Seneca Academy

Seneca Academy is a non-profit, independent day school serving students aged 3 through 5th grade.
Seneca Academy offers a unique educational opportunity in Montgomery County through its combination of small class sizes, International Baccalaureate curriculum, positive social environment, celebration of diversity, and beautiful campus.
Our community spirit, excellent inquiry-based academic programs, competitive tuitions, and pursuit of global citizenship make us a high-value independent learning option for forward thinking families who want to affordably invest in their child`s future.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc. International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
Religious Affiliation Non-sectarian
Grades Offered Grades Nursery/Preschool-5
Year Founded 1983

Student Body

Total Students 171 students
Student Body Type Co-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 35%
Students by Grade Seneca Academy Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers 15 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio 12:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size 14 students
Classroom Dress Code Formal
(Navy or khaki pants, red, white or navy blue collared shirt)

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline None / Rolling
Tuition Notes Please see website
% on Financial Aid
Admissions Director Priscella Celentano


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric. 15 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric. Art & Crafts, Ballet, Band, Choir, Cooking, Engineering Club, Film Making, Landscape and Nature, National Geography Bee, Science Club, Sculpting, Soccer, Studio Art, Video Game Design, Yoga Art & Crafts, Ballet, Band, Choir, Cooking, Film Making, Science Club, Sculpting, Soccer, Studio Art, Yoga, Engineering Club,
Landscape and Nature,
National Geography Bee,
Video Game Design,

School Notes

Seneca Academy is proud to be an International Baccalaureate/Primary Years Program school, providing an integrated, trans-disciplinary program of study for students in preschool through 5th grade.  Seneca Academy provides an engaging, challenging, inquiry-based education in a nurturing and inclusive environment  that facilitates the development of learners who can think and act independently. The Seneca Academy curriculum is guided by the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and supported by a variety of other curricula and materials. Through the IB/PYP, students develop the intellectual, physical, emotional and social skills to excel in a rapidly changing world.

At Seneca Academy, we believe in turning experience into knowledge through:
  • Engaging students in developmentally appropriate active learning - indoors and outdoors
  • Nurturing students in small classes
  • Challenging students to meet their personal best
  • Encouraging self-confidence and independence
  • Fostering responsibility, respect and reflection
  • Developing principled communicators and problem-solvers
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School Reviews

   5.00 out of 5 (5 reviews)
5.0 Stars   05/17/16
Whether they are three or four-years-old, preschoolers or elementary students, school is the first place where our kids go out on their own to spend the day without us. Though we may ask frequently, we never really find out exactly how they spend each day or what conversations take place in the sandbox or on the playground; what small piece of knowledge they gain from every activity or assignment; but I do believe we can tell when they are thriving and when they are not. After seeing our daughter, through two amazing years of preschool and Kindergarten, my husband and I made a difficult choice. We decided to withdraw her from Seneca Academy and switch to public school for first grade. Financially, we didn't think we could make it work to send both our daughter and now her little brother (3) to Seneca together, especially once they were both in elementary. We made the decision swiftly at the beginning of summer, hoping that like ripping off a band-aid, the sting of leaving would diminish quickly. From the beginning of our start in public school, we were troubled. Because the class size was large (25+ students), discipline seemed to be the top priority. In areas where she had achieved independence years ago (like pushing herself in reading and going to the bathroom by herself) our daughter was discouraged. Academics were stacked in huge blocks of time with few breaks built-in. Snack time didn't exist. Uninspired homework assignments came home with little explanation every night. The playground swarmed with 250 students during recess, making it hard to find friends in a blur of racing faces. And yet, to her credit, our daughter never really complained… but we began to notice a change. The light and joy that had always filled her at school was dimming. She wasn't happy to get up in the morning anymore. After a few weeks, she would stare at the photo taken of her Seneca kindergarten class and cry. At first she would talk of missing her friends, but that evolved to descriptions of missing something much bigger. She said she missed singing songs in class, she missed counting the days of the school year on Mrs. Hauck's bubblegum machine, she missed the sandbox and the gazebo and the playground. She missed Seneca Academy, and we did too. After eight weeks, we felt certain that we had given it a fair chance, but that public school just couldn't offer what we wanted—which, we now realized, was something more than a school. We wanted a community. We wanted a place that cares about academics, but also about shaping small children into good people. We wanted a classroom that was not so crowded full of desks that there was no space for singing and dancing in class. We wanted a playground where the kids felt safe, not intimidated. We wanted a relationship with her teacher and the school. We wanted her to again see learning as an adventure rather than as a job. We knew what we had to do. I vividly remember calling Dr. Carroll that next morning. My heart was in my throat as I hoped that Seneca would have room in the first grade for our daughter to return. As I listened to myself trying to explain our experience and why we wanted to come back, I knew there were no words that could summarize my feelings. And Dr. Carroll did too. She stopped me from explaining (thankfully) and said, "we''ll work out the details later, let's just get her back where she belongs." Less than an hour after I hung up with Dr. Carroll, my cell phone started beeping and buzzing. Somehow, the first grade class had been told that our daughter was coming back, and word traveled fast. I started getting text messages, emails, phone calls, from all the mothers of her friends who were as excited as we were that she would be returning. The very next morning, our daughter was back in her uniform and on her way into Mrs. Webb's first grade classroom, where they already had her name on a desk and a label over her hook. Upon entering the class, she was surrounded by her classmates, who just couldn't stop hugging her. They didn't want to let her go. Teachers, staff, and even fourth and fifth grade students stopped in to say, "We''re so glad you''re back." We are struck on a daily basis at the change that has occurred in our daughter since her return to Seneca. She is happy, confident, and full of breathless enthusiasm. The gratitude that I feel to the school for welcoming us back so warmly is immense; but even more than that, I''m thankful that a place like Seneca exists and that we are fortunate enough to be able choose it for our children. Looking back, when I think about those difficult two months, sometimes I wish that we had never left. But then again, now everyone in our family–especially our daughter--has an even deeper appreciation for the teachers, staff, and community that make Seneca Academy the truly special place that it is.
- Posted by
5.0 Stars   05/17/16
Seneca Academy has provided our daughter with a challenging environment for her to develop curiosity, independence, and most importantly, a love of learning. In each of the classes, from Preschool to the present, she has been encouraged to express her ideas and make connections to what she does outside of school. While Seneca is a small school, it doesn't feel that way to us or to her. She has friends in each of the grades, not just in her classroom. The range of after school activities is impressive. Most importantly, however, the teachers are committed to knowing the students and challenging them to grow academically and personally. Based on our experience, I would strongly recommend that parents consider this school for their children.
- Posted by
5.0 Stars   07/24/15
Our daughter was a good student, but was kind of ignored in public school because of her introverted nature. She has really shined at Seneca Academy after her potential was unlocked! The classes are small, the school is intimate, the principal is wonderful, and the teachers are great! The IB curriculum is such a great way for kids to learn.
- Posted by
5.0 Stars   06/25/13
Had a great kindergarten experience. Love the inquiry-based learning, which has given my child some great critical thinking skills. Developmentally appropriate, differentiated instruction, lots of outdoor time and classroom movement. The teachers are amazing.
- Posted by
5.0 Stars   02/14/13
Our son has been in the preschool program for 2 years and we have been impressed with the quality of teachers and the administration.
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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Montgomery County, MD is $13,037 for elementary schools and $23,102 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Montgomery County, MD is 78% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).