College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Holton at a Glance

Holton was founded in 1901 by Jessie Moon Holton and Carolyn Hough Arms. Originally located in downtown Washington, D.C., at 2125 S. Street, the School moved to Bethesda, Md. in 1963. Learn more about Holton's history.

The School motto

Inveniam viam aut faciam or “I will find a way or make one.”


Holton-Arms School cultivates the unique potential of young women through the “education not only of the mind, but of the soul and spirit.”

School Philosophy

Founded in 1901, Holton-Arms is a college-preparatory school for girls grades 3-12 dedicated to the “education not only of the mind, but of the soul and spirit.*”

The School provides rigorous and dynamic programs in the traditional academic areas, the fine and performing arts, and athletics. Here, young women of diverse backgrounds can take risks, learn from mistakes, pursue opportunities for leadership, and build lifelong friendships. Holton-Arms is a vibrant community that values consistency and order as well as creativity and freedom.

We seek to develop personal integrity and the sense of responsibility that help young women to make wise and ethical choices. We work to build the values of respect, compassion, and service to others, within the School and in local, national, and global communities.

We believe that with intellectual curiosity, self-reliance, tenacity of purpose, and commitment to others, Holton women will make a difference in a complex and changing world.

* Jessie Moon Holton (1866-1951, co-founder)


Inspiring young women to lead lives of positive influence.


We are an independent college preparatory school for girls in grades 3-12. Official school profile.

  • Total Enrollment: 664
  • Students of Color: 38%
  • Foreign national students: 2%
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 6:1
  • Average Class Size: 15
  • Students receiving financial aid: 22%
  • Number of students taking AP classes: 133 in 20 classes
  • 100% of Holton-Arms graduates are accepted to four-year institutions.
  • More than 60% of Upper School students and 100% of Middle School students participate in a sport.
  • Percentage of students enrolled in one or more FPA class in 2013-2014: Gr. 9 – 95% Gr. 10 - 97% Gr. 11 - 73% Gr. 12 - 76%
  • Unique curricular opportunities including Global Education and The Holton-Arms Center for the Advancement of STEM.

Faculty & Staff

  • Total Faculty and Staff: 175
  • 83% of Faculty hold Advanced Degrees: 85 masters, 9 Doctorates
  • Faculty with 10+ Years at Holton: 33


  • Total Number: 8,100
  • Alumnae Working at Holton: 8
  • Current Alumnae Parents and Grandparents: 39
  • Alumnae live in 40 countries world-wide
  • Alumnae include Emmy Award winners, CEOs, engineers, executives, rock stars, actresses, artists, moms, musicians, philanthropists, physicians, travelers, environmentalists, attorneys, educators, chefs, authors, and more.


7303 River Road, Bethesda, Md. 20817

  • 57 acres of rolling woodlands on River Road in Bethesda, Md.
  • Eight Wi-Fi enabled buildings, including two academic buildings and two libraries, a performing arts center, 400-seat theater, black box theater; natural light art and ceramics studios, a state-of-the-art photography lab, four dance studios, and multiple music education spaces.
  • Double gymnasium, indoor competition-size pool, seven tennis courts, three athletic fields (including one synthetic turf field), a fitness center, four dance studios, and an all-weather track.


  • Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools
  • Association of Independent Maryland Schools
  • State of Maryland