A Baltimore area independent Day and Boarding college preparatory school for girls with a coeducational two-year-old through Pre-Kindergarten program, Garrison Forest School is dedicated to the intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, moral, physical and spiritual growth of its students.
The school seeks to develop within each student a strong sense of integrity, identity and self-esteem, reflecting its motto Esse Quam Videri: "To be and not to seem." The school's primary commitment is to develop and maintain a strong academic program designed to foster a spirit of inquiry, intellectual independence and enthusiasm for learning. Students are expected and encouraged to achieve their potential through a traditional program enhanced by innovative approaches. They are challenged, in and out of the classroom, to lead, to serve, to make decisions and to accept responsibilities for consequences.
Respect, trust, warmth and joy combine to create an atmosphere in which all members of the School community can grow.
Ultimately, the goal of Garrison Forest School is for each student to become confident and prepared to contribute to a complex and challenging world.

Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Top Ranked MD School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-12
  • Enrollment: 550 students
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

Upcoming Events and News

  • Spring Signing Day Features Artists and Athletes - 07/25/2022
    Today, Wednesday, March 11th, we were proud to recognize four Senior artists and student-athletes who declared their intent to pursue their passions in college.
  • Congratulations to the Class of 2022! - 07/25/2022
    It was a gorgeous day to celebrate the Class of 2022 at the 108th Garrison Forest Commencement ceremony held in Centennial Courtyard. The morning was filled with lots of laughter ...moreand happy tears as Seniors left their final mark on the Upper School. hide
  • 14 Jenkins Fellows Serve in the Baltimore Community - 07/25/2022
    The Garrison Forest Elsie Foster Jenkins `53 Endowment Fund for Community Service program supports a variety of Service League community outreach initiatives and has sent over 80 Jenkins Fellows to ...moreover 31 countries and communities, positively impacting hundreds of lives. From teaching students math in Uganda to creating a dance movement program for children living at the House of Ruth Maryland, our Jenkins Fellows exemplify the GFS Core Value, Be Compassionate. hide

Top Rankings

Garrison Forest School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in Maryland for:

Sports offered
School History
School Resources

School Overview

Student Body

Total Students
550 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 38%
Students by Grade
Garrison Forest School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
50 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
15 students
Number of AP Courses
15 courses
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Computer Science, English Language and Composition, English Literature, Environmental Science, French Language and Culture, Latin, Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, U.S. History
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Jan. 15 / rolling
Tuition Notes
Tuition ranges from $6,500 for three-day 3\'s to $71,560 for international boarding
% on Financial Aid
Admissions Director
Catie Gibbons
Endowment Size
$44 million



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
23 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Anime Club, Asian Students Association, Black Students Association, Book Club, Christian Club, Debate Club, Fashion Collective, First Aid, Games Club, GREEN Club, International Club, JSA, Literary Magazine, Model UN, Multicultural Student Alliance Club, Politics Club, Riding Club, Robotics Club, Spanish and Latin Clubs

Arts and Music Programs:
Acapella Group, Chorus, Dance, Musical Theater

School Notes

  • Empowering students to achieve their fullest potential and live lives of purpose-this has been the core of Garrison Forest School since its founding in 1910. What was an innovative educational mission for girls at the turn of the 20th century remains so in the 21st century. Throughout our history, our mission has been to prepare young women for a rewarding college experience and for a purposeful life well beyond. Guided by our motto, Esse Quam Videri - To Be Rather Than To Seem - Garrison Forest's curricular and co-curricular program balances exceedingly high standards within a welcoming, spirited atmosphere.
  • Located outside of Baltimore, the school's park-like campus offers collegiate-quality academic, athletic, arts and residential facilities. Our innovative partnership with The Johns Hopkins University, the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, matches students with a Hopkins professor and lab to conduct research in science and engineering. Students may apply to be a Jenkins Fellow for an in-depth service learning project of their choice. Our new Equine and Veterinary Science program, expanded Robotics program, arts offerings, competitive interscholastic athletics (including riding and Polo at the national levels) and many clubs meet every interest, broaden horizons and provide leadership development.
  • With Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York City and other Mid-Atlantic cities and states nearby, students enjoy a variety of weekend activities. Here, students flourish intellectually and individually, find their voice, discover their passions and embrace their potential.
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Elizabeth Littlefield '78 - President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
    • Lara Schwartz '85 - Vice President of External Affairs for The American Association of People with Disabilities
    • Helen Whitney '61 - Oscar nominated producer, director, and documentary writer
    • Nicole Hansen '12 - Nationally ranked climber
    • Rachel Pohl '74 - Help found ArtCorps, a health and human rights nonprofit
    • Tiffany Thomas '85 - Set Director for HBO's Game Change
    • Learic Cramer '96 - Northrup Grumman engineer and race car driver
    • Julie Bowen '87 - Emmy Award-winning actress
    • Beth Botsford '99 - Olympic Gold Medalist
    • Adele Smith Simmons '59 - President of the Global Philanthropy Partnership, senior advisor to the World Economic Forum, first female dean at Princeton
Source: Verified school update

School Reviews

We only have experience with the Preschool and I cannot recommend it enough. Our son was introduced to "school" through the Two's program and it was a phenomenal way for him to discover and explore his independence. He just finished the Three's program and we've continued to be impressed with teachers and curriculum, including the "specials" of science, gym, music and library. He's happy to go to school and, at this age, I think his enthusiasm for school is more important than academic progress (though he has learned a great deal). The head of the preschool, Zibby, stresses that GFS is a place for families and we've found that to be true. It feels like a home away from home, with wonderful classmates, parents and friends. Our son was admitted to one of the more selective preschools in DC, but we declined the invitation and chose Garrison Forest for this reason. We've never regretted that decision. We're looking forward to our youngest starting the Two's program next fall. She's already so comfortable there, and her first stop during drop-off is always Mrs. Isenhour's office to say hello. It's just a wonderful, nurturing place. We feel so lucky that our kids' first taste of formal education is with people who genuinely care about them.
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Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Top Ranked MD School
  • Grades: Nursery/Preschool-12
  • Enrollment: 550 students
  • Average class size: 15 students
  • Application Deadline: Jan. 15 / rolling
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Baltimore County, MD is $13,333 for elementary schools and $20,853 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Baltimore County, MD is 82% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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