An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Student Life

We are so excited to welcome you to the Intermediate School! The IS is a wonderful place to learn and grow, and characterized by the freedoms students enjoy, academic challenges they face, and special events that course throughout their two-year experience that are incredible amounts of fun. Below are some of the highlights of the intermediate school experience.


All IS students are assigned to an advisory group of approximately 10 students. Students’ relationships with their advisors are probably be the most important one they have each year in the IS. A student’s advisor is responsible for watching out for his or her academic, social, and emotional needs and growth. Advisors talk to teachers on a student’s behalf, keeps in touch with the student’s family and, most importantly, connects with their advisees about how school is going for you both in and out of the classroom


The athletic programs in the Intermediate School offer students a full range of opportunities and experiences. Students participate in sports four days a week during each season and benefit from their introduction to the many educational merits of interscholastic competition. A full range of sports are offered, including non-competitive options for each of the three seasons during the year.

Computer Use

Students in Intermediate School are issued a Chromebook at the outset of their IS tenure, and use it for almost every segment of their academic life. The Chromebook travels with the student from home to school, and from class to class during the day. At times, IS can feel like an almost paperless experience! By having a computer that is their very own throughout their time in IS, students develop increasingly well-honed technological skills, as well as the responsibility to take good care of a powerful tool.

Leadership Opportunities

Students in seventh and eighth grade crave opportunities to be leaders within their community, and the Intermediate School offers several ways in which children can get involved. Students collaborate with a faculty advisor to produce an IS-specific newspaper, The Intermediate Insider. The Insider is published several times a year, and in addition to having features on trends, events, and activities, it is also known for its probing articles on current events and school policies. Students can run for and be elected to the IS Student Council, which meets weekly to address issues of importance to the IS student body. The Student Council’s voice is truly heard; significant recent changes to the dress code were the direct result of a Student Council presentation to faculty. The IS Robotics team is a vibrant part of after school life, with both seventh and eighth grade teams competing with other schools using the VEX IQ platform. Students spend time developing both tasks for their robots to perform, as well as presenting on topics of importance to an outside jury.

Service Learning

Students participate in a range of service learning experiences intended to broaden their understanding of the lives of others within their community. Sandwich Day is a longtime Potomac tradition and a cornerstone of our service learning program. Students in all divisions make sandwiches on the first Wednesday of each month, to be delivered to Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance for individuals and families in need in Washington, DC.

Special Events:

Caroline Furnace: Each September, the entire 7th grade class takes a four-day trip to Caroline Furnace Camp in Fort Valley, VA. During this unique excursion, the 7th grade engages in a host of outdoor education activities, and forges connections as a 7th grade class.

Grade 8 Evening In: In September, 8th graders enjoy a night on campus with pizza and team-building games. It is a terrific way to build camaraderie for the 8th grade advisories.

Fall Frolics: The annual Fall Frolics Carnival is one of Potomac’s most beloved and anticipated traditions. The event, held on an October Saturday, is in part managed by our Intermediate School students, who play an integral role in supervising many of the booths at the carnival.

Grade 7 Square Dance: During the fall, all seventh grade children and parents are invited to school one evening for a supper and square dance, presided over by a professional caller! It’s a wonderful time for IS families to put on their blue jeans and boots and shake a tail feather with other parents and students.

Winter Musical: Every winter, a group of Intermediate School actors presents the junior version of a well-known musical in our Langstaff Auditorium. Recent productions have included Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie, Guys and Dolls, and The Pirates of Penzance. Students perform the show once for their classmates and then for a weekend run: two evening performances and one matinee.

8th Grade Independent Projects: Near the end of their Intermediate School career, eighth graders choose a topic of interest, and develops a project in one of six forms: Service learning; Design/construction; Persuasive speech; Original data ­collection; “How-­to” lesson, or original artistic performance. For each of the formats, students decide upon a presentation modality, and showcase their learning for their fellow students, their parents, and faculty.