Emerson Preparatory School
Founded in 1852 and named in honor of George Barrell Emerson (Ralph Waldo’s cousin), innovative educator, author and Harvard graduate, the Emerson Institute originally prepared Washington-area boys to enter Harvard College. Emerson Preparatory School, through the years, has increasingly focused its progressive philosophy and student-centered programs for families seeking a healthier, happier, and stimulating alternative to larger public schools or more rigid and highly pressured college prep options. As a result, the school draws a diverse student body of young men and women in grades 9 through 12 from the local and international community, and prepares them to confidently follow their chosen paths in life.
Our Flexible Program:
Emerson’s courses are completed in a single 4 ½ month semester, similar to college. Each class, lasting 90 minutes, is offered five days a week and is equivalent to a full-year course. This structure allows for deeper, less hurried classroom exploration, fewer courses to carry at one time, natural credit recovery for transfer students, and the ability to create mini-majors in departments of special interest. Our small mixed-grade level classes emphasize discussion and critical thinking over rote memorization, and foster mentor/teacher-student relationships, self-advocacy, and supportive individualized attention.
While traditional core courses are required to graduate, we offer many courses not commonly seen in high schools, and there is no requirement to progress through a particular set of subjects in a given academic year. Although most students take four courses per semester, we help students and families select the most appropriate type and number of courses that best engage and support the student’s progress toward graduation. Summer coursework, one-on-one tutorials, after-school support, and guided independent studies for students with specialized interests also available.
- Student-Teacher Ratio: 3.8: 1
- Average class size: < 10
In Support of Our Mission We Provide:
- Individual support services such as after-school study hall and tutoring;
- Early graduation track & guided independent study for academically exceptional students
- Flexible scheduling for unique circumstances;
- Integrated curriculum of all grades according to each student’s academic strength, rather than birth year
- An Advisory Program in which each teacher mentors 5-7 students in all aspects of their school career from attendance to accessing greater academic or emotional/social support;
- Frequent educational field trips and community service opportunities leveraging our unique location in the nation’s capital;
- Arts & Music courses;
- Less “busywork” homework;
- Stress-free physical education options from soccer to walking.