Readers' Pick

Bullis School

This isn’t the first time Bullis has been singled out by readers as the best private school both for academics and the arts. It won those categories in 2010, as well.

To know why, all you have to do is take a look at its new Academic Center. Located in the library, the center provides advanced technology and onsite staff, exemplifying the Potomac private school’s commitment to helping its students succeed.

Students know they’ll often find their teachers in the center if they need extra help outside of class. “Having access to these teachers is such a great benefit,” says Julia Brady, 17, a senior who has used the center’s computers to take an online course in advanced computer science.

What parents really like is the school’s emphasis on striking a balance between academics, arts, athletics and community service. That, combined with the variety of offerings, means “everybody can find their niche,” says Rockville’s Michelle Cohen, president of the Parents Association and an alumnus whose two children attend the school.

That philosophy extends to the arts programs, which include music, dance and theater. Most students take music and art classes a minimum of twice a week, with older students taking classes that meet several times a week. “There’s a place for everyone, both novice and advanced students,” says Cheryl Terwilliger, head of visual and performing arts.

The school, which serves students in grades 3 through 12, was founded more than 80 years ago. There’s something to be said for experience. But “the true gift of Bullis is that it doesn’t stand still,” Head of School Gerald Boarman says. “Rather than be afraid of change, our faculty embraces change.”

Annual tuition is $28,775 to $32,025.

10601 Falls Road, Potomac, 301-299-8500,

Other Top Vote Getters: Landon School, Sidwell Friends, Holton-Arms School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Georgetown Preparatory School