An Independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, D.C.

Do applicants get a chance to shadow current students?

Yes, applicants for grades 9-11 are paired with current students and spend a half-day in the Upper School. The visit is optional for students applying to grades 7 and 8. Applicants to grades 4-6 visit Potomac in small groups during the school day. —Lauren B., Associate Director of Admission

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What choices do I have with my schedule?

Students start making decisions about their schedules in grade 5 by choosing a musical instrument; in grades 7 and 8 they choose their music elective, language class and athletic option. In Upper School there are numerous ways to individualize schedules in order to pursue interests. —Lauren B., Associate Director of Admission

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How do I find other kids like me?

There are clubs in every division, affinity groups for certain racial groups, a buddy system that pairs each new student with a current one in the summer before school starts. It’s easy to make friends. —Naim R., Upper School Student

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Is community service required?

No, our program is unique in that it is voluntary. Yet almost every student participates in an activity of their choice, in partnership with those we serve. Our students tutor, serve breakfast at a homeless shelter, help needy families and participate in service trips abroad. ­—Heather W., K-12 Service-Learning Coordinator

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Do you offer yoga or other non-sport fitness activities?

Yes, we offer yoga, weights and conditioning, and P.E. during the academic day, all of which count towards our athletics requirement. Or you can act, manage a team or hike and canoe­. —Rob L., Director of Boys Athletics

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Do you offer Chinese?

Yes, you can take Chinese beginning in 7th grade. The program includes classes through an advanced level suitable for students with a Chinese background. —Graham B., Upper School Chinese Teacher

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How is the lunch?

I think it’s really pretty good. In the upper grades there are lots of options, including a hot lunch, soup and sandwich bar, and a salad bar. Younger kids choose a hot lunch or bring their own. —Hannah R., Upper School Student

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Do you have any special academic tracks in high school?

We offer a science and engineering program, an arts concentration, and a global studies curriculum. —Don F., Head of Upper School

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What are the dances like?

We have two big dances; the first is Homecoming weekend, which starts with a bonfire and dancing on the field on Friday night and is followed by a “real” dance Saturday night. At the Winter Formal we raise money for a cause or charity and dress up in costume, according to the dance theme. —Madeleine R., Upper School Student

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What musical instruments can I learn to play?

Students can choose the instrument of their choice as early as 5th grade. Private music lessons begin even earlier. Check out our music videos to learn more. —Adela W., Strings Teacher

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How much homework is assigned?

I don’t like that question. It’s more about how you handle your assignments. If I’m organized I can get my work done and even have some free time in the evening. But if I goof off at School, I can have hours of work at night. —Theo M., Upper School Student

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What kinds of plays do you perform?

We do a wide range of plays, from classical to modern, musical and non-musical, traditional and experimental. —Michael B., Upper School Theater Teacher

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Do you have a student newspaper?

Our newspaper is called The Current; it’s published eight times a year and includes features, sports, opinions, art and entertainment. We have a staff of 40 writers who meet every Monday. —Anthony C., Upper School Student

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Is Potomac a “green” school?

Our commitment to environmental sustainability links the joy one experiences in nature with the imperative of stewardship. Beginning in kindergarten our students develop habits of thinking and living that support the health of our environment. —Albert P., Environmental Studies Coorindator

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How do parents get involved and meet other parents?

Parents can make friends easily by becoming involved in the life of the School. There are lots of Parent Association committees that need volunteers—from environmental stewardship to Book Fair to promoting understanding of diversity to the Panther Pit snack bar—something for everybody! –Sara D.J., Parent

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Where do Potomac students live?

We draw from more than 100 zip codes throughout the metro area. Students join us from more than 50 different schools. –Katy B., Associate Director of Admission

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How and when do parents hear from teachers?

Whether in the formal setting of a scheduled conference or in casual conversation, parents and teachers have many opportunities to foster cooperative working partnerships. We host grade-level coffees and divisional parents’ nights. We also have parent-teacher conferences and send out written reports multiple times a year. Potomac prides itself on the individual connection teachers make with families; teachers reach out often to share information about their students, both when a concern arises or simply to share a celebratory moment. —John M., Head of Middle School

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Why do some students wear uniforms?

The Middle and Intermediate Schools are the two divisions at Potomac with a required uniform. We believe this long-standing uniform policy helps equalize the learning environment. –Nancy P., Head of Lower School

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What resources are available for new parents?

The Potomac community embraces new families quickly. Our Parent Mentoring Program matches each new family with a current one, providing a warm welcome and a crucial parent-to-parent resource. Early in the school year, new parents attend grade-level coffees, Parent Association meetings and an evening reception, in addition to a host of school activities. –Erin R., Parent

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