Spend time with students from any of Potomac's four divisions, and you'll begin to see what makes our community so special. Potomac students learn to appreciate others for their diverse strengths and backgrounds, to push through challenges with determination and courage, and to help one another be at their best. Our emphasis on performance and public speaking creates a culture where students raise their voices about the things that matter to them, and our experienced and inspiring teachers foster both academic and personal success.
Engaged, supportive parents and guardians are critical to Potomac's success. Our parents are actively involved and incredibly generous in sharing their time, talents, and resources. The Parent Association (of which all Potomac parents and guardians are automatically members) offers diverse leadership and volunteer opportunities and sponsors events that help to keep our parents connected to the school and to one another. We are always excited to see and hear from Potomac parents, whose ideas and effort enrich our school every day.
Our students are the reason for everything that we do, and we are proud to nurture their passions, curiosity, and drive. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in academics, athletics, and the arts, Potomac students thrive in an environment where they are encouraged to dream big, work hard, and create amazing new possibilities for themselves and others. For more about student life in our community, click here.
Individuals of talent, achievement, and passion, Potomac faculty are intensely committed to educating young people. Our teachers take pride in providing uncommon support for every student. They model intellectual curiosity, a sincere desire to increase their own and others' understanding, and the core values that underpin the Potomac experience. With a commitment to ongoing professional development, Potomac teachers ensure that their work is informed by the latest information in their disciplines and innovative teaching practices. Learn more about our outstanding faculty.
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
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
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. —Gabriella S., Upper School Student
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. —ACE E., K-12 Service-Learning Coordinator
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
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
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
We offer a science and engineering program, an arts concentration, and a global studies curriculum. —Don F., Head of Upper School
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
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
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
We do a wide range of plays, from classical to modern, musical and non-musical, traditional and experimental. —Michael B., Upper School Theater Teacher
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
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
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
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
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
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
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