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Cortona Academy of Science, Technology & the Arts

Private | 6-12 & ungraded | 80 students


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Living in Herndon

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $470,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,740.

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4 stars

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16 reviews of this school

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Posted February 10, 2014

Cortona Academy's curriculum and computer-based teaching techniques are light years ahead of other schools we've looked at, and we can't thank them enough for their all-out effort to help our son achieve at higher levels than we ever expected.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 22, 2014

Cortina makes the future possible. The teachers take the time public school teachers don't /can't because the student teacher ratio is wonderful. It is a non traditional school, but traditional schools only teach to the SOL. This school allows the student to think out of the box and explore real life. Students are performing 3-D printing, observing surgery at hospitals, and touring local DC area attractions (Library of Congress/Goddard).
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 15, 2014

Cortona Academy is just what I needed to get back on my feet. As a high school student attending a public school, I never felt appreciated as an individual. Sure the social culture of a public school was great, but it lacked the individual attention I needed from my professors. I also was never very comfortable speaking to my teachers outside of class if I needed the extra help because, in all honesty, it was 1) intimidating 2) sometimes not worth the wait. In a public school, teachers have about 100 students, give or take, to teach and look after. They grade every test, essay, and homework of every student, and just don't have the time for one on one help sessions. Cortona gave me the attention and compassion that I needed to stay focused and truly feel comfortable around my teachers. Their small classes provide that individualism that I was looking for. Although I was unnerved by the fact that the school was less that three dozen students, I have made wonderful friends and found each and every day enjoyable. Although very frightening at first, I have found it to be one of the best decisions of my life. I am proud to say that I am a Cortona student. =)

Posted November 28, 2013

November 2013 Cortona Academy has one the best STEM-based programs on the East Coast. The ratio of students to staff is approximately 3:1. This ensured that our son received one of the best educations in the Washington Metro area. The tuition is comparable to any great private school in the D.C area, but I would have paid double just because of the unbelievably wonderful and helpful staff that helped my son become everything he now is, which is a great and prosperous college student. Our experience is typical of any parent who cares about their child, his well-being, and happiness. Signed, Happy Cortona Parent.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 26, 2013

Caring and supportive teachers and staff who want your student to succeed. Flexible scheduling if your student has outside interests, as well as flexible areas of study.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2013

Cortona Academy offers a unique learning environment. It may not be for every student, but for some it is the way to salvage their academic future. My very bright son has struggled for years with ADD, a significant health issue, and a terrible attitude toward school. He had given up, after bad experiences in two private schools and a public high school - all well respected institutions. Cortona has turned him around and he sees a way forward to success. Small classes with excellent, caring, highly-qualified teachers. A low-key, flexible approach that allows kids to be who they are. No judging, no bullying. Yes, you will have to go elsewhere for most extra-curriculars, but there is ample opportunity for service and there are some extraordinary field trips. My son goes to school willingly, enjoys his classes and his friends and knows he is accepted and valued. If your child tends to be an "outside the box" kind of person, and needs to be in a more intimate environment, Cortona may be the answer. There is nothing else like it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2013

Cortona Academy is overpriced and understaffed. Their graduating class of 2012 was only a handful of students. One look at their website should tell you everything you want to know about this "School".
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 11, 2012

I started at Cortona Academy in the fall. I really like the small class sizes and the teachers. They let you work at your own pace and you only take the tests when you are really prepared. The later start times are also a huge benefit. All the kids are supportive of each other and get along well.

Posted June 5, 2012

Cortona Academy provides an invaluable niche in education in Northern Virginia. If you are searching for a school with rolling admissions during the school year and want a place for your child to thrive, this is it. We left a large public high school after my son received a concussion in Freshman football. He needed shorter hours in class, small class sizes and caring teachers who let him work at his own pace while he recovered. Children come to Cortona for all sorts of reasons - bullying in larger schools, poor grades and anxiety to name a few. The teachers are very knowledgable and supportive. The enviornment is small and there is flexibility in scheduling. The Director is passionate and has a strong conviction that everyone can flourish in the right environment. If your child is not old enough to drive himself, at least one parent needs to have a flexible schedule and parental participation is necessary to make the most of all Cortona has to offer. It is a blend of a homeschool philosophy and an elite private school. Children find extracurriculars outside of school. Their goal is to work together with parents to build a strong college resume for each child.Thanks Cortona!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 3, 2011

Our son just enrolled here this summer. The instruction is outstanding. We really can`t believe it. The Math courses are much more in-depth than even the public honors math, but with the smaller classes and involved teachers our son is finding his is actually doing better with more difficult math. SAT reading and Math review courses are taught weekly as part of the curriculum. The Spanish teacher is excellent. The teachers teach the material until the student masters it at a level where they fully comprehend it and the teachers take responsibility for making sure the kids get it. Kids are very happy here and excited about learning. We are thrilled and we have experience in both the public school and independent private setting. The school is expensive but well worth it.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 8, 2011

Cortona has truly helped me develop as a person. I have been attending classes since sophomore year and I am currently completing high school and college preparatory work. I struggled from childhood until freshman year in Northern Virginia schools until I enrolled here. My experience has been a very good. Scheduling is flexible and staff here has great leeway to apply their creativity and teach in a way that suits each student's educational needs. Learning is highly personalized and, crucially, so much more caring and human. I have not said so in person, but the teachers here excel not only in their knowledge of the subject matter and their brilliance; they are also deeply cultured, patient, encouraging, affirmative and most importantly kind and good people. Administration is also talented and extremely competent. Mrs Strauchs (director) is inspirational; she is amazingly well-versed both as educator and counselor, with in-depth knowledge on everything from college scholarships to award programs. She has amazing vision and I am sure that Cortona has a great future. This is the most honest review I can write and an overdue thank you; I would recommend Cortona to any student.

Posted July 21, 2011

Our daughter got into college because of Cortona Academy. She has a future now and didn't before. I can't begin to rave enough about how influential the caring faculty and administration have been in her life. There is nothing like it on the East Coast. Outstanding Cortona!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 26, 2011

When selecting a private education program do two things: Check out the quality and ability of prospective teachers and the credibility and transferability of the courses to be taken. As a current teacher at Cortona Academy, with previous teaching experience in public and military schools and membership in International Schools Board of Directors (Russia and Pakistan) I can confirm that the quality of the teachers and courses are critically important . Cortona Academy excels in both these areas. Contact the school and learn more about its teachers and courses.
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted May 4, 2011

AWESOME school, both for the gifted and also those struggling. Small class size. High tech wing offers techies chance to create, explore, even patent inventions!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted March 17, 2011

Since 1992, this extraordinary staff has been educating students brilliantly, with 100% dedication to each person's abilities and potential. Now nearing our 20th year, Cortona Academy has an amazing, dramatic, high-tech facility where students in grades 6 - 12 can find hope and inspiration in today's highly competive academic world. Our no-fail philosophy, combined with the individualized care and attention for EVERY student, regardless of ability or learning challenges, is our key to success and motivation! 100% college admission rate, with between 40 - 65K in scholarships for graduates in the past 5 years. Excellence in Education, without stress, is what catapults each and every one of our students. Seeing is believing! Call 703-464-0034. Rolling admissions!
—Submitted by a teacher

Posted March 17, 2011

As a recent graduate, I can personally say how much going to Cortona has helped me. Without having gone here, I undoubtedly would not be doing as well as I am in college. They offer a variety of classes all with great instructors in either one-on-one tutoring or in small group classes. They also offer a very flexible schedule and classes do not even start until 9am, which is quite nice. There are no other schools similar to Cortona that I know of, I would highly recommend this school to anyone.

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

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Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Math specialist(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
School facilities
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Sharon Strauchs
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
Fax number
  • (703) 796-6690


Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish


Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Tutor(s)
School facilities
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

School culture

Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.



TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

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13505 Dulles Technology Drive
Suite 3
Herndon, VA 20171
Website: Click here
Phone: (703) 464-0034


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