Holton-Arms School

Private | 3-12 | 638 students


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Living in Bethesda

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $729,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,550.

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4 stars

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35 reviews of this school

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Posted March 5, 2014

I am a parent of two Holton students and I can honestly say that Holton has fostered young women of integrity, intellect, and purpose. They have gained the ability to navigate challenging material while keeping their enthusiasm for learning in tact. The student body is tremendously diverse and offers the richness of being among the best of the diverse communities in this area. Girls learn to respect themselves in the process too. This is a community that is sensitive to the wellness of each child. This approach is an important part of what makes Holton such a special place. I believe that our daughters have gained a great advantage in life to have been taught not only the excellent academics, but also the life skills needed to succeed in their future careers as leaders of the next generation.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 29, 2014

I am a lower schooler at Holton. I started last year and I really love my school! We have the best teachers ever, and I really like Mr. Bane too. He is the head of our school. In science we have a technology class that is really cool. We learn about all different cultures and create amazing stories. We always try to make sure we include all the students and look out for the kids who are having a hard time. It is important to be a good citizen of our school, and think about others around us. We are part of a bigger community and I love it! Holton is the best!

Posted December 1, 2013

Holton-Arms is amazing. I am a student, in 8th grade. The teachers are extremely nice and helpful, and contrary to a post before, most teachers stay at school until five or six o'clock so it is easy to make an appointment with them. To the October 6th review: Every teacher has an assignment document on the course page where all of the assignments for the month are posted. Onenote is better in my opinion because it is accessed on your computer and doesn't need WiFi to work. We use Google Drive for projects so Holton does use browser-based applications. -- The middle school director is very open to suggestions. The teachers are amazing and always willing to stay after school to help you. Global Ed is amazing with opportunities in Belize and New Orleans. In response to the homework load: It is really not that much for me. Sure, you can spend a lot of time on it if you have to study for quizzes and work on projects. The teachers tell us that if it's taking you 30 minutes or more, than you should talk to them and work out a plan. Overall, Holton is an amazing school for me.

Posted November 15, 2013

I compared this school with Spark Matsunaga Elementary school, MD in Germantown and Gibbs Elementary school in Germantown, MD and a few other elementary schools in the area. The students from these schools are much more competitive and advance academically and in sports as they have to compete with more number of students and more diverse students. Parents are more involved in kids development. The public school of Montgomery county have far better resources than this school. Only rich people send their kids to satisfy their ego. Spending money in this school is not worth it. I would suggest to take benefit of resource rich Montgomery County Public Schools to make your kids better humans instead of making race horses.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 6, 2013

Disappointing. The Middle School fails to provide much of the infrastructure and support that public schools have long mastered. Students are required to carry one set of books back and forth between home and school, while all local schools have solved this problem by providing multiple sets of books for students. The website does not provide a way for teachers to provide immediate feedback on tests, quizzes, and homework assignments nor does it provide a daily report on what assignments are due. Students are required to purchase individual laptops that are very expensive compared to most commercial options and use out of date applications such as onenote frequently when browser based applications are available everywhere. So when your daughter has an expensive laptop that frequently crashes or forgets to bring home a textbook in her 20 pound backpack full of materials, a meltdown is created. Public schools have long resolved these issues but Holton is far behind the times.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 24, 2013

It is a very difficult school for an above average student from an upper middle class income. The majority of the teachers leave before 4pm so parent/teacher interaction requires taking time off work. The school requires a commitment to a daily commute. Students from wealthier backgrounds fit in because of their socio economic status. Low income students are generally scholarship recipients and can fall back on their academic status. But for a student whose parents earn a modest income, going to expensive parties in wealthy surroundings, adjusting to the academic workload, and the demands of the commute is too much. In public school the surrounding parents were much friendlier, everyone was close by, the parties were less assuming, and the academic workload was more manageable. Everyone wants their child to have the best education possible, and I believe that my child would have received a better overall experience at public school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 4, 2013

The Feb 2013 parent is dead wrong in my view. Clique-ishness at Holton is at an all-time high. The diversity committee recently had to call a special meeting of African American parents because of a low diversity rating and racist comments made about some of the black students. Holton is more interested in cranking out Ivy Leaguers than in developing individuality, character, and integrity.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 22, 2013

couldn't disagree more wih the Jan 23, 2013 parent. My daughter has been at Holton since 3rd grade and I have nothing but positive things to say about the school, the girls and the parents. My daughter is cerebral and a high performer. She has found like-minded friends and i have found all the girls get along, whether they are sporty or nerdy. There is something for everyone at the school. I have found the girls at NCS to be more like what she is describing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 24, 2012

The lower school is beyond amazing, with a fabulous director- makes me want to go back to school. Middle school is full of teachers who LIKE teaching those ages, and is a really good transition place- director has a great understanding of the needs of the whole child, and the girls are really prepared for the full-on intensity of upper school. Upper school is great if your girl is ready for it: it is staggering what these girls do- academics, sports, arts. Lots of opportunities, lots of support. Btw- the comment about the 'eery' quiet of the MS & US- it is very Montessori-like.If you go, ask about the 'gift of time', take a peek at the Senior & Junior lounges, look at the girls working in 1s and 2s in the halls. It is purposeful in a happy way. Mine LOVE that there are no harsh bells between classes! The vast majority of Holton girls are amazingly kind and welcoming to the new girls; the snobbish minority is very small, and tmost of the girls look down on it. The diversity of the student body is the best I've ever seen, and they are very well integrated (students more tnan the parents). No school is right for everyone, but this community really tries to work together for the kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 27, 2012

My daughter has been at Holton since the 3rd grade and is now in 8th. We have found Holton to be a wonderful school. The teachers, school heads as well as the head of school Susanna Jones have been exceptionally attentive to each and every girl. Academics have also been exceptional and there have been numerous opportunities to engage in almost any athletic pursuit. She made friends easily and continues to maintain a large circle of close knit friends who interact like sisters. As an African American family, we have found the school to be particularly welcoming and inclusive of our and all other cultures. In the 6 years that we have been a part of the Holton community, we have not seen or experienced any of the elitist attitudes expressed by another reviewer. My daughter has been challenged academically but has found the workload to be very manageable as long as she prepares adequately. Within the first 2 weeks of entering Holton in the 3rd grade she demonstrated a higher level of confidence and self assurance that has only continued to grow. We could not be more pleased with the experience and education at this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 5, 2012

Holton is a wonderful place where girls of different social, economic and cultural backgrounds can find their place. There are great athletic opportunities as well as extraordinary arts (both visual and performing). The teachers really care and provide great mentoring for the girls, even though who might be hesitant to ask in another environment. My family has been there for 9 years and my daughters friends cross all of the lines that might otherwise divide people. Holton encourages that. Girls can safely take intellectual risks here, which makes them better prepared for the future.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 24, 2011

My Daughter just graduated from Holton. She entered in 9th grade from public school and was welcomed warmly. She has thanked us repeatedly for "making her go." The elitist reputation of the school is completly false- although it was funny that the girls from Maryland ( the majority) thought Vienna, Virginia was the "country" when they came to visit her at home. The althletic program was excellent as was the academic rigor and personal advising staff. She is intellectually curious and engages me in conversation on subjects from cancer therapy to Picasso's misogyny. Sending her to Holton was the best decision we ever made. Oh, and she still hangs out with all the neighborhood girls who went to the local public school- it is not considered "slumming" as an earlier post claims.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 3, 2011

It is not hard to get a good education in the Washington DC area, so even though Holton is OK academically, you want to consider what kind of values and social skills your child will be exposed to in this school. Holton is extremely elitist and most students carry a sense of entitlement due to their affluent social status. The girls are very smart, but utilize their intelligence toward advancing their social standing. The girls generally only associate with those in their same affluent society because to bee seen "slumming around" with public school kids or the merely upper middle class lowers your social standing.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2011

Lower school science department is great. Library is nice. Good facilities and Center for the Arts.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2011

Our first year at Holton-Arms School has turned out "okay". Big Kudos to the Science department in the lower school. The girls did have some great visitors this year, such as visiting authors, etc.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 7, 2011

Holton arms school is not a good place to put your child in if you want them to become a grounded adult. The majority of students are phony and self centered. The students form 2 cliques: those on scholarship and those who are not. The middle and High schools are eerily quiet, and the girls file through them as if drugged. It is not normal. However, if you have a shy child, the lower school is a very nurturing environment that will help them come out of their shell.

Posted November 5, 2010

As a parent with children in three different private schools, I have to say that Holton-Arms has proven itself to be an incredible school. Not only is it exceptionally well organized and tailored to fostering a truly productive learning environment, but it has managed to attract amazing teachers and administrations at all levels whose talents and diligence has created an amazing educational program. It is not by chance that all the students consistently show kindness and respect for each other, welcoming new girls and foreign students as if they knew them all their life and at the same time showing a sense of independence and confidence so important in building good leadership skills among girls.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 5, 2010

As a parent with children in three different private schools, I have to say that Holton-Arms has proven itself to be an incredible school. Not only is it exceptionally well organized and tailored to fostering a truly productive learning environment, but it has managed to attract amazing teachers and administrations at all levels whose talents and diligence has created an amazing educational program. It is not by chance that all the students consistently show kindness and respect for each other, welcoming new girls and foreign students as if they knew them all their life and at the same time showing a sense of independence and confidence so important in building good leadership skills among girls.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 18, 2010

Holton-Arms is an extraordinary school for girls with strong academic, athletic, visual and/or performing arts interests. In the upper school, its academic program has great breadth and depth. In 2009, the girls sat AP exams in 20 subject areas. Twenty-eight girls were received National Merit commended, finalist or scholar recognition. As highlighted in its school profile, "The School admits girls with strong academic interests and abilities who wish to enjoy and contribute to the life of the school community. Our student body reflects a diversity that includes academic, economic (24% receive financial aid), geographic (72% Maryland, 13% D.C., 14% Virginia), cultural, racial and ethnic (40.7% students of color and 4.2% foreign nationals), and religious differences." My daughter, who falls in the 40.7% students of color category, has enjoyed lower, middle and upper school divisions at Holton.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 21, 2010

2nd generation student. My daughter started in the 3rd and is going to the 10th. Love the school. It is a good fit for my daughter. We do not live in the HAS community and use the HAS school bus. We have not had any problems worth complaining about. There will always be something that is not perfect. However, I encourage my daughter maintain family values and keep it moving.
—Submitted by a parent

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 59% 45%
Black 17% 40%
Asian 13% N/A
Two or more races 8% N/A
Hispanic 3% 10%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% N/A
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

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School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

  • All girls
  • Nonsectarian
  • NAIS
  • NCGS


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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7303 River Rd
Bethesda, MD 20817
Phone: (301) 365-6013


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