Norwood has experienced intentional growth and change over the past 65 years, while holding fast to its mission and core beliefs. From our move into the Steuart Building on River Road in the 1970s, through the construction and renovation of the Ewing and Marsh buildings in the 1980s, to acquiring the Hyde property in the late 1990s and building the Middle School, and renovating the Murray Arts Center as well as creating the Gosnell Courtyard and Linke Garden in 2005 – each initiative has transformed the School because of generous community support.

Today the School seeks to build on that legacy by setting a new standard of excellence in child-centered, PK-8 education. To achieve this goal, Norwood must embrace – and pioneer – best practices in differentiated instruction, reshape its campus to support flexible and collaborative teaching, and safeguard its ability to remain committed to innovation and diversity.

Like the children who fill its classrooms, Norwood has tremendous potential to shine even more brightly. We need to challenge ourselves to build on the foundation laid by those before us and to invest generously in Norwood’s future.


Fulfilling the goals set forth in the strategic plan demand more than an allocation of existing resources; it will require an infusion of new funds, invested smartly and purposefully. The Norwood Board of Trustees approved a comprehensive campaign, called Our Children, Our Purpose, with a working goal of $15 million. The campaign is the most ambitious fundraising effort in Norwood’s history. Campaign goals include:

List of 2 items.

  • Endowment Growth

    The Power of Endowment
    According to data from the National Association of Independent Schools, a distinguishing characteristic of independent schools in the highest tier of academic excellence is a healthy endowment that is equal to or greater than the school’s operating budget.
    When we launched the comprehensive campaign in 2017, Norwood’s endowment was about $9.8 million and the operating budget was approximately $17 million. Thanks to our many generous campaign donors, the endowment has grown to about $16 million today!
    A healthy endowment:
    • Provides long-term financial security
    • Allows us to protect funds for student financial aid and faculty professional development
    • Shelters us against short-term economic fluctuations and preserves our ability to invest strategically for the future.
    Strategic Plan Goal: Attract and retain exceptional faculty and staff who bring rich and diverse perspectives to our community.
    A robust endowment is the best means of ensuring an exceptional faculty in an increasingly competitive environment. Our teachers excel at their craft — they have the training and expertise to create academic experiences where each child is stretched but not stressed and where each child is known and loved. Attracting, developing, and retaining the best of the best is a top priority for Norwood and requires significant resources dedicated to the interconnected features of our faculty and staff program: competitive salaries and benefits, a stimulating work environment, and top-quality professional development.
    Strategic Plan Goal: Support a healthy financial aid program that reflects our commitment to socioeconomic diversity.
    A stronger endowment will enable Norwood to increase its commitment to accessibility by controlling tuition growth and ensuring that qualified students continue to get the assistance they need. Today, one out of every five students receive some form of aid. However, only 3.1 percent of Norwood financial aid awards (less than $50,000) are supported by endowed funds. Adding to these funds will help ensure that students are able to receive a Norwood education regardless of need.
  • New and Renovated Lower School Classrooms

    While our current Lower School has served us ably for more than 40 years, it was originally intended to serve a smaller student body in a traditional arrangement of desks in rows. Today’s teaching and learning environments are thoughtfully designed, placing an important emphasis on increased interaction among students and teachers, increased collaboration among disciplines, enhanced flexibility, and the integration of versatile community spaces.
    After conducting a comprehensive space audit and analysis with cox, graae + spack architects, coupled with what we know about the needs of our learners, we deemed new lower school classrooms as the top priority. The new spaces, dedicated to the important early elementary grades, will position Norwood to deliver a child-centered educational experience without compromise.
    Imagine new child-centered classrooms that are agile, where the space can be reconfigured on demand to engage different types of learners and activities. These rooms will accommodate flexible student groupings, differentiated and individualized instruction, opportunities for enhanced collaboration, and long-term group projects.

    The rooms will be large, vibrant, well-equipped, and filled with natural light. The design will integrate the latest technology, be environmentally conscious, and take full advantage of the beautiful outdoor surroundings. The new classrooms will also drive the School’s ability to initiate other facility changes and renovations and will enable increased flexibility and efficiency in scheduling.

Planned Giving

Planned and deferred giving are ways to make a powerful impact. Planned giving allows donors to support Norwood School through estate and tax planning. These means provide for the vibrant future for the School we know and love in ways that maximize the gift and/or minimize its impact on a donor’s estate.


Norwood established the Oak Tree Society in 1994 to recognize the generosity of parents, grandparents, past parents, alumni, and friends who have made provisions for Norwood in their estate plans. The Norwood School community is deeply grateful to all Oak Tree Society members for these special expressions of loyalty and support. A bequest or trust of any size qualifies an individual for membership in the Society, and helps secure Norwood’s future for generations of students.


To learn more, please contact Director of Development Cathy Voeks at 301-841-2203 or
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.