Nora School

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The Nora School
955 Sligo Avenue


United States
Coordinates38°59′25″N 77°1′31″W / 38.99028°N 77.02528°W / 38.99028; -77.02528Coordinates: 38°59′25″N 77°1′31″W / 38.99028°N 77.02528°W / 38.99028; -77.02528
School typePrivate[1], Non-sectarian[1]
FounderLeon Eberhard[2]
Status501(c)(3) nonprofit school[3]
ChairJimmy Kraft[4]
Head of schoolDave Mullen[5]
Teaching staff8.8 FTE[1]
Grades9th grade to 12th grade[1]
Number of students47[1]
Student to teacher ratio5.3[1]
Hours in school day6[1]

The Nora School is a small college preparatory high school in Silver Spring, Maryland. During the 2015–2016 school year, the school had 55 students in grades 9-12, and it employed 14 FTE teachers.[1] The curriculum is college preparatory with a focus on students who have previously been frustrated in school.[6] The Nora School is a nonprofit school with 501(c)(3) status.[3]


Founded in 1964 by Swiss educator Leon Eberhard as The Eberhard School,[2] the school has changed names and locations several times. In 1968, Eberhard moved the school from Dupont Circle to the new Washington Ethical Society building at 16th Street and Kalmia Street NW, where it remained until 2000. Eberhard left the school in 1975 to found the Acton School in Northern Virginia,[2] and the school was taken over by the Ethical Society and renamed Washington Ethical Society School. Eberhard died in 1994.[2]

The school fell on hard times financially, and had only 12 students when Sally Fisher from Sandy Spring Friends School was hired as Head of School in 1981. Fisher restored the school to academic and financial health over the next decade. In 1988 the school was renamed Washington Ethical High School, as it no longer had a formal affiliation with the Ethical Society. David Mullen was hired as Head of School in 1991. The school gained its first accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 1994.

Due to the space and enrollment limitations of the Ethical Society building, the school began searching for property in the mid-1990s, culminating in the purchase of land in Silver Spring, Maryland. With a donation from former faculty member Beau Kaplan and his wife Linda, the school built a new building and grew enrollment by 50% in 2000. That same year the school was renamed The Nora School in honor of the Kaplan's late daughter. As of 2015, Beau Kaplan is Chair Emeritus.[4]

The school expanded again in the fall of 2016, adding a second floor to its building on Sligo Avenue, doubling its size to approximately 11,00 square feet and adding a second science lab, a music room, student lounge and seminar room among other spaces.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Nora School". Search for Private Schools. National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed on June 13, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Leon E. Eberhard Dies at 78; Teacher and School Founder". The Washington Post. April 14, 1994. p. B7.
  3. ^ a b "Nora School". Exempt Organization Select Check. Internal Revenue Service. Accessed on June 13, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". The Nora School Inc. Guidestar. June 30, 2015.
  5. ^ "Admissions". The Nora School. Accessed on June 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "Donihi, Rosemary. At Least Two Are Genius Quotient". The Washington Post. December 3, 1967. p. K10.

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