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School Profile

The Madeira School is an independent boarding and day school that educated girls in grades 9-12. The scenic 376-acre campus is just 12 miles from Washington, DC.

Brief History

  • Founded by Lucy Madeira in Washington, D.C. in 1906
  • Relocated to McLean, Virginia, in 1931
  • Instituted a unique Co-Curriculum program in 1966-1967 school year
  • Appointed Head of School Pilar Cabeza de Vaca in 2010

Location and Campus

  • A 376-acre campus in McLean, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.
  • Encompasses a student center, classroom buildings, art and dance studios, dormitories and faculty housing, a 590-seat auditorium, indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, playing fields, horse stable, indoor riding ring, indoor pool, and the Inner Quest ropes challenge course
  • Overlooks the Potomac River

Academics

The academic curriculum emphasizes both content and skills in the context of a liberal arts education.

  • Curricular integration across science, technology, arts, mathematics, literature, history, and world languages
  • Co-Curriculum emphasizing real-world experience and applied learning
  • College-level mathematics beyond AP Calculus BC 
  • Embarked on a modular schedule curriculum at the start of 2014-2015 school year, changing from a two-semester, 33-week school year
    • All classes taught in 80 minute blocks, for three periods a day, five days per week
    • Three blocks constitute a full-year course equivalent
    • 15 academic blocks plus a Co-Curriculum module is considered a full load

During the 2015-2016 academic year, 164 students took 209 AP examinations in 22 different subjects:

Biology 12, Calculus AB 21, Calculus BC 20, Chemistry 7, Comparative Government and Politics 14, Computer Science A 7, English Language and Composition 21, English Literature and Composition 49, Environmental Science 1, French Language and Culture 10, Latin 4, Macroeconomics 4, Microeconomics 5, Physics 1 2, Physics 2 6, Psychology 3, Spanish Language and Culture 5, Statistics 12, Studio 2-D Design Portfolio 2, US Government and Politics 16, US History 27, World History 42.

A score of 3 or better was earned on 87% of examinations taken. Scores of 4 and 5 were earned on 47% of the examinations taken.

Co-Curriculum 

Madeira’s Co-Curriculum Program, winner of the prestigious National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2003 Leading Edge Award, is now 50 years old. See the Co-Curriculum pages for grade-by-grade program details.  

Students

  • Total number of students in 2016-2017: 319
  • Countries represented: 29
  • States represented, including the District of Columbia: 22
  • 52% boarding students
  • 48% day students
  • 31% students of color
  • 14% international students

Faculty

  • 34 faculty members 
  • Student-faculty ratio of 9:1
  • 28 faculty members with master’s degree or higher
  • 38 housing units for faculty/staff 

Student Life

  • Welcoming community of day students and boarders from across the country and around the world
  • Beautiful campus with spaces for fine and performing arts and indoor and outdoor athletics and access to Washington, D.C., for excursions
  • 50+ student-run clubs and activities including political, cultural, arts, and media organizations all offering opportunities to build relationships and gain leadership experience
  • Boarding students living in six dormitories housing around 25 students each and a dorm faculty of four
  • Expansive Student Center with lounge area, pool table, and basement with snack bar, mailroom, and lockers for day students
  • Dining plan that brings faculty and students together – day girls and boarders alike –for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Athletics

  • 12 interscholastic team sports include cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, squash, swimming and diving, lacrosse, softball, and track and field
  • Competitive horseback riding in all seasons
  • Independent School League (ISL) competition

College Counseling

A natural consequence of a quality secondary education is college admission. Madeira’s College Counseling program is designed to ensure successful transition from the secondary school experience to a variety of post-secondary options. Madeira students have a variety of options, including Ivy League universities, highly selective liberal arts colleges, and universities around the country and the world. Recent college destinations include schools such as American University, Barnard College, Bates College, Boston College, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Colby College, Colgate University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Kenyon College, Lafayette College, McGill University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Reed College, Sarah Lawrence College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Swarthmore College, Tulane University, University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, and the College of William and Mary, among others.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Cost of Attendance (2016–2017)

  • Comprehensive boarding fee: $59,990
  • Comprehensive day student fee: $45,710

Financial Aid 

  • 30% of students receive Madeira financial assistance
  • Total aid available: $3.3 million
  • Average grant size: $33,098

Accreditation 

  • Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS)

Memberships

  • Association of College Counselors at Independent Schools (ACCIS)
  • National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Potomac and Chesapeake Association of College Admission Counseling (PCACAC)
  • THE COLLEGE BOARD
  • National Association of Independent Schools
  • The Association of Boarding Schools

Contact the Admission Office

Contact the Admission staff with any questions about campus visits, interviews, or the admission process.

Contact Us

Explore Our Campus

We invite you to visit The Madeira School’s campus in McLean, Virginia, just twelve miles from Washington, D.C. 

Take the Virtual Tour