Lower School Admissions Process

Visiting the School Before Applying

If you are interested in applying to prekindergarten, kindergarten, third or fourth grade for the 2017-18 academic year, we invite you to attend an Information Program. The programs are available from September to December.   

We will also host an Open House for the Lower School on Sunday, October 23 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Registration is required. Please go to the "Visit Sidwell Friends" tab on the left side of the screen to register.

How to Apply

Read the sections below to learn about the application process and the documents required for an application to the Lower School.

Although we accept applications for first and second grades, keep in mind that spaces become available for these grades only through attrition of our current students.

We have a September 1 birthday requirement for all grades of the Lower School.  See table below for birthday cutoff dates.

Applying to Grade
Age by September 1 
Born Before

Our Prekindergarten program is only one section.  With our philosophy that siblings are not placed in the same classroom, it is the School's policy not to accept applications for twins for Prekindergarten.

Application Forms
Families must submit Part I, the Application Form online by December 15, 2016

Please note: Part II, Supporting Documents (teacher recommendation, school transcript, test results, etc.) do not need to be submitted with the application.  The application itself is sufficient to begin the admission process.  However, all supplementary materials must be received by the Admissions Office by January 15, 2017.

Application Fee
There is a $75 fee to submit an application, which is paid by credit card when applying online. If the application fee creates a true financial hardship for your family, a limited number of waivers are available.  Please call the Admissions Office to discuss the possibility of a fee waiver.

Child's School Visit
So that we can get to know your child better, he or she will be invited to spend some time with us in a small group setting. Your child will participate in a variety of age appropriate activities and exercises with two of our classroom teachers.   You may schedule this visit after you have completed Part I of the application process.

Prekindergarten and Kindergarten applicants: Your child's visit will be scheduled between October and January.

Third and Fourth grade applicants: These visits will be scheduled on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
Visits are not scheduled for non-expansion (first and second) grades. We will be in touch with you directly if we learn of a student leaving (often not until late February).

All applicants are required to have an individual test administered by an educational diagnostician. A list of testing sites is here.  

  • Applicants to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten take the WPPSI-IV.
  • Applicants to the first grade take the WPPSI-IV unless the applicant is already 6 years old at the time of testing, in which case he or she should take the WISC-V.
  • Applicants to the second through fourth grades take the WISC-V.

Teacher Recommendation
For our prekindergarten through first grade applicants, we require one Teacher Recommendation form to be completed by your child’s current teacher. For applicants to grades second through fourth, two Teacher Recommendation forms are required. One should be completed by current teacher. 

School Report (grades second through fourth only)
Report cards for the first grading period of the current school year and a completed report from the previous year are required for the applicant.  It is the responsibility of the parent to request that these official records be sent to Sidwell Friends by submitting the Transcript Request Form to their child’s current school. The school will mail the school report directly to us.

Parent Statement
The information you provide us on the Parent Statement helps us to learn more about your child and family.

Out of Town Applicants

We look forward to working with families living in other areas of the United States and other countries and understand that your circumstances may present some challenges as you go through the admissions process. Please inform us of your intention to apply as soon as possible so that we can be of greatest help to your family.


Contact Information

Samantha Kirby Caruth
Assistant Director of Admissions, Lower School
Phone: 202-537-8113
Fax: 202-537-2401