Holton-Arms School

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The Holton-Arms School
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Coordinates 38°59′30″N 77°8′53″W / 38.99167°N 77.14806°W / 38.99167; -77.14806Coordinates: 38°59′30″N 77°8′53″W / 38.99167°N 77.14806°W / 38.99167; -77.14806
Type Private Preparatory School
Motto Inveniam viam aut faciam
"I will find a way or make one."
Religious affiliation(s) Non-sectarian
Established 1901
Head of School Susanna A. Jones
Enrollment 655 total
Student to teacher ratio 7:1
Campus Suburban, 57 acres (23 ha)
Color(s) Blue and White
Athletics 15 Varsity Sports
Mascot Panther

Holton-Arms is an independent college-preparatory school for girls in grades 3–12, located in Bethesda, Maryland. As of the 2013-14 school year, there were 655 students and 94 faculty. Since 2007, Susanna Jones has been Head of School.

The school has three divisions, Lower School (grades 3–6), Middle School (7–8), and Upper School (9–12). Tuition for 2011-12 is $33,560 for grades 3-6 and $35,200 for grades 7-12. The financial aid budget for 2012-13 was $3,577,839. 25% of Holton students receive financial aid; the average grant is about $20,530 with individual grants ranging from 12% to 6% of tuition.Read more

Some 42 percent of the student body are people of color.


In 1901, 19 years before women won the right to vote, Jessie Moon Holton and Carolyn Hough Arms founded Holton-Arms School. The school was located at 2125 S Street, NW, Washington, D.C.[1]

Holton-Arms moved to Bethesda in 1963. Located on 57 acres (230,000 m2) of rolling woodlands just off River Road, the campus has seven buildings. Its facilities include a science wing and lecture hall, two libraries, a performing arts center with a 400-seat theater and new black box theater, art and ceramic studios (with a kiln) and photo lab, three dance studios, a double gymnasium, an indoor competition-size pool, a weight and training room, and dining room renovated in 2012. Outdoor facilities include seven tennis courts, an eight-lane all-weather track, and three athletic fields, including a synthetic turf field.

The School's mission is to cultivate the unique potential of young women through the “education not only of the mind, but of the soul and spirit.” (Jessie Moon Holton, 1866–1951). The School’s motto is Inveniam viam aut faciam, or I will find a way or make one.


Academic rigor, personal attention, and opportunities to excel outside the classroom are hallmarks of the Holton-Arms academic program. Students discover their passions and are encouraged to pursue them and develop their own unique potential.

Students receive careful guidance regarding graduation requirements and the college admissions process. We encourage all students to strive for depth and breadth as they move through Holton.

The School's focus on Academic Technology includes a one-to-one device program for students in grades 5 through 12. Grades 5 through 7 use iPads and grades 8-12 use tablet PCs.

Honors programs, as well as more electives, become available to students in Upper School (9th Grade). In 9th grade, Math Honors is provided to them, as well as Biology Honors. Entrance into both honors class is only given with departmental permission. In 10th grade, Math honors is again an option, as well as Chemistry Honors and History Honors, commonly known as Core I. Core I is part of a two-year intensive history program, finishing at the completion of junior (11th) year.

Holton offers a wide variety of AP courses, including AP Art History, AP Spanish, AP Biology and AP Calculus. As graduation requirements, Holton students must have received four credits (four years) of Upper School English, three credits in one foreign language, three math credits, including Geometry and Trigonometry, three credits in history and the social sciences, and three science credits, including biology.

Some rising seniors go on Global Education trips, journeys of 15 to 18 days to China, Costa Rica, India, or Rwanda.


The arts and artists are thriving at Holton-Arms... challenging the mind, nurturing the soul, capturing the imagination, celebrating the human spirit. The School offers programs in both the fine and performing arts. Students being playing an instrument in the third grade and maintain this practice though out lower school. Middle and Upper School students may choose from a variety of art classes including chorus, swing choir, orchestra, jazz band, painting, ceramics, photography, music technology, theater technology, dance, and drama. Holton provides students with the facilities that allow them to pursue and display their passion for the Arts.

Holton and brother school Landon produce several plays each year: a fall musical, a winter play, and Spring One-Acts.


In the Upper School, Holton-Arms competes in the Independent School League (ISL) with 17 area schools. For swimming and diving, the school is a member of the Washington Metropolitan Prep School Swimming and Diving League (WMPSSDL). Crew participates in the Capital Scholastic Rowing Association (CSRA). Ice hockey competes in the Women's Ice Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic (WIHLMA) and the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League. Lower School does not take part in the ISL, but is part of an enriched physical education program. Middle School students are required to take 3 sports throughout the year, one for every trimester.

Notable alumnae[edit]


  1. ^ Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD. "Holton-Arms: School History.". Accessed 2014-01-29.

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