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The 13 Oldest Schools In Maryland Are Ancient

Portrait Of Teenage Students In Uniform Outside School Buildings

The 13 Oldest Schools In Maryland Are Ancient

Maryland boasts a diverse array of private and public educational institutions, encompassing a variety of schools. Additionally, the state is renowned for hosting several old and prestigious colleges and universities. In this article, we’ll shed more light on the oldest schools in Maryland, how far they've come, where they are today, and how they contribute to the development of the State, the US, and the world at large.

Elementary Schools

The Family Academy of Bethesda

4324, Montgomery Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

The Family Academy of Bethesda was founded in 1975. It started as a home for taking care of infants in the Bethesda neighborhoods. The facility that was once a daycare still exists in its original location. As more children were enrolled in the facility, the population of the children also grew. The Montessori learning method was introduced and later elevated to a private school, which the Maryland Department of Education approved in 2000.

Furthermore, the school has expanded its reach by establishing three additional campuses within its primary location. Learning at the school is restricted to the needs and age brackets of the children from the infant level to the kindergarten level, with the curriculum designed based on the developmental stages of a child.

Green Acres School

11701 Danville Drive, North Bethesda, MD 20852

In 1934, a school was established by an individual named Alice, driven by a firm conviction in the transformative power of education to drive social change. Alice aimed to establish a space for children to exchange ideas and experiences, fostering connections with the broader world. 

She provided a platform for the children, enabling them to express their opinions while encouraging others to value and honor those opinions. As time has passed, Green Acres School has continued to thrive, standing as a remarkable institution of intellectual growth, happiness, and lifelong education, unrivaled among other educational establishments even after more than 85 years. 

Subjects that have been included and integrated into the school program include art, physical education, science, library time, and Spanish. Music is also part of the regular curriculum.

Middle Schools

Old Fields School

1500 Glencoe Road, Sparks Glencoe, MD 21152

Old Fields School was established in 1867 by Anna Austen McCulloch to educate her immediate family and a few local children. Renowned for her compassion towards humanity and her insatiable curiosity, she prioritized the pursuit of excellence, particularly in the realms of sciences and physical prowess. Presently, her profound dedication and influence resonate at the Old Fields, emphasizing the significance of familial bonds and nurturing a culture of kindness.

Female Ballet Student At Performing Arts School Performs For Class And Teacher In Dance Studio
Dance class is one of the many ways students can express their artistic side.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

With the Arts program at the School, students can express themselves through dance lessons, music, theater, and visual arts. Moreover, the Old Fields athletics program emphasizes the value of respect for one another and each individual and respect for others. Being among the first girls' schools to have a pioneer program in athletics, it values individual personal growth.

Horse riding has also been part and parcel of Old Fields for the last 150 years, meant to inspire aspiring riders to pursue their dreams and build their relationship with horses at a tender age.

St. Paul’s School

11152 Falls Road  Brooklandville, MD 21022

The school was founded in 1849 as a school for poor boys. Its initial location has been moved four times since its inception until it finally settled in its present location in 1952.

At the time, the core subjects were Math, Latin, and Greek. High priority was also given to music; as we speak, a choral music program is still available at the facility. Today, the school offers a college-preparatory curriculum where students have an opportunity to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Middle school staff are dedicated to students offering mentorship programs that boost student confidence. The school provides various opportunities to students, from arts programs to athletics, global travel options, and robotics.

Overall, apart from being a preparatory school for boys and girls, St. Paul’s also offers Pre and Lower school for children from the age of 6 weeks through grade 4.

Members Of Female High School Volleyball Team
High school is a great place to play new sports, engage in clubs or activities, and hang out with friends.

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Calvert School

105 Tuscany Road, Baltimore, MD 21210

Calvert School was opened in 1897 by four families from Baltimore, who at that time had sought the services of a German school teacher to educate their children at a kindergarten level. They were pleased with her work and decided to open the doors for other children in the neighborhood at kindergarten, first and second grades. They named it a Boys' and Girls' School.

Within two years, the population of children had increased. This led to the renaming of the school to Calvert Primary School.

In 1901, the school underwent a relocation, and after 23 years, it found its current home in Roland Park. One of the notable milestones occurred when the Board of Trustees granted approval to expand the school and establish a middle school, which stands as a significant accomplishment.

This plan was finally executed with a new state-of-the-art school offering fifth to eighth grades. The fifth-grade program focuses on language arts and mathematics. The curriculum includes physical education, music, and world languages.

Sixth-grade aids in building upon skills learned in the fifth grade. The highest grade is more of a formal approach to education where students develop lifelong and foundational skills, along with geography and history. Programs in each grade showcase students' ability and skills to express themselves confidently. This is important to prepare students for future engagements in life.

Chapel Gate Christian Academy

2600 Olive Branch Way, Marriottsville, MD 21104

There was a vision to establish a Christian school in Chapelgate in the 50s. Soon, it became a reality, and in 1980, the land was purchased, whereby the School was established. In 1991, classes between grades 6 through 10 started with the first batch of senior graduates in 1995.

Over the years, the school has flourished into one of the country's top 50 leading Christian schools. The school's academic program offers thorough and competitive learning programs. It is committed to meeting a child's academic, athletic, artistic, and social needs while considering their spiritual needs as Christians.

The school's curriculum includes English, sciences, and social studies. Focus has also been put on music, French, and Spanish. Middle school students that have been recommended can also take French, Spanish, and high-level Math.

High Schools

West Nottingham Academy

1079 Firetower Road, Colora, MD 21917

The school was established in 1744 and is the longest-serving day and boarding school in the United States. The first students admitted were female day students in 1895. Every course developed by the school is extensive in content to inspire and build up students' minds and furnish them with skills to prepare them for future endeavors.

With close consultation and consideration, six academic courses are selected for each student every year. With yearly reviews of the curriculum by the school's Academic Council and accreditation by the Middle State Commission of Higher Education, the school usually surpasses the state's education standards. The school also boasts a unique liberal arts program.

Baltimore City College

3220 The Alameda, Baltimore, MD 21218

In 1839, 46 students were gathered together, which would later be the foundation of Baltimore City College. At that time, the curriculum was centered around English and mathematics.

By 1839, four schools for males had been established, each with one teacher. There were four “Male Schools,” each employing only one teacher regardless of the number of students. However, advanced students were appointed to assist the teachers due to the heavy workload. When Baltimore City College opened, it was a fulfillment of an earlier campaign for public education.

High schools offer many opportunities to students, including expansive clubs, sports, and activity options.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Baltimore City College is ranked as the third oldest public high school in the United States.

It offers a college preparatory program in liberal arts. It is internationally recognized for its International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Its vision is to produce graduates who enjoy learning and aspire to be responsible citizens in the future.

Notable Alumni

Known to be selective in its admissions process, Baltimore City College has many success stories in terms of noteworthy students. Here are just a few famous individuals that attended this school:

  • Gary Bartz, Grammy Award-winning Musician
  • John Schuerholz, President of the Atlanta Braves 
  • Michael Tucker, Actor

St. James School

17641 College Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740

St. James was founded in 1842. It is a school that continues to be committed to remaining associated and faithful to its roots as a school belonging to the church. The school, however, welcomes students from all faiths.

St. James is a small co-educational boarding school that limits the number of day scholars it admits. They seek to nurture young talent and provide opportunities for students to grow intellectually, academically, artistically, athletically, socially, and morally.

Western High School

4600 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

Western High School was founded in 1844. It is a college-preparatory high school for young women in Baltimore. Its curriculum encourages a level of coursework that is advanced in a school of liberal arts. The school offers three distinct academic programs: accelerated college preparatory, college preparatory, and the Teacher Academy.

The accelerated college preparatory program involves three years of high school in grades 9-11, preparing them for college. The college preparatory program presents an opportunity for students to take courses in subjects in which there is demonstrated strength.

The Teacher Academy offers four classes that prepare students for a career in education. The school also promotes literature, journalism, and visual arts.

Mount de Sales Academy

700 Academy Road, Catonsville, Maryland 21228

Visiting nuns in Georgetown founded Mount de Sales Academy in 1852 for the purpose of educating young women. In 1979, the nuns could no longer continue providing services to the School and left it in the hands of a dedicated group of Dominican Sisters from Tennessee in 1985.

Cheerful Arab Female Student With Smartphone And Workbooks Standing Outdoors, Happy Young Middle Eastern Woman Walking In City After College Classes, Looking Away And Smiling, Copy Space
College offers many opportunities to students, including hands-on experiences, service projects, travel, and more.


The school continues to thrive, thanks to well-wishers and friends. It offers four classes, including College Preparatory Level 1, which offers students English, math, and social science skills. It has College preparatory level 2, offered to performing students in level 1. Mount de Sales also offers honors classes as well as advanced placement on a higher level.


Mount Saint Mary’s University

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, MD 21727

It is America's Second Oldest Catholic University. Father John DuBois laid its foundation with the help of dedicated parishioners and community members in 1808.

In 1882, an extensive high school and college course was unveiled to deserving boys and aspiring clerics. The university's curriculum is based on Catholic traditions and liberal arts. The school also aspires to be involved in social responsibility in business and scientific research.

Bowie State University

14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie, MD 20715-9465

The school was opened in 1865 by the Baltimore Association for Moral and Educational Improvement of the Colored People. In 1866, courses for training teachers were added to the school. Still, in 1867, the facility proved inadequate and led to purchasing of an old building renovated to accommodate the Baltimore Normal School for colored teachers.

In 1963, the school became Bowie State College, under the mandate of the Maryland State Legislature, following the establishment of a liberal arts program. English, history, and general social science were included in the curriculum. In 1988, the college became Bowie State University. Today, Bowie State University is ranked among the top universities in the state.

Notable Alumni

If you've ever wondered what famous name has roamed the halls of your favorite college, you're in luck. Numerous well-known individuals attended this university. Here are just a few of those names:

  • Toni Braxton, Singer
  • Isaac Redman, NFL Player
  • Gwendolyn T. Britt, Former Maryland State Senator


A quick look into Maryland's most historic educational institutions reveals that they boast much more than rigorous academic programs alone; they also foster deep connections within student bodies. In this way, they transform themselves into melting pots of camaraderie, fostering a sense of community incomparable even with newer schools that may have opened up in more recent decades. In showcasing a reverence for tradition, alongside consideration for evolving technologies in instruction — old blending seamlessly with new — these schools have established themselves as defining examples for educational programs across all levels. 

A wide support network comprising faculty members, administrative staff, alumni base, and even wider society members all play vital roles in ensuring schooling standards remain high; longevity owes much to this involved network's loyal contributions. As students graduate through such schools year after year, strong bonds are formed, forging ahead valuable personal and professional relationships which last lifetimes. Drawing upon conventional values while still keeping an eye toward progress, education at the oldest schools in Maryland inspires children to be better humans, committed to lifelong growth via education.

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