Norwood School (Bethesda, Maryland)
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|8821 River Rd., Bethesda, Maryland 20817
|Type||Independent, Co-Educational, K-8|
|Campus||40 acres (160,000 m2) |
Norwood was founded as an Episcopal parish day school. In early 1952, in response to requests from parishioners, the Rector of St. John’s Church, Norwood Parish, asked Frances Marsh, the Director of the Church’s Sunday School, to start a parish primary school. The Vestry Resolution founding the Parish School indicated that preference would be given to families from the Norwood Parish and then, as space was available, opportunity would be given to other church families of the community. That fall, the Norwood Parish School opened with 40 children attending from the start. As a church school, it held religious services led by the Rector and operated under St John’s Vestry. The school prospered under Frances Marsh, though the small amount of space at St. John's limited both the possibilities for more school activities and the amount of people who could attend. This led to the establishment of Norwood Inc., a non-profit corporation founded by Marsh and parents with the intention of finding a larger building.
Unhappy with this effort to relocate the school, the Church Vestry dismissed Frances Marsh as Director of Norwood Parish School in March 1970. Ideological differences over racial integration between the school and the church also arose. The families at the Parish School helped Marsh establish the new Norwood School in temporary quarters for two years before its move to the current location on River Road in Bethesda, in January 1972. Norwood has operated continuously since then as a non-profit, independent educational institution without religious affiliation.
Norwood moved to its current hilltop location in early January 1972. The Steuart Building, named in honor of Norwood grandparent Esther T. Steuart, first opened to students in January 1972. The following year, the Board of Trustees decided to expand the School through the sixth grade. A capital fund drive was launched for the purpose of erecting a new building to accommodate the School’s upper three grades, a science laboratory, administrative offices, and a multi-purpose gymnasium. The fund drive was a success and the new building was finished in 1975. It was named after Frances Marsh.
In August 1995 the School acquired the adjacent 16.7-acre (68,000 m2) estate which provided ample room for expansion. Subsequently, after two years of deliberation informed by Board committee work, faculty/staff planning, and parent meetings and surveys, the Board of Trustees made the decision in May 1996 to expand the School to include grades seven and eight. The first seventh grade class opened in September 1998, followed by the first eighth grade in September 1999. That same month, the school opened its middle school and athletic buildings, which provided classroom space for fifth through eighth grades, a library, two science laboratories, choral and instrumental music rooms, two light-filled art rooms, lunch facilities, two basketball courts, a training room, locker rooms, and athletic offices.
- Steuart Building – Lower School classrooms, tutoring rooms, math and reading classroom, Development Office, Admission Office, Lower School Office.
- Amanda Murray Arts Center – art rooms, music room and stage, piano practice rooms, and office of learning specialist.
- Ewing Building – 20,000 volume library, Lower School classrooms, science labs, computer lab, math and reading rooms, Head of School’s Office.
- Marsh Building – Lower School classrooms, math and reading classrooms, multi-purpose gymnasium.
- Middle School Building – Middle School classrooms, 10,000 volume library, art rooms, music rooms, foreign language classroom, Middle School Office, kitchen, cafeteria, network closet, multimedia center, science labs.
- Athletic Center – Double gymnasium, multi-purpose athletic classroom, athletic offices, locker rooms