"We are best known for rigorous academics."
Students enrolled 220
Hours 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
School leader Bill Crittenberger
Transportation options Yes
Type Religious
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

4501 S Dakota Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017

School website
(202) 269-2350
(202) 269-2373
Nearby homes for sale
Map of St. Anselm's Abbey School address.

4 stars
Based on 28 ratings

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think about this school

June 09, 2014
Our son just graduated from 'The Abbey' and we could not have asked for a better school. He is very bright, but far from a genius. We moved him there in 6th grade because he was not challenged at his last school. St. Anselm's is certainly challenging and he has received a truly 1st class education in both the classics and STEM subjects. When he struggled in a subject, the teachers were always willing to help him during lunch/after school. My son was not a sporty kid but he found a home with the fencing team and also loved tech crew and singing with the a capella choir. He was a National Merit Scholar finalist (there were 4 in his class), he got into 12 / 13 colleges he applied to and was offered several very generous scholarships. Above all, his tight-knit class was full of extraordinary young men who will be friends for life. St Anselm's is a diverse school with one of the most caring communities I have ever come across. It was a second home to my son and his friends and with Bill Crittenberger at the helm, the school is going from strength to strength. This is a special place. It is not for every boy but if your son is bright or shows academic potential, look no further.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2014
My son went to school here during Father Peters time . It is a great school

- submitted by a parent
March 13, 2014
I am currently a student in the ninth grade of St. Anselm's Abbey School. Initially when I came in 6th grade, I had been forced to come by my parents even though most of my friends had gone to other schools. I quickly learned they has made a great decision. The teachers are deeply concerned with your success and you learn quite a lot. My classmates have never bullied me and a feel very comfortable in the school, and everyone knows my name. This is truly my second home. Contrary to some stories I have heard, besides from a few students who have since left the school, there is no culture of racism and everyone is quite friendly (obviously some exceptions). Pros: Small class size, GREAT teachers, inability of being lost in the crowd If you/ your son wants/needs a great rigorous education and wants a balanced liberal arts education, this is most certainly the school for you, (regardless of religion). Cons: If you are a very good athlete, the league competition in the PVAC may be too easy. If you are a very one dimensional student this is not the school for you. If you are not able to handle large amounts of homework, this is also not the school for you.

- submitted by a community member
February 10, 2014
My experience here has been absolutely horrible!!! There's no compassion from or rationalizing with the Head of the Middle School. He seems to take great pleasue in bullying the middle school students, and expects parents to accept this poor behavior.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2013
I am a student of Saint Anselm's, and have been there since 6th grade. I have seen numerous reviews citing terrible behavior of students, however, as a rising senior, I feel I am qualified to make a statement of the behavior of the students, and the nature of the student body. The classes are extremely rough for the first few years, as the admissions process seems to practically be 6th through 8th grades, with all behavior and grades culminating in either the student continuing to attend, or leaving for a different school. Due to this, my years in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades were fairly tough on me due to other students, who have either cleaned up their act, or not been "invited to return". The result of this is that by 9th and 10th grades, a solid, tight-knit class has been formed, after careful pruning, and resulting in a great class as a whole. There are always exceptions to this, with some "bad" students barely scraping by, either behaviorally or grade-wise, but my experience has been largely positive, and extremely helpful for my development. I was one of those "excluded" for a while, but I found my niche, and have become quite happy as head of tech crew, model UN, etc.

- submitted by a community member
April 12, 2013
Our son entered St. Anselm's in 6th grade - we began looking at St. Anselm's in an attempt to keep his interest in school. Our son is bright - not a brainiac by any stretch; very focussed on athletics and we were concerned that his previous school could not keep him engaged in academics. From the moment we stepped foot onto the campus at an open house, as parents, we were in awe. The dedication and intelligence of the faculty was overwhelming. Their clear dedication to the students, was evident. But most importantly, the spiritual presence was everywhere - in the sereneness of the campus, in the welcoming nature of the monks, in the religious icons that pepper the school - but mostly in the faces of the boys who were giving tours and talking about their school. The passion both for learning and for the value that the students placed on their education was impressive. And yet, every door was held for us; every handshake from a student was firm with eye contact that I rarely experienced speaking with a 12 year old. And now, after being a part of the Abbey, we see the transformation of our son happening right before our eyes. We are so blessed to be a part of this community!

- submitted by a parent
December 10, 2012
The Abbey is, without a doubt, the best school in the DC metro area IF: 1) your son has intellectual curiousity and a love of learning. Although it has a reputation as a school for brainiacs, it has an excellent athletics program (baseball, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country) where all students are able to participate. The Monks, who are ever present, create an atmosphere of tranquility in keeping with the school's moto of "Pax in Sapientia" (Peace in Understanding). The culmination of my son's seven years at the Abbey was a young man who I admired for his intelligence, work ethic, empathy, selflessness, and humility. Thank you Abbey!

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2012
My son is in his 2nd year at the Abbey and we continue to be impressed. His teachers are great - he actually likes to go to school b/c it is interesting. He has made great friends and enjoys the camaraderie of an all boys school. He is growing academically and socially and we couldn't be more pleased.

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2012
Phenomenal school! My son is a recent graduate. He was accepted at all of the top universities (Georgetown, UVA, William & Mary, etc). He had many scholarship offers. He remains very close to the school & visits often. Every penny of the tuition was worth it. St Anselm s has become his second family.

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2012
I cannot recommend this school highly enough. It has been wonderful for our son, both academically, athletically, and socially. There is such a strong community spirit among the boys, and the small classes reduce the cliques and stereotypes. There is a traditional feel to the curriculum: while they encourage critical thinking and technology use, etc., there is also western civilization, Latin, and sentence diagramming along with the novel reading... But there is also wonderful art instruction, drama, music, along with the academics. The teachers have been almost universally excellent, and become very knowledgeable of your son as a person, not just a student. My son loves the school so much, he lives in St. A's t-shirts outside of class. We came to St. A's from public schools, and a non-Catholic tradition, and were comfortable from Day 1. There are some Benedictines teaching, and we have found it such a positive influence on our son-- their emphasis on character and moral development is so important for teenagers! This was the best choice we have made to get our son ready for college, and life!

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2012
My son came here as a 6th grader and will graduate this spring. Having come from a public school at which he was bullied unmercifully and allowed to stagnate academically, the difficulties and challenges he overcame in adjusting to the academically challenging environment left him all the better. I sincerely believe that St. A's brings the best out in boys and that they reach their full potential here in ways unimaginable elsewhere. My son has friends from all over the DC area of all races and creeds, is well adjusted, accomplished, and has been accepted to his first choice of college. It was a painful financial sacrifice but I would do it again no questions asked.

- submitted by a parent
March 15, 2012
Would not work with my child nearly enough for the expensive tuition. Administration tolerated too much bad behavior from students and faculty. Very liitle empathy. St. Anselms actually hurt his self-esteem. Hated it.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2011
This is a great school that struggles a bit with boys not focused on academic achievement. Like any school, it's better for students who enjoy studying or have structures that support 3-4 hours of homework. Along with others, our son struggles in courses like Latin and Physics with significant homework loads and demanding teachers not inclined to focus on marginal students. Occasionally, that has meant as many as half of a class receive a D or F and face academic probation. The school gives its teachers and students a lot of freedom and the boys not as in tune with the academic rigor can disrupt a class or make inappropriate comments. In other private schools, talented kids who are high C or low B students might not be as marginalized in class, or may excel in athletics or extracurriculars (not a major focus here), and see themselves as valued (if not outstanding) members of academic community. The more-or-less bottom half of the classes here seem to suffer here more than at other schools with similar profiles. Our experience is this is wonderfulfor a talented boy who studies but will stress someone who is gifted but not inclined to study more than 10 hours a week.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2011
It may be a bit early to assess the school, since our child has been here only a year. The main thing I can say is that he is extremely happy here. He is a very sensitive, extremely bright 12 year old, and I feel that the nurturing environment here is amazing. They truly care about the students. I feel that despite being a minority child at the school (non Catholic, non-white) he has been welcomed by teachers and students and truly feels at home.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2011
I was excited to have my bright son attend St. Anselm's, but it really turned into a nightmare. The bullying was brutal and the school seemed not to care. Multiple times I asked for help and none was given. I was told that my son's class was exceptionally horrid and at one point an administrator said most of the boys with ugly behavior would be asked to leave-that did not happen. I feel this was a good school that lost its way. Overt racial hatred really was soul-crushing to my son. We are a family that embraces all cultures and when kids made whipping noises to the african-american students and made impassioned arguments about slavery being morally correct, I could only shake my head and promise my son to get him out of the school.

- submitted by a parent
May 28, 2011
Our son graduated in the past three years. He was an average Abbey boy. That means he wasn't a genius by Abbey standards but he'd have been very close to valedictorian at the other Catholic high schools in the DC area. The Abbey doesn't rank due to the small class size. Candidly, he was probably around 22nd to 24th out of 40 in his class. He was admitted to 9/10 colleges he applied and received merit scholarships from each one. His average scholarship, per school, was $75,000 and that was not dependent on financial need. He was a "typical Abbey boy." The difference is that being a "typical Abbey boy" means the better colleges know that your son is in the top 0.5 percent of students, if not higher, in the country and that he has been rigorously challenged in an academic manner that is unlike 99.99 percent of the other high schools in the country. In the summer before his senior year, he was approached by three colleges, offered immediate acceptances and, again, approximated $75,000.00 in merit (not need) based scholarships on average. The Abbey is a SPECIAL place. It's much more "than a school." It is a life changing experience for your entire family.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2011
My son began St. Anselms in form A (6th grade). We immediately fell in love with the school. There were 13 boys in his class (much smaller than the school had anticipated) but the boys received the real advantage. The work load is rigorous and they take Latin from the very beginning. My son earned a perfect score on the National Latin Exam due to the preparation provided by St. Anselms. The teachers are demanding and the boys really get a chance to bond with each other. St. Anselms is not well known by many and that surprises me considering the quality of the school. It is a small school (just over 240 students from grades 6-12)..

- submitted by a parent
December 10, 2009
I can honestly say I learned more at St. Anslem's than at College. Of my graduating class of 24 students, 14 had some level of National Merit recognition. You 'might' find a comparable school, but not a better one.

- submitted by a community member
October 24, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating January 28, 2009
St. Anselm's boys have found a place where they are all smart and so they can simply be themselves. They can challenge each other academically and don't need to feel self-conscious about their academic abilities. The boys are also taught to think of others as well as themselves (they do weekly community service) and they tend to be far more caring and gentle-natured than most boys their age. It's a unique environment, one that is not replicated anywhere else.

- submitted by a teacher
January 23, 2009
The tight-knit school community is unlike any other. The students are extremely bright, but also very sociable. And one of the school's biggest strengths is its great 40-acre wooded campus right in DC.

- submitted by a teacher
August 09, 2008
When I went to college, I felt much better prepared than many of the other people I met there. I had a much easier time adjusting to the workload, having already learned how to manage my time at a school where 'learning' means much more than simply doing the assigned homework and memorizing facts. St. Anselm's really teaches you how to think.

- submitted by a community member
July 04, 2008
Excellent school! Outside of a great academic challenge, your child will learn social skills, self-confidence and he will have fun interacting with his peers as well as with his excellent teachers. I highly recommend Saint Anselm's Abbey School, a jewel amongst the schools in DC area. My son is now in a top ranking college. Every adult schollar that meets him is amazed by his broad knowledge.

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2008
I have two sons attending St. Anselm's. They have different interests and strengths. Both boys are challenged and happy in this diverse but closely-knit community. The faculty and staff are committed and caring. The atmosphere is perfect for a boy ready to learn and become a citizen of our global community.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2007
Great curriculum and teachers, the rigorous nature of the program provides a gateway to hard work and success in college and later in life. Seven of my classes are under 20 kids and 3 are under 10. This allows for interactive classroom discussions and plenty of opportunities so seek extra help if needed. Though the school is Catholic, the school is open to any religion. I am a Junior at St. Anselm's and a Varsity soccer and tennis player, and I'm proud to call my self and Abbey boy

- submitted by a student
August 27, 2007
St. Anselm's was designed on the premise that gifted students are the most underserved. It offers the combination of a) smart boys together in b) small classes within c) a stable atmosphere provided by the monks. 'Abbey boys' are of all sorts, including non-Catholics. Students tend to have many intellectual interests outside school.

- submitted by a student
December 17, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
December 07, 2006
St. Anselm's's is an amazing school that has one of the best academic programs in the country. I went to a top ten university (US News and World Report), and the education I received at Saint Anselm's was better and more rigorous. In other words, I was extremely well prepared for college and performed very well.

- submitted by a former student
August 30, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Rigorous college-preparatory education on a quiet, peaceful wooded campus.

5 / 10

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Last modified: June 18, 2014

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St. Anselm's Abbey School
4501 S Dakota Ave NE, Washington, DC  20017
(202) 269-2350
Last modified St. Anselm's Abbey School is a Private school that serves grades 6-12
St. Anselm's Abbey School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top