"We are best known for Character Education program."
Students enrolled 125
Hours 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
School leader Carol Edelstein, Executive Director
Transportation options None
Type no info
Preschool capacity no info
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

9211 Arlington Boulevard
Fairfax, VA 22031

School website
(703) 273-8000
(703) 591-1431
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Merritt Academy address.

4 stars
Based on 38 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

September 29, 2014
As a new Merritt Academy family, the teachers and administrators have gone above and beyond to help me and my child feel comfortable and welcomed from the day we registered. Each morning when I drop him off, I feel completely secure in knowing that he will be well cared for, and engaged in fun, stimulating activities far beyond what I am able to offer at home. I also appreciate the detailed communications and photos that his classroom teacher posts, which help me stay "in the loop." One of the things I most appreciate about the school is the sense of community that is fostered here- everyone already knows my child and says "hi" when I walk him onto campus every morning, he has already bonded with his teachers and the administrators were accessible and helpful when I had a question. I am so grateful to have found a school that feels like home, and I look forward to a great year, and hopefully many more!

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2014
We saw tremendous racial bias against minority students and that's not something we expected from a elementary school. Disturbingly, 99% of the teachers (and principal) pay more attention to Caucasian students and even favoritism in the classroom and stage performances. If you are a minority and do not planning to speak up (if you do, they don't like it, and will avoid you in the hall way), you don't belong here. Find a school in somewhere, where you will be treated fairly. We needed to pull out our son and put in another school. Now, he is very happy and treated same as everybody else. By the way, Executive Director is full of herself.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
Our granddaughter has attended Merritt for two years although she is only five years old she is in the first grade Merritt offers a challenging curriculum and a gifted program that they tailor to fit the students needs and capabilities Their teachers are dedicated ,well educated and responsive to parents and even grandparents inquires and concerns. Merritt offers numerous clubs and activities such as chess, music ,dance ,foreign language,art and basketball to name only a few . In short Merritt provides a exceptional education .

- submitted by a community member
September 23, 2013
BIG MISTAKE!!! I am very disappointed with the parking arrangement. They should do something to improve this area. All parents need to go to work after dropping off their children. Parking should be easy for them. I am not sure if I want to continue here. I can't be late for work everyday.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2013
PARKING is the worst thing I am dealing with here. I am a new parent to this school and I did not know parking is that hectic. If I knew it before, I would not enroll my child for sure. They said "quick pick-up", but not that quick. Cars are line up and taking forever. Quick-drop-off?? Funny thing. If you are early (08:25??) they direct the child to go to playground which is up on the hill and need to take stairs. They are not allowed to go to classroom until 8:30. Children are on their own to go to play ground or go to the classroom by themselves. Not personally accompanied by a teacher. Young kids should be accompanied by someone. My daughter is not familiar with school campus and doesn't know how to enter the code to open the doors. I need to park illegally on the street and walk (about one block) my DD to classroom to make sure she is safe. I can't imagine in winter time walking one block and leave my child at playground (she hates cold and easily get sick). I wish they allow children to stay in the classroom if they do not want to go to playground.

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2013
As the parent of two boys who happily attended the summer program Merritt had to offer, I would like to share my experience as well. With a clear understanding that kids will always be kids, accidents happen even to the best of us, and even I can t defend my boys from all the scratches and bruises childhood has to offer, this school did the best they could and even went the extra mile to make sure I took my kids home not only in the same condition they were dropped off every morning, but also very happy and with stories to share for hours afterwards. The staff is not only professional, but is very well selected and just like the activities they are matched with the right age groups. Compared to the other reviewer, I am very happy my children are kept with children the same age; I truly don t want my kids playing, watching and learning from older kids. I could not afford Merritt regularly, but summer camp is a true saver: from the great hours of operation, to the entertaining program, to the amazing activities and projects they work on every day, not to mention the insanely attractive trips they take twice a week, I even consider myself a very happy camper at the end of each day.

- submitted by a parent
July 28, 2013
Overall Merritt Academy is an above-average day-care/preschool. Its students are mostly good-mannered and well-taught. Parents are generally well educated. However, during the four years when my kid was there, its quality has significantly dropped, primarily because of its relentless expansion in the last 4 years or so. For each grade, the number of classes more than doubled during the period. Experienced teachers are stretched and many temp/inexperienced teachers have been hired, with high teacher turnover rates. Many new students join the school every year even in the middle or the end of a school year, and so classes become more heterogeneous in terms of academic and social preparedness. Student fighting and injuries have escalated, teasing have become frequent, and my kid learned racial slurs from school. Nevertheless, the school is better than average academically and in terms of the variety of activities offered.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2013
My child attended the infant room. We have not been happy with our experience either. A bunch of us parents got together and complained to the director. She did not do anything. The management seems very weak here. We are looking at other day cares too, Winwood is one of them. Their director has since stepped down..

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2013
Just a word of caution to parents. Most of these great reviews seem to have insider language and sound pretty much the same. Perhaps they are too good to be true? Please Be cautious with this institution ....in addition to poor administration, Bad teacher quality, this academy will also rip you off. I agree with the previous 2 posts....look elsewhere for your child's education.

- submitted by a teacher
July 23, 2013
Hello In response to your posting of July 15, 2013 ... are you sure it wasn't you who was the main issue? The rest of the reviews on here seem to be quite high - there had to be something more to the issue and it was probably you, in need of a nanny or to stay home with your own child ... only a suggestion. My experience has been highly positive. My children love to come to school and the teachers have been incredibly involved and informative! It has been a pleasure having my kids here, at Merritt. I am a parent of a toddler and k4 student. Maybe our kids were in the same room. Would love to hear the negativity, in which you have endured.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2013
I have 2 children in Merritt-an infant & a 5-year who has been at Merritt since he was 1. We have had an overwhelmingly positive experience. Highlights: *Very well organized. I get daily reports for both my kids (obviously more detailed for baby). I know when they ate, how much, when they slept, etc. I get an incident report if my kid gets hurt on the playground, If another kid comes down with strep it's posted. It's alot of information but all very helpful. *The lessons are great & age appropriate. They have a weekly focus for every class- from infants up. The themes combine topical (holidays, seasons, etc.), educational (colors for little ones, letters, etc-age appropriate) and value based (thankfulness, politeness, etc.) activities. *Lots of special events (visit from local fire departments, nature walks, pretend grocery shopping, dress up, etc.) *We've had really great success with the teachers. *Very careful & focused on safety. They have MAT certified teachers & processes in place for medical issues. *The kids spend a lot of time outside- Preschoolers go out 3x/day or to the gym if its raining or below freezing. *They have great hours that accommodate all schedules.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2013
Hello In response to your posting of July 10, 2013 I did voice my concerns with the director of your school. The administration did not help us at all. No action was taken. Infact the lead teacher was rude with us and we had to leave. My son is very happy now in his new daycare. I don't have stress of worrying about my child everyday. I have moved on and thank god I listened and paid attention to my child and not to what these people were saying.. Thank you God for showing me the way..

- submitted by a parent
July 10, 2013
Dear Reviewers: I am very sorry that the poster on June 20 had a bad experience with our school. We are surprised by the accusations she is making because she did not voice her concern with any members of the staff or administration during the 9 months her child was at our school. If the child had such a poor experience-as she claims-it is surprising that she did not speak with staff or administration earlier, is it not? To her point, I would also encourage prospective parents to check ANY school's profile on VDSS's website. We have nothing to hide. We maintain close contact with our Licensing Specialist to ensure that we are following best practices in safety, training & care. When citations are made, we take swift corrective action to ensure that a safe, quality program is maintained. In fact, we are often praised by the VDSS Specialist during visits. Finally, We currently have an infant-pre-Kg enrollment of just under 300 with a waiting list of 150+. Considering there is only 1 negative review in the past 4 years, I would say we are doing things very well...but don't take my word for it- come see for yourself. Very Respectfully, Amy Pernick, Merritt Academy Dir. of Admissions

- submitted by a teacher
June 18, 2013
My child has been attending Merritt since she was a year old. I am a teacher in Fairfax County and very critical of the environment that I put my child in for most of the day. I have been extremely happy with the program, teachers, and administration. My child is about to enter the K4 program and she is thriving socially and academically. There are always art projects, specialties like music & foreign language and more. Parents are always invited into the classrooms at any time and every administrator has an open door. Whenever I have had a question or concern I have received an appropriate response in a timely manner. The teachers, full time and part time, are wonderful with the children and truly love what they are doing. They are professional and well trained. I am aware of the excellent quality of FCPS but even as a teacher I want my child to continue into grade school at Merritt Academy because the program is full of rigor and engaging activities and the class sizes are small so each child gets what they need. I would recommend this school to anyone looking for a quality education for their child(ren).

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2013
We have 2 sons at Merritt and we couldn't be happier with the eduction they have received for the past three years. Our oldest son was entering 3rd grade when we discovered Merritt and he was coming from FCPS where we were not happy. It was a difficult transition for him academically because he was very far behind his peers at Merritt. His teachers for the past 3 years have been fantastic and have all taken the time to teach to his strengths. The beauty of Merritt, for our family, is the small class sizes which enables the teachers to work more closely with each student. Both of our boys are thriving and happy at Merritt and I know they are academically ahead due to the advanced curriculum being taught. The only thing that could make us happier would be for the boys to be able to continue at Merritt beyond 6th grade.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2012
We have had children in K-2, K-3, K-4 and Kindergarden at Merritt Academy. We are extremely happy with the school. All of the teachers and administrators are well-qualified and caring. Merritt offers a very international curriculum, faculty and student body. The school also has several great themed special events and after-school activities such as martial arts, ballet, math club and phonics. We highly recommend the school....

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2012
My son attends Kindergarten at Merritt Academy and is enrolled for first grade because Merritt Academy exceeds my expectations in every way. Academically, my son is talented and Merritt Academy offers honors/enrichment programs beginning in kindergarten (something public schools do not offer) that ensure academic challenge/growth for children of all abilites. I am amazed at all he has learned. Behaviorally, we had some challenges and the staff worked with us to identify postitive strategies for remediation. Hard to ask for more in a school!

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2012
My experience with the afterschool program has been different from the other person's. I know that only 2 of the people who work with children in the afternoons are in high school. All of the others are college students or older adults. I have loved that they do projects with the kids and know all of them by name. I have not seen any TV in my child's class except on one occasion when it had rained all week. If I have had questions they were addressed immediately and very well. I recommend the program.

- submitted by a parent
January 17, 2012
My child goes to the afterschool program only so my rating is for the afterschool program only. As much as I heard great things about the school itself, I have been very frustrated with the afterschool program. Many afterschool program staff are high school students who are not trained adequately to work with young children. There is inadequate monitoring for children's discipline and safety. Most of the activities include unstructured play time and as soon as it rains the kids are put in front of flat screens to watch TV with no other options available. I also don't like the fact that the kids are grouped by their grade level, which eliminates any interaction my child can have with other children in older or younger grades.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2011
Great start for new parents. It was very hard for us to choose a day care for our first baby. we visited so many schools and interviewed nannies. Merritt made our decision much easier... Our little one just finished her first year and graduated to the toddler class.. During the first year, all the teachers were nice, nurturing and caring. They made us feel like each one of them know our baby very well. once I walk in and i ask how did she do today, every single one of them would give me a detailed report on her, although they had 12-13 children in the room. They helped us schedule her naps, get her off the bottle, the pacifier and introduce all different foods. The lead teacher was very smart and hard working, she would address our concerns immediately and would have great recommendations for us if we had questions. They work on educating and challenging our little ones. I highly recommend the school for new parents... I didn't give the principal 5 stars because of the low pay to the teachers.. They pay their teachers about 10-11 dollars an hour, which is too low... I believe if they increase their pay they can recruit better teachers and make the teachers they have happier..

- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2011
My son has been in Merritt Academy or two years and we could not be more pleased. The administration and teachers are so welcoming and attentive to any concerns raised. They truly care about the kids and work hard to ensure that each child is successful academically and socially. My son previously attended another more expensive private school in the area with an accelerated curriculum, but Merritt's curriculum is just as challenging and provides for truly advanced learning by allowing children ro participate in older grades.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2011
My son has been at Merritt for almost three year in the preschool program. His teachers have been excellent every year. The administration is open and available to talk whenever I have had a question or issue. During the winter season they are usually open when county is closed so I don't have to miss work. I couldn't be more pleased with the experience.

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2010
My daughter attends Merritt and has been in the school for 1 year. While she's only 2 1/2 years old the amount of knowledge she's gained this past year is amazing. The younger students aren't in the typical daycare setting, it's actual school and she loves it. The faculty and staff are friendly and truly care about student achievement and the overall academic environment. Weekly newsletters keep you informed of all that happens in the school and the active PTO makes the school so much better.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2010
We have two daughters at Merritt Academy; both our girls and us love the teachers and the administration. Any problems that have cropped up are addressed professionally and efficiently by the administration. I highly recommend Merritt -- especially the infant / preschool programs.

- submitted by a parent
April 30, 2010
We are very satisfied. Our daughters have been attending Merritt for eight years. It has been an outstandingly rewarding experience for the entire family. Merritt provides a well-rounded academic and character education. Our daughters are thriving and very happy due to a combined team of professionals at Merritt who partner with us as parents. Our children have performed very well on the IOWA, SCAT and SBT tests. We attribute these successes in large part to the valuable Merritt education. Our children love school and have developed into very confident, caring, and respectful individuals. The values taught, demonstrated, and built into the core of all aspects of the school are unique and priceless. Merritt has many special programs and milestones at each developmental stage. The intergenerational program is very unique and not provided anywhere else. The arts are a wonderful part of the school. Merritt provides a well-rounded, affordable education.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2010
I have two children at Merritt who have been going to this school for 4 years now. We are very happy with this school: academically (both children rate much higher than the national average according to the IOWA test performed annually and one of them is in the honor's reading program) and socially, both kids have great friends and are constantly involved in different challenging activities. The school listens to the parents' concerns and is very open to any ideas or suggestions. I recommend this school to any parents who want a quality education without paying the exhorbitant tuition seen at other private schools in the area.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 27, 2010
Merritt has been a wonderful, enriching experience for my son. He has been able to grow socially, developmentally and intellectually since K4 and he is now in 4th grade. You have direct access to the leaders of the school and the teachers really care about your child as if they were their own. They are also very aware of food allergies which alleviates worries for parents. Merritt is a great place and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great, positive and academically challenging school.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2010
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2010
Merritt Academy has provided a wonderful learning environment for its students. My son has attended Merritt for two years. Through several school-wide transitions, the children seem to be a priority in every area. As in most private schools, there are many of my peers (parents) who think that because they PAY for tuition, that they should have have their way! This is an unrealistic expectation and frankly is a problem. Those who have something negative to say are those parents who want their children to be treated differently or special, although all of the children are special. It's unbelievable that people can ignore the phenomenal education that children are receiving and can so easily focus on the negative. We will remain at Merritt and look forward to more and more experiences that our child can treasure throughout his life, like the ones that he has had thus far!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 13, 2009
Merritt went through rough times a few years back, but I feel it has made a strong comeback. It is a good value. Merritt has an excellent team of middle school teachers in place and I think that both the new director and the principal are doing a great job. Unlike public junior high schools, there is no marijuana at Merritt and the school is bully-free. Although Merritt has very small enrollment, they don't allow bullies to return the following year (even if the bully has 3 younger siblings). Merritt is also a great place to be a big fish in a small pond. My daughter (a very good soccer player) was a great soccer player at Merritt. Only playing for Meritt could she have scored 7 goals in a game. Merritt has been great for my children's self-esteem and the small classes are great.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2009
I love my school so much. I've been going there for about 7 years and will continue until I graduate. It focuses on character and academics mostly and I get lots of education.

- submitted by a student
August 01, 2009
Potential parents beware!!! As a former Merritt student parent, I would strongly urge you to do your homework before sending your grade school child (ren) there. I would agree with other comments posted that the Preschool program is good but the grade school is another story. Lack of communication, poor administration, no stability with teachers, and not enough students. The decisions made by the administrators don't seem to be in the best interests of 'ALL' students. The focus is no longer on students and families which the school prides itself on. For a school of character I don't feel as the actions/decisions support the mission.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2009
I have four children and 3 goes to Merritt Academy. We pay too much for the academic learning they got. We decided not to continue with Merritt; due to the poor adminstration and their poor quality of their academic standards.

- submitted by a parent
June 26, 2009
My child is in pre-school. He has academically developed so much ever since he started going to this school. The teachers work very hard with every kid in his classroom, even the problematic child and are not afraid of giving the parents their honest opinions even if they are bad news to parents. They strictly follow their set lesson plans and yet give the kids enough time to play, and teachers show affections to every kid. I really appreciate their honesty and their effort to guide my kid to grow into a well-mannered and well-educated person.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2009
Merritt Academy has an excellent academic experience and is doing much to respond to parents needs -- but you never make everyone happy. For example, Merritt groups readers in different categories, the best readers together, the medium readers together, etc. Parents complained that the kids in the slower reading group felt 'bad'. These types of issues vex school administrators. I personally send my child to private school to excel -- and she currently scores two grades ahead in the VA state testing and on her Iowas. That's what I'm paying for. I'm also paying for a nurturing environment with positive discipline, attentive teachers and a responsive administration. It's a small school and they seem to be responding very well to me on these issues. My daughter is happy, doesn't want to leave school and is achieving great things. She has great friends and she is in great hands every day.

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2009
Our child, a first grader, has attended Merritt since she was two. The pre-school is top-notch, most of the teachers have been there for years, they're very good. Kindergarten, and so far first grade, are equally well-recommended, and we've been very pleased with our child's development. I'd favorably compare her education with our public school, as well as the nearby private options, nearly all of which are significantly more expensive. The grade school has seen some problems with staffing and some boneheaded decisions by the administration. But, at this point, at least through the fifth grade, that seems to have settled down and the school is in a good groove. Perhaps its a sign of the times, but the administration is definitely working hard with parents, moreso that prior years. We've known several parents who tried other options and came back. Most of all, my daughter is happy.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2008
Our two children attended Merritt Academy for many years. Unfortunately, we echo the comments posted on September 9th, 2008. They are exactly correct. We have removed our children from the school. The school administration has evolved over the last several years from excellent to nearly dysfunctional. Parents have engaged in open dialogue with the administration to address the major issues, but neither the principal nor the senior staff are willing to correct the school's shortcomings. Until these individuals are replaced, I would recommend to prospective parents that they look elsewhere for their child's education.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2008
With the change in leadership at the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year Merritt had real problems both academically and environmentally. Teachers were changed in the middle of the year, sometimes without warning, and in one case students were not allowed to say goodbye to their teacher, causing confusion and fear . The school has hired inexperienced young teachers and failed to provide the mentoring to teach them how to control a classroom and teach effectively. Teachers resort to yelling at children. Academics past second grade have been weak, failing to prepare students even to go to the public school classroom. Teachers are moved from grade to grade rather than being dismissed. OK for Kindergarten through second grade, but not higher grades.

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 01, 2008
Poor experience, high teacher turn over and administration turnover. My son would be entering the 6th grade and each teacher from pre-k through the 3rd grade are no longer with the school. They are on their 3rd principle in 6 years. Only 11% of the staff have advanced degrees and teachers like to yell togain control of a student.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2006
Our son has had a wonderful K4 and Kindergarten experience, both academically and socially. As a parent I am especially delighted by the early curriculum in reading and written language. The printing demands for a 4 year old in K4 were developmentally advanced, especially for a boy. His teachers have all been fabulous and incredibly dedicated. The new program presented by the guidance counselor teaches empathy and helps children to express their own feelings. It is a wonderful new addition to the curriculum. Merritt Academy has given my son an outstanding foundation for continued love of learning. Thank you to the Merritt staff and Merritt Academy's wonderfully supportive and dedicated families!

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

Merritt Academy blends rigorous academics with a Nationally-recognized character education program, nuturing the whole student. Our school is built upon three pillars: Academic Excellence – We provide a challenging academic program to all our students Character Education – We emphasize Christian-based values throughout our school to help build character in all our students Service to Families – We are committed to serving our families, earning their trust by being responsive, flexible, and supportive

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Merritt Academy
9211 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax, VA  22031
(703) 273-8000
Last modified Merritt Academy is a Private school that serves grades PK-6
Merritt Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews.