The ES Programs


Scholars Academy

The heart of ES is the Scholars Academy, a comprehensive 14-month program of academic, cultural, and social preparation, which prepares rising 5th graders for admission to Washington, DC area independent schools. Scholars Academy is intentionally demanding, with a core academic curriculum that mirrors the best practices and programs employed by our partner schools. ES integrates critical thinking, leadership ability, social skills and personal growth with academic preparation in STEAM subjects. This ensures that graduates from the Scholars Academy are fully prepared to meet the rigorous requirements of independent school and excel within their challenging new environment. Knowing that they have earned their acceptance, graduates from the academy enroll in independent schools in the 6th grade, determined and equipped to thrive.



Scholars Advancement

Emerging Scholars is dedicated to a scholar’s success throughout their academic career and offers sustained support to Scholars Academy graduates to ensure they remain on track to achieve their highest potential.  ES developed the Scholars Advancement component to provide guidance and mentoring, monitoring of academic progress, identification of academic, internship, enrichment and scholarship opportunities; assistance with the transition from middle to high school and, later, into college; in addition to test preparation, portfolio building, interview rehearsals and more!

ES develops and maintains an intimate relationship with each scholar and their family. One of the most difficult challenges ES students may face is adjusting socially and emotionally to a new environment in an independent school. Both ES staff and participating school personnel work together to address a wide range of individual challenges that may arise. After independent school placement, ES personnel continue to provide support through meetings, phone calls, emails, school visits and parent conferences. ES will assess the needs and address the concerns of our scholar families throughout middle school, high school, college and beyond.



ES Faculty

Emerging Scholars maintains an 8:1 Student to Teacher ratio to provide each scholar with personalized instruction and attention. The ES Faculty is handpicked for their established competence as educators, staunch commitment to the ES mission and tireless dedication to our scholars both inside and outside of the classroom. 



Admission Criteria & Recruitment

ES identifies and enrolls a diverse group of 4th grade Metropolitan DC area boys and girls who require both financial and preparatory assistance to excel in independent schools. Every year, approximately 20 scholars will be selected to participate in Emerging Scholars. Admission to ES is based on academic performance, leadership skills, personal interviews with students and families, teacher recommendations and determined financial need.  

Students begin participation in the Scholars Academy during the summer before 5th grade, so they may be prepared to apply for and enroll in independent school in the 6th grade. While prospective scholars may inquire or request information earlier, students must be in the 4th grade to apply and take the Admission Assessment.

Student recruitment efforts include contact with both independent and public school admissions officers, administrators, teachers, and guidance counselors; friends and families of admitted scholars, as well as local community and peer organizations. 



Scholar & Family Participation

Emerging Scholars requires the dedication and active participation of both the scholars and their families, during the initial 14-month Scholars Academy and then throughout the Scholars Advancement experience.  

Students MAY NOT miss any portion of the Scholars Academy, except for cases of illness, death in the family or unexpected emergencies. Unexcused absences will lead to dismissal. After graduation, participation in Scholars Advancement programming and activities is strongly encouraged to ensure continued success. 

ES works directly with families throughout the placement process. Parents are required to attend Parent Workshops to prepare for independent school admission and financial aid applications. Workshops are held on selected Saturdays, October through May. Additional parent workshops, conferences, receptions and direct assistance will be available, though attendance is not always mandatory.



Partner School Placement & Financial Aid

ES will make every effort to place its graduates in independent schools The placement process will begin following the conclusion of a student’s first Scholars Academy summer session. During the fall, ES families will visit schools and complete application materials for 6th grade enrollment. Starting in October, ES will work with families to select the most appropriate schools for their child, and then guide them through the admissions and financial aid application process. Families will meet regularly with their designated ES representative and attend Parent Workshops on Saturdays from October until May to ensure successful placement in one of the ES Partner Schools.

ES has established partnerships with independent schools. Each participating school has guaranteed to take a minimum of one student per year who satisfactorily completes Scholars Academy and meets admissions criteria. The Emerging Scholars Independent School Partnership Agreement states that if an scholar is accepted to a partner school, the school will pay up to 100% of costs on a need based basis. The amount of financial aid a school will offer is determined by a financial assistance eligibility estimate provided by a third party, School and Student Services (SSS by“

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