About

Emerson Preparatory School

Our Mission:

Emerson is a small, independent, and diverse college preparatory day school for students in grades 9-12. Our mission is to provide a happier and healthier path to a higher education for bright students who thrive in a small and inclusive community.

George Emerson

Source: Wikipedia Image

Our Program:

Emerson’s welcoming environment prepares students for college without the unhealthy competition.  We embrace the words of George Barrell Emerson, “Strive not to surpass one another; strive instead to surpass yourselves.”

Emerson follows a semester-based curriculum in which each class, lasting 90 minutes, is offered daily and is the credit equivalent of a full-year course.  This structure allows for less hurried classroom exploration, a smaller course load, a smooth transition for mid-year transfer students, and a manageable credit recovery for students who had an interruption in their studies. Our semester-long model not only provides our students with the traditional college preparatory courses, it also offers more classes than would be available where all courses last a year.

While most of our students follow the full-time, four-course schedule, in special circumstances we have the flexibility to allow students and families to select the most appropriate type and number of courses that best engage and support the student’s progress at a given time.  The school may also arrange one-on-one individually-paced courses during the academic year or summer term, in order to enable students to earn required credits for graduation. One-on-one tutorials, after-school support, and guided independent studies for students with specialized interests are also available.

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Sample Classes from Previous Terms

Our History:

Emerson Preparatory School began in 1852 as the Emerson Institute, a school to prepare local boys for attendance at Harvard. It was named after George Barrell Emerson, a progressive thinker in women’s education, and cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Early Emerson graduates include three-time Civil War Medal of Honor recipient James Madison Cutts, and Buck and Jesse Root Grant, sons of President Ulysses S. Grant.

Emerson evolved to become a more inclusive college preparatory school, becoming Washington’s first co-ed preparatory school in 1920.  After World War II, in 1946 Emerson adopted its current half-year, full-credit academic term system, modeled after the British system of secondary education.  Today Emerson welcomes a diverse student body from all parts of DC, suburban Maryland and Virginia, and the international community, preparing them in a happier, healthier way for colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world.

Our Faculty:

Emerson faculty members are skilled educators, adaptive leaders, and engaging mentors. With an average class size of 7 students, each Emerson student is front and center for their Emerson experience. Our faculty members hold advanced, multiple degrees, or have completed extensive post-bachelor work in their field (including MPA and EdD candidates) and support the Emerson mission by guiding students’ emotional, intellectual, physical, philosophical, and social development.

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;
  • Once a week Stress-free physical education options from soccer to walking.

Contact us at mainoffice@emersonprep.org with any questions you may have about admission to Emerson.