students are welcome to join. 

Although required as a component of the application process, this tour and conversation can be scheduled prior to submitting an application. Tours are available throughout the year but are most effective during school months when you can see our school day in action. If there is not an available or convenient slot when scheduling online, please call our office and we will work with you to figure something out! 

Click here to schedule your visit to campus!


The admission application helps the Admission Office get to know your family. The essay offers parents the opportunity to share stories, perspective, and their voice to their child's file. We encourage parents to have fun while writing the essay and to trust that we view the essay as a personal perspective on the applicant and not as a parental writing sample! Do not let the essay hold up submitting your application as scheduling flexibility decreases the closer we get to the January 15 application deadline. Sibling applications are due November 15. If applying after January 15, please contact the Admission Office, 301-841-2130, for guidance.

Student Visits

Once an application has been submitted, student visits may be scheduled through Ravenna. Click here if you have applied and now need to schedule a student visit.

Playdates for children applying to pre-kindergarten occur on various mornings in December and January and last approximately 50 minutes. Playdates for grades K & 1 occur on various afternoons in January and February and last approximately 75 minutes. We ask that you arrive a few minutes early so your child has time to get comfortable before the playdate begins. While the children are with teachers, Matthew Gould, our head of school, and middle school ambassadors may stop by to visit with parents in an informal question and answer opportunity. 

Visits for children applying for grades 2-8 are scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays beginning in October. Second and third grade applicants visit with a member of the admission staff followed by a short visit in a classroom. Fourth through eighth grade applicants shadow a host student for the full-school day. Children should wear comfortable school clothes (no jeans or t-shirts, please) for their visit. In addition, applicants may have a chance to go to PE class or play on the playground during their visit so appropriate attire (including sneakers and a jacket) is suggested.

Teacher Recommendations

Applicants for pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade submit one recommendation sent directly from the current homeroom teacher. If a pre-K applicant does not have a current classroom teacher to fill out the recommendation, a recommendation from an outside instructor is acceptable. Applicants for grades 2-5 submit two recommendations: one from the current homeroom teacher and one from an additional current teacher. Applicants for grades 6-8 submit two teacher recommendations: one sent directly from the current English teacher and one sent directly from the current math teacher. All applicants may also submit an additional optional recommendation from another current teacher, a former teacher, or an outside of school instructor. 

All recommendations are assigned, completed, and submitted electronically through Ravenna. Recommendations are confidentiall and due to Norwood by February 1 (December 6 for Norwood siblings who have applied by November 15). Click here to assign recommendation forms.

Progress Reports and Transcripts

A progress report or transcript is required for all applicants. Families should submit the Transcript Release Form (available on Ravenna) to their current school in sufficient time to meet the February 1 supporting document deadline (December 6 for Norwood siblings applying early). If a school does not produce a progress report or transcript (as is often the case with preschools), a school official should sign the bottom portion of the Transcript Release Form indicating such and submit that to Norwood.


Testing is optional for applicants to grades pre-K through 3. If a family has admission testing (WPPSI or WISC) that they choose to share, the results should be sent directly from the diagnostic center to Norwood School.
Applicants to grade 4 are required to submit either the WISC or results from the Elementary Level SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test). To ensure that Norwood School directly receives official results from SSAT, Norwood must be listed as a score recipient (Norwood SSAT Code #5425).
Applicants for grades 5-8 are required to take either the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination) or the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test). To ensure that Norwood School directly receives official results from the testing agency, Norwood must be listed as a score recipient (Norwood ISEE Code #211166, Norwood SSAT Code #5425).

Testing Release Form for Grade 4 - WISC

What is this Ravenna I keep reading about?

Norwood School is one of many DC-area independent schools that have partnered with Ravenna to manage the application process. Ravenna, an online module, helps families coordinate and complete the various steps required to apply to Norwood. Through Norwood's Ravenna hub, families can register for admission events (including our open house, individual tours and conversations, and Mornings with Matthew), submit an application, electronically request teacher recommendations, track the application process, and view your decision notification.

At various points on our website, you will be directed to Ravenna and asked to create an account or login into a previously created account. If you are ready to create an account right now, click here.

Required Steps

1. Create a Ravenna account to submit an application by January 15. (Late applications considered as time and space permit. Please contact the admission office for guidance, 301-841-2130.)
2. Schedule an individual tour and parent conversation.
3. Schedule a student visit.
4. Assign teacher recommendations.
5. Arrange for your current school to send your child’s progress report and/or transcript.
6. Schedule and submit required testing.
*Sibling applications due November 15 with supporting documents by December 6.

Additional Steps (Optional)

1. Submit an inquiry to receive our viewbook and other mailings.
2. Attend our Experiential Open House on November 9, 2019.
3. Attend a Morning with Matthew (various dates throughout the admission year).
4. Submit a financial aid application (if needed).
    • Evelyn

      Evelyn '22

Parent Notification

In accordance with the guidelines established by the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington (AISGW), parents are notified of the Admission Committee's decision no earlier than March 1. Admission to Norwood School is based on merit. Norwood School has an open admission policy and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin, religion or creed, gender, sexual orientation, family composition, economic status, age, learning styles, or disability.
Located in Bethesda, MD, Norwood School develops students in grades PK-8 into confident lifelong learners who have the academic, character, and leadership skills to succeed in high school and beyond. Recognizing that children are multi-faceted, Norwood provides many opportunities for safe risk-taking, exploration, discovery, and growth in a nurturing, supportive, and inclusive school community.