An important advantage of attending a PK-8 school is having the opportunity to make the very best high school choice. The PK-8 program at Norwood is uniquely designed to prepare young adolescents for this next step in their educational journey. Children change dramatically in the elementary and middle school years. A high school that seemed ideal when a child was four or five may be entirely inappropriate in light of a student’s interests and abilities at age 13 or 14. In keeping with the School’s mission, our ultimate goal is for each student to attend a high school that ensures continued social, emotional, and academic growth.

Norwood maintains strong ties with all of the independent secondary schools in the greater Washington, D.C. area, as well as a number of boarding schools throughout the country. High school admission officers and administrators remark year after year how much they love Norwood students, not only because they are well prepared academically but also because they are good school citizens who enthusiastically dive into the culture and community of their new schools.

Throughout the search process, Norwood works in partnership with families, guiding them through a sequence of steps designed to find the right school and right fit for every eighth grader. Specifically, the School’s High School Placement Team:
  • Consults with families beginning in the spring of seventh grade to identify a list of schools that target a student’s individual strengths and interests. 
  • Provides mock interview practice and feedback. 
  • Holds SSAT prep class during study halls, beginning in October. 
  • Hosts the annual Secondary School Fair, which features visits from more than 100 day and boarding schools. 
  • Prepares a comprehensive admissions packet of information for every eighth grade student. 
  • Visits with admission officers to personally present each Norwood candidate. 
  • Provides ongoing one-on-one consultation and guidance for families. 
  • Advises families about course selection and placement for both independent and public schools 
  • Facilitates discussions with eighth graders concerning the HSP process, supporting each other during this exciting time of change and decision making.
Norwood School has an excellent record for high school placement. Every year, our students move on to leading independent day schools, boarding schools, and highly rated public high schools with the academic ability, confidence, and enthusiasm for learning to be successful in high school, and for the college and career experiences that follow.

If you have any questions about the high school placement process at Norwood, please contact Michele Claeys, Associate Head of School and Head of Middle School Head, or call 301-841-2101.

High School Placement Team

List of 5 members.

  • Matthew Gould 

    Head of School
    Earlham College - B.A.
    The University of Chicago - Ph.D.
  • Michele Claeys 

    Associate Head of School and Head of Middle School
    University of Michigan - B.A.
    Bank Street College of Education - M.S.
  • Cathy Russo 

    Middle School Coordinator and High School Placement Coordinator
    University of Maryland - B.A.
  • Lynda Saelens 

    Director of Student Support Services and Middle School Learning Specialist
    Knox College - B.A.
    Marycrest College - M.Ed. Reading Clinician
  • Travis Wooden 

    Dean of Students
    University of Tennessee - B.A.

- Asma, '17

"Norwood helped me figure out what kind of person I am. Through all the amazing activities, I learned more about myself and what I like to do."

Class of 2017 Matriculation

Norwood graduates do not “feed” into a small group of high schools. In fact, the Class of 2018 attends 22 different high schools. That’s one of the distinguishing aspects of Norwood: graduates attend “best-fit” high schools where their unique talents, strengths, and gifts can continue to shine.

Students from the Class of 2018 were accepted at the following high schools and will attend those schools in bold:

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (2)
Bullis School (2)
Connelly School of the Holy Child (1)
Episcopal High School (VA) (1)
The Field School 
Garrison Forest School (MD) (1)
Georgetown Day School (1)
Georgetown Preparatory School (7)
Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School (1)
Gonzaga College High School
Holton-Arms School (7)
International School Basel (1)
Landon School (4)
Madeira School 
Maret School (5)
McLean High School (1)
McLean School (1)
National Cathedral School (2)
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
Poolesville High School Humanities Magnet 
The Academy of the Holy Cross (1)
The Kiski School (1)
The Potomac School (6)
St. Albans School (2)
St. Andrew's Episcopal School (4)
St. John's College High School
St. Stephens/St. Agnes School
Seneca Valley High School (1)
Sidwell Friends School (1)
Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Thomas Wootton High School (2)
Walt Whitman High School (6)
Washington International School
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.