K-8, Co-educational Independent School


How to Apply

We are so happy that you are interested in applying to ACDS for your child, and look forward to getting to know your family!  Through the application and its components we endeavor to learn about your child as a student and person, and answer all of your questions about our school program and community as you seek to identify the school that is the best fit for your child and family.  Our admission office is here to help you every step of the way, and we invite you to contact Liz Hendrickson, Director of Admission & Financial Aid at any time at 703-837-1303 or admissions@acdsnet.org.  If you are interested in applying for the current school year, please contact our admissions office first to see if there is an open spot in the grade in which you are interested.  Many of our grades are full for the 2020-2021 school year.

Application Deadlines for the 2021-2022 School Year

Friday, January 15, 2021 — Application Deadline*

Sunday, January 31, 2021 — Teacher Recommendations, Testing, & School Records Deadline

Friday, February 26, 2021 —  Financial Aid Application Deadline

Friday, March 5, 2021 — Admission Decisions Sent

Friday, March 19, 2021 — Admission Reply Deadline

*Applications submitted after January 15th will be considered on a rolling basis for any grades in which space might still be available. Please contact Liz Hendrickson at lhendrickson@acdsnet.org or 703-837-1303 for more information.

Application Components

After the online application has been received, we will schedule a time for your child to visit ACDS.  *Note: Due to COVID-19, visits may need to be done virtually or happen differently than described below. The decision will be made by our Admissions team based on virus conditions and ACDS’s operating and mitigation plans at the time of your application.

Students applying to Kindergarten will visit in small groups for two hours on a Saturday. They will play in our kindergarten classroom and complete a kindergarten readiness assessment with a member of our staff.  

First Grade
Students applying for First Grade will visit in a group for a half-day during the school day.  They will spend time with the current kindergarten class and complete reading and first grade readiness assessments with a member of our staff.

Second Grade
Students applying for second grade will visit in a small group for a full school day.  They will spend the day with the current first grade and complete reading and math assessments with a member of our staff.

Grades 3-8
Students applying for grades 3-8 will visit for a full school day with their current grade. Your child will be assigned a buddy for the day and have the opportunity to get to know their potential future classmates. Your child will also complete reading, math, and writing assessments during the visit.

At ACDS we value the relationship we have with each family, and we feel the best way to get to know your interests, concerns, and hopes regarding your child’s education is to talk with you in person.  We have intentionally made our online application brief, as our interview affords a more personal opportunity for you to tell us about your child and ask questions about ACDS. The interview will be scheduled once the application has been received and typically lasts about an hour. *Note: For 2021-2022 applicants, parent interviews will take place via Zoom conference.

Recommendation forms can be downloaded or sent to teachers electronically from our application portal.

•  Kindergarten and First Grade Applicants should submit one current teacher recommendation.

•  Applicants for grades 2-8 should submit two current teacher recommendations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, SSAT and ISEE is an optional part of the application for those applying for the 2021-2022 school year.  If your child has taken any standardized testing within the last year, those results may also be shared with ACDS in lieu of the tests mentioned here.

Kindergarten through Grade 5 (optional)

•  Children who are five years old and younger should take the WPPSI-IV (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence). Please note that all kindergarten applicants must be five years old by September 30 of their kindergarten year.

•  Children who are six years old or older should take the WISC-V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children).

Although ACDS is unable to endorse a particular testing center or individual, we have compiled a reference list providing the names of organizations that offer testing for admission purposes.

Grades 6-8 (optional)

•  Applicants for grades 6-8 should take either the ISEE or SSAT.

The school code is 472603 for ISEE and 1190 for SSAT.  Please register at www.erbtest.org (ISEE) or www.ssat.org (SSAT).

Please submit the transcript request to your child’s current school.  For students applying to kindergarten and first grade, the most recent current year report is sufficient.  Students applying to grades 2 through 8 should submit records for the current year along with the prior two years.

*Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is unlikely that these visits will happen for 2021-2022 applicants.

It can be a challenge for children to enter an entirely new community on a single day, and we are mindful of the fact that we may not get a full picture of how a student will engage in the classroom from one visit. Therefore, we often make an effort to observe your child in his or her current school when we feel that doing so will afford us a more complete picture of them as learners. These visits allow us to see how your child engages when they are in an environment that is familiar and comfortable.  We will talk with you before contacting the preschool to schedule a visit.

A completed file includes:

• Application

• WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, ISEE or SSAT Test Results (optional for 2021-2022)

• School Transcript

• Teacher Recommendation, one for K-1 and two for grades 2-8

• Student Visit

• Parent Interview

Upon careful review of each application, the Admission Committee provides admission decisions to families in early March. Each piece of the application provides the Admission Committee with a stronger sense of your child. In making admission decisions, the Admission Committee, made up of admission staff, faculty, and Heads of Lower and Middle School, reviews a student’s visit, academic record, test scores, learning style, and overall school experience. Our goal is to discover all that your child will gain from and contribute to an ACDS experience, and to ensure that we are able to meet the social-emotional and academic needs of every student we admit.

Alexandria Country Day School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid program, or any other school-administered programs.

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