How To Apply

Applications for admission to Norwood School are accepted beginning in September for the following academic year and are due January 12. Sibling applications are due November 6. If the application deadline has passed, please contact the Admission Office to discuss a late application, 301-841-2130. The information below outlines the various steps and deadlines in the admission process. 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!


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 sample parental writing sample! Do not let the essay hold up submitting your application as scheduling flexibility decreases the closer we get to the January 12 application deadline (Sibling applications are due November 6). If applying after January 12, please contact the Admission Office, 301-841-2130, for guidance.

Individual Parent Meeting

Upon receipt of an application, the Admission Office contacts the applicant family to set up two appointments: a parent meeting and a child visit. The parent meeting lasts approximately 45 minutes. While we would love to see all parents at this appointment, we understand that schedules may make this challenging.

Student Visits

Pre-K visits are scheduled in conjunction with the parent meeting and therefore scheduled at the convenience to all. Pre-K applicants visit one-on-one with a member of the admission team while parents chat with another admission team member. By coming together, we hope that our pre-K applicants feel at ease and comfortable separating from his or her parents who will be in an office right near by.

Playdates for children applying to grades K & 1 occur on various afternoons in January and February. Playdates 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. You will begin the playdate with your child in the Lower School Library. After everyone has arrived (typically 6-9 students of the same grade) and settled in, your child will separate from you and walk down to the kindergarten or first grade classrooms. We ask that you stay in the library during the playdate. Feel free to work or make phone calls. Matthew Gould, our head of school, and middle school ambassadors may stop by for an informal question and answer opportunity. You are welcome to bring along younger or older siblings. Snacks are not served during the playdates.

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. This additional form is included in the downloadable bundles above. All recommendations are confidential; recommendations are due to Norwood by February 1 (December 2 for Norwood siblings who have applied by November 6).

Progress Reports and Transcripts

A progress report or transcript is required for all applicants. Families should submit the Transcript Release Form to their current school in sufficient time to meet the February 1 supporting document deadline (November 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 IV or WISC IV) 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 IV 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).

Suggested Diagnostic/Testing Centers

Testing Release Form for Grade 4 - WISC-IV

Required Steps

1. Submit an application by January 12, 2018. (Late applications considered as time and space permit. Please contact the admission office for guidance, 301-841-2130.)
2. Schedule a parent meeting.
3. Schedule a student visit.
4. Submit 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 6 with supporting documents by December 2.

Note to Sibling Families:  
Please apply via your current HawksNest account. To apply, login into HawksNest. Under the Resources tab, click the folder labeled 'Apply Now'. Click on the sibling who is applying or create a new sibling.

Additional Steps (Optional)

1. Submit an inquiry to receive our viewbook and other mailings.
2. Schedule a Parent Tour and Q&A Session (highly recommended).
3. Attend our Experiential Open House on November 11, 2017.
4. Submit a financial aid application (if needed).


To assist with our internal workflow, we want to encourage families to apply. As such, we are waiving the $60 fee if you submit your application by December 1. There is no code needed – it is an automatic waiver. Effective December 1, 2017, the $60 fee will be reinstituted. Apply early!!

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.