The Woods Academy | Bethesda Magazine

Test of Time


The Woods Academy

6801 Greentree Road




In December 1974, when it was announced that Ursuline Academy would close due to a shortage of Sisters, a group of dedicated parents banded together to continue Ursuline education for their children. In 1975, despite the decision of the Ursuline Sisters who staffed the academy, three Ursuline parents – J. Robert Walsh, George K. Reese, and John G. Scozzafava – founded Our Lady of the Woods Academy, subsequently The Woods Academy. The new school would be for children age three to grade eight, beginning with a Montessori preschool. Sister Celestine, OSU, would be the first administrator and parents would have an active role in the operation. At that time, a parent-run, private, co-educational Catholic school was unusual, but not unheard of.

Today, The Woods is a renowned Montessori preschool and high school preparatory school educating boys and girls from age three through grade eight. The Woods curriculum has maintained Ursuline’s well-known traditions of excellence in education, including instruction in Catholic doctrine and Christian beliefs, as well as French at all grade levels.

The Woods maintains this excellence in education by continually enhancing the curricular and extracurricular offerings at every level. Daily world language offerings now include French or Spanish, beginning in kindergarten. The Woods experience also incorporates a comprehensive and celebrated arts program; technology instruction that is comprised of robotics, programming, and coding; physical education classes and competitive athletics; as well as classes in entrepreneurship and leadership development.

The Woods Academy, like its predecessor Ursuline Academy, is traditional and structured, was well as innovative, rich and child-centered.

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