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Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a cornerstone of our innovative, interdisciplinary high school curriculum.

Our students explore new concepts by developing both individual and collaborative group projects tied to curriculum themes and to their areas of interest. They create, research, collaborate, seek the resources they need, and present to an audience – an invaluable process through which deep learning occurs and new skills emerge.

Our experience-based approach takes the best of what we’ve learned from our Montessori program for elementary and middle-school students and applies it to 21st century high school needs. In the Montessori tradition, we focus on communication, collaboration, organization and critical and creative thinking, information literacy, citizenship, and ethics. This approach moves away from standardization and toward individual learning; away from testing bits of information and toward utilizing diverse resources available to students both locally and online. Our students explore topics that spark their interest and imagination, build positive relationships with supportive instructors and mentors, meet and collaborate with like-minded peers, and learn to become the drivers of their own learning process.

Unique Student Potential

Experiential learning serves our ultimate goal: Nurturing and cultivating every student’s Unique Student Potential (USP) – the aggregate of the unique gifts and capacities within each learner. By emphasizing the development of personal skills, social skills, and thinking skills in both the classroom and wider-world settings, experiential learning allows students to maximize their USP, set goals for the paths they choose, and turn their dreams into realities. An emphasis on developing projects they’re passionate about, along with a focus on personal reflection and collaboration, means high achievement with low stress.

Our student-led, experiential learning incorporates these unique opportunities:

Circle of Mentors
Students benefit from our Circle of Mentors – innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, and other professionals who partner with OFHS – who are available to work with students based on project focus and interest. The mentorship component of our curriculum provides expert advice, support, and inspiration as our students apply their learning in real-world settings. Through mentorship, our students come to recognize their full potential and to step confidently into higher achievement. Find out more about becoming a mentor.

Field Studies
Students enrich and expand their learning outside the classroom, taking advantage of the Washington, DC area’s abundant opportunities to visit partner organizations, businesses, nonprofits, centers of arts and scholarship, and government agencies.

Internships & Community Service
Students participate in internships and community service with a wide variety of organizations across the DC area who partner with OFHS to provide enriching real-world experience.

Metro Journeys
Metro Journeys allow students to collaborate on an independent day of adventure and learning in the DC area. Metro Journeys empower students to sharpen their problem-solving skills and explore practical skills like map-making and photojournalism, learn how to work as part of a team, and master public transportation.

Leadership Program
Students participate in a 13-class series based on the Visionary Leadership® Academy in Washington, DC, providing a strong foundation in the meaning of 21st century leadership. The experience culminates in a group presentation to friends, family, and local executives.

Social Connections
We partner with other local independent schools for student-led, adult-supervised clubs such as coffeehouses, outings, and more.

Learn more about OF High School

We are accepting applications now. Learn how to apply to OFHS.

For more information about OF High School contact Andrew Kutt at or 240-426-2614. Or let us email you:


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Learn about our admissions process and deadlines

Apply online using the Ravenna common application

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