Cortona Academy Presenting: Rohan, Class of 2019


Cortona’s Award Incentive Program

Our student Rohan has demonstrated character-building skills through humanitarian efforts. Read about his life-changing experiences studying his heritage, while on his path to reaching another milestone of Cortona Academy’s Award Incentive Program.
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Events & Activities, 2018 – 19

Cortona Academy fuses exciting activities and events into the school day as it allows everyone (current, new and/or transfer students as well as their parents) to feel accepted, involved and motivated.


Cortona Academy students participate in baking desserts from scratch to engage in friendly competition in categories ranging from pies, cakes and cookies galore. Students get to share desserts and have the opportunity to win prizes!

Art Exhibit:

Cortona Academy places a high value on culture and art with an on-going Smithsonian art education. In honor of these values one of our professors has showcased her grandfather’s artwork, which gathers inspiration from various landscape art styles. Cortona aims to knowledge, awareness and art appreciation to our students through our on-site exhibitions, field trips and guest artists.

Thanksgiving Donations:

For the past 30 years, Cortona Academy has been collecting and transporting donations to one of the largest homeless shelters in the country. On Thanksgiving, this shelter will feed approximately 5,000 homeless men, women and children. In addition to offering one of the best educations for all students in the metro area, Cortona Academy is a leader in helping and encouraging all of our students to become humanitarians. This is fully 1/3 of Cortona’s academic and character-building education for students in grades 6 – 12.

3-D Printing Technology:

For the over 20 years, Cortona Academy has been one of the first schools in the nation to incorporate 3-D printing technology into its academic programs. Cortona Academy knows just how important this technology is and knows of the potential benefits for NASA’s advancement. If you don’t believe it, click here to read about “The International Space Station’s first 3-D printer with its own recycling machine.”

Operation Gratitude:

Each year Cortona Academy students participate in writing personal letters of appreciation to our nation’s heroes. This year has involved participating in the Operation Gratitude campaign which sends over 250,000 Care Packages to our Deployed Troops, Veterans and First Responders. Cortona Academy’s goal for this year is to reach the 300 letter mark to be included in the Care Packages.

Not Just an Education,

an Experience of a Lifetime.

Over 20 Field Trips Per Year! 

Cortona Academy students embark on thrilling field trips throughout the year,

the basis of socialization, cultural appreciation, and internships.

1) Imax viewing, "Beautiful Planet":

Experiencing Earth through an Imax Theater documentary directed by Toni Myers and gaining a better understanding of both our planet and galaxy.

2) Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum:

Walking through the Aviation & Space Artifact Observatory while learning about the history behind human space flight, World War II aviation, vertical flight, and more.

3) Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House:

Visiting the National Trust for Historic Preservation sites while exploring the architectural background and history rooted in the 19th century.

4) Washington National Zoo:

Trekking across what is recognized as the largest museum and research complex in the world. Observing over 1,500 animals across 300 different species conserved on the zoo’s 163 acres of land.

5) George Mason University's "Sense & Sensibility":

Attending the theatrical depiction of one of Jane Austen’s greatest tales, brought to GMU’s Center for the Arts by Aquila Theatre, one of the leading producers of classical theatre in the U.S.

6) U.S. Capitol Building:

Visiting one of the nation’s most symbolic monuments. Learning about Congressional & Capitol History through the Exhibition Hall, featuring original artifacts, computer interactive computerized technology and two theaters.

7) U.S. Botanic Garden

Touring the living plant museum, an exhibit on living world treasures. Witnessing various climatic region and foliage in a single Conservatory, from the tropics to deserts.

8) American History Museum:

Tracing the American experience from colonial times to the present through a national collection of more than 1.8 million artifacts and more than three shelf-miles of archival collections.

9) Hillwood, Estate, Museum & Garden:

Visiting “the mansion that became a museum,” an Estate that was founded by Marjorie Post, containing 18th century French-style decor and beautiful gardens spanning 13 acres, as well as the Russian Sacred Arts Gallery.

10) Ford’s Theater:

Partaking in immersive learning through a visit to the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination as well as museum exhibits such as “The Aftermath Exhibit on Lincoln’s Legacy,” concluding the lasting impact on our nation.

11) National Gallery of Art:

Fostering an understanding of works of art by exploring collection highlights encompassing one of the world’s most significant selections of European and American masterpieces.

13) National Air & Space Museum:

Discovering wonders of the universe at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Observatory as well as looking through amazing objects such as Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis and The Wright Flyer, the 1903 flying machine developed by the Wright brothers.

14) National Archives:

Exploring the “Founding Documents in Rotunda for Charters of Freedom,” such as “The Bill of Rights” and “The Emancipation Proclamation.” Learning about the efforts that need to be taken to ensure the ongoing preservation of such important documents.

15) Museum of Natural History:

Participating in the interactive program, “Forensic Mysteries – Mystery at Yorktown Creek.Working with museum educators to examine a set of real, over 200-year old human remains to forensically decide the characteristics of the person, uncovering new details and secrets behind the bones.

16) International Spy Museum:

Taking the role of a US intelligence officer to form part in an immersive, interactive Spy Operation Experience. Challenging selves to think and act above and beyond, with an experience based on real cases drawn from intelligence files.

20) Heart Operation Observation:

Witnessing open-heart surgeries first-hand, performed by experts in the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. Learning how different lifestyles can impact one’s own heart health.

21) Opera House Experience:

Verdi based “La Traviata” on a play by Alexander Dumas (Remember the book, Three Musketeers? This is the same Alexander Dumas). Attending Kennedy Center’s musical performance, a story of fate and sacrifice. Having the unique opportunity to directly engage with the opera house artists.

22) Tour of Catholic University:

Visiting the campus of Catholic University of America, an institution established in 1887 with over 170 acres of land, 48 designated university buildings and a library boasting over 1.4 millions of volumes.

23) Tour of the Basilica:

Touring the Basilica for a late 19th century art and architecture experience, admiring the the Romanesque-Byzantine style art and architecture.

A Profound Difference

Cortona Academy Compared to

National Franchises & Other Private Schools


  • Not a franchise! Cortona Academy has a 30 year history of superior performance for students in grades 6th – 12th in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

    Because of Cortona’s long-standing history in this area, we have developed an A-team group of educators, most who have been at Cortona Academy for 10+ years! Parents can depend on Cortona’s stable, invested, tenured staff to educate their children to the highest standards, not just courses approved by the County or the State, but accredited NATIONALLY. Cortona courses are some of the best in the country, which is why they are transferable anywhere. Our teachers believe in our mission, work hard with their students to uplift their chances for getting into great colleges, and never let the students down. Our instructors can be counted on to “be there,” supporting and educating, semester after semester, year after year.

  • We own our own facility

    Serious private academies in the DC Area, such as Cortona Academy, invest in buying their own facility. Cortona’s families have pointed out to us that this tells the consumer looking for private education that we cannot easily just move to another rental if our program fails, nor can building management ask us to move. WE are the management, have a long-term plan to provide on-going, stable education and are committed to do so…for your family, your children, and then for your grandchildren.

  • GROUP + 1/1, a one-of-a-kind education in the DC Metro Area

    Group classes (average 4 students per class) are paired with one-on-one tutorials. This “hybrid” is not available anywhere in the DC Metro Area, creating well-rounded, focused students, who actually can function in classes, can speak, listen, and participate, which fosters intellectual development for college and life success. Ask yourself, what college in America is one-to-one? When necessary for students needing to catch up, or for acceleration, our students may take only one course 1/1 to achieve direct attention from the teacher. All other courses are in a group setting. This “hybrid approach” is powerful, ultimately developing well-rounded, confident students that can comfortably and appropriately move forward toward great futures.

  • Stable Staff with College Professors choosing to devote their lives to our students

    Our tenured staff of highly-qualified professors design programs focused on your and your child’s personal objectives. Each student, whether learning-challenged or a prodigy, is taken into high regard and respected at all times. We focus on the student’s actual potential, plus the hopes and dreams of both the student and their parents. Our job is to help your child get into college WITH SCHOLARSHIPS, and we do this in an unstressed atmosphere. We ask, “What do you want to do? What do you want to be?” Then, we provide the courses, professors and internships to make it happen.

  • Brilliant, yet kind and understanding professors

    Individualized student schedules create a trusting, student-teacher bond. Cortona students can feel and be assured that they can find understanding, compassion, and kindness with their Cortona Academy professors.

  • 100% College Acceptance Rate: 100% with merit scholarships

    Extreme effort is made by Cortona’s professional staff in helping with each student’s college application plan. From the very beginning of enrollment at Cortona Academy, all students are given a “Plan of Success.” Students are encouraged to “shoot for the stars, then settle on the moon.” Students gradually begin to raise their expectations of themselves, because they experience the power of a successful plan. Then, when applying to colleges, we are beside them, fighting for their futures. Cortona Academy helps all our students get college scholarships by understanding that schools cannot just prepare a student to complete high school…part of their “job” is to help the student and parent look ahead and have a goal. No outside college coaches are ever needed. We do all of this, on site, which is how we developed our incredible reputation over 30 years. We “take care of our own.”

  • No extra charges for Study Halls, PSAT/SAT Prep Courses, or National Award Programs

    We do this all as a part of the student’s Success Plan. It is all included in your tuition. This is all a part of our Cortona Experience, one that is unmatched in the DC Metro Area for its focus on the individual. It is all a part of the Success Plan, which is slowly and carefully worked into each student’s curriculum. No outside tutors are ever needed.

  • Set Tuition, with up-front costs, not course-by-course “trial “

    We can only guarantee success when both parents and students commit to achieving mutually agreed upon goals. Because of our stable staff and stable student body, all experience comfort and safety. If students were coming and going, this would have a major, destabilizing affect on the staff and student body, and on our commitment to consistent, superior education in a stress-free environment. Here is our “fail-safe” process: Prospective students take Cortona’s Placement Test. From this, our PhD professors clearly assess exactly where each student’s education ACTUALLY is, not what is on their transcript, which doesn’t always give the real picture of a student’s capability or potential. From this, Cortona’s Success Plan is given to parents detailing several cost options. The parent then has a choice of which plan suits their budget and their dreams for their child. Parents can then accurately assess the full year’s cost…up front. No surprises. The student’s Success Plan can be altered year by year, as per the student’s needs and their parents’ wishes. Again, costs are up-front, and in writing.

  • We ensure students’ rights are respected throughout their ENTIRE education

    Because of Cortona’s on-site educational experts and powerfully dedicated, experienced staff, we help the learning-challenged or highly-gifted achieve PROPER educational accommodations and goals, not just while at Cortona Academy, but for PSAT/SAT testing, and during college and even for grad and professional schools! When called upon, we never stop helping our students! When they need us, they know they can depend on us. We are, essentially, the “family behind the family.”

  • Internships…INVALUABLE! Now, during college, and beyond

    Colleges seek well-rounded students. They look at more than just grades, SAT scores, volunteer hours, clubs and sports...they look at the student’s resume. Who is the student? What makes this student special? Because we have been in the DC Metro Area for nearly 30 years, we have developed wide-ranging contacts at universities and throughout industry. With these contacts, our students are able to do internships which prove critical in the college application process and in helping students sample certain professional fields BEFORE they choose a major in college! We even help them during and after college. To our knowledge, no private school in the entire DC Metro area does this for all their students. Cortona Academy has been doing this for 30 years.

  • Team Approach

    Who is on your child’s “team,” besides the parents? What is your child’s support system? A priest, rabbi, minister, coach, mentor, therapist, grandparent? If the parent chooses, these invaluable “others” are invited to all Cortona Academy events, banquets (monthly) and field trips. The more the merrier! The benefit of involving others in the child’s educational experience is obvious. The student knows he/she is not alone, and that we respect their lives, cultures, and background. This is paramount to the every Cortona student’s self-esteem.

  • A fun-filled, daily, stress-free environment with bi-monthly field trips

    Our focus is on offering a happy environment for your child, with our project-based curriculum and up to 20 field trips per year. Motivation and a vision of the future is only created when students are actually in society, out of the school building experiencing the myriad cultural, scientific and technological wonders of the DC Metro region. However, we have to absolutely ENSURE that your child is academically sound. THIS is critical, so that parents are not wasting their money on a happy environment WITHOUT the curriculum to back-up the student’s future.

  • Acclaimed HTS-3 Study Systems taught in every, single course

    Our proprietary HTS-3 (Hi-tech Speed Study Systems) was developed in the 1980’s and perfected in the 1990’s, and have been taught to nearly 2200 Cortona Academy students, in every, single class. Our students take these powerful HTS-3 systems to college, graduate and professional schools. This system bypasses learning differences and enables the student to self-organize and focus. It is an invaluable skill for their education and future jobs.

  • Our teachers hold Master’s or PhD’s in their field of teaching, with an average of 24.3 years of teaching experience

    Experience and knowledge is everything! Because our teachers have BOTH college and undergraduate teaching experience, this is a critical advantage to our students. Most even serve as mentors. All are professionals in their subject fields, which is absolutely primary to helping advise students and help with internships. This creates both a stable learning environment and stable staff who are “pros” in catapulting to higher levels both the gifted as well as the learning-challenged.

  • Nationally Accredited Curriculum

    Our curriculum is both accredited nationally and used internationally. Parents can attest to the level of the credits achieved at Cortona Academy by observing a sample of the colleges to which our graduates have attended. (Please click here to see this sample list.)

  • Cortona’s Humanitarian Focus keeps our students totally involved in the world at-large

    For the past 30 years Cortona’s students and parents have donated immense amounts of time and money to improve the lives of needy children and families in the Metro area. This is an important part of our Cortona Mission Statement. Even during school hours, we focus on community service and community betterment. Unlike regular public or private schools, we offer each student their own class schedule, and work their volunteer hours around this schedule. At the beginning of every school year, we ask what organizations they would like to be involved with and then we help our students find ways to do community outreach during the school day, weekends, and/or evenings.

    Conclusion: Cortona Academy provides an unparalleled approach to college preparation by using a proprietary teaching process, honed over its 30 years history. We work with a tenured staff of professional educators personally committed to each enrolled student’s success and happiness. Enrollment in Cortona is a process ensuring both student achievement and parent confidence. When our success blueprint is embraced and supported by dedicated parents, students achieve the goals we jointly establish. At graduation, we revel at the levels of accomplishment achieved by our graduates, all who reach their utmost potentials and enter great colleges…WITH SCHOLARSHIPS!

    If you would like to learn more, request and interview with Sharon Strauchs, Director.

Faces of Cortona Academy's Typical Student:

Which Child Is Yours?

Jason three faces of Cortona     Gaia three faces of Cortona

These students are representative of the three different types of Cortona Academy students and as such, represent 90% of all Americans students.

One is a straight-A student in advanced classes, but over-stressed and feeling that teachers were only teaching to the SAT’s and SOL’s. This student did not feel like he could learn or excel, while exploring topics and internships that interested him. Cortona Academy gave him the freedom to do all of this and scheduled his classes around his George Washington University internship in nanotechnology.

The second represents 50% of the DC Metro Area, a student, though capable, not working to potential, or caring about future goals. As the quintessential, unmotivated student, she did not want to go to school for any reason other than social life. By teaching our hi-tech study organizational skills (HTS-3) and applying these to all her courses, she learned how to focus and take control of her own future.

With such a large percentage of our nation’s students falling under one of these three categories, educators and parents may be asking themselves, “How can we educate these students under one roof?” For the past 30 years, because of our level of our committed staff, level of courses, HTS-3 Systems and mission of Cortona Academy to provide the highest level education in the least stressful environment, at a reasonable price for ALL families, we masterfully have proven that THIS is the way to educate humanly and competently. In teaching valuable learning strategies for focusing and organizing, when combined with the value of the humanitarian spirit, students transform into happier, more self-confident individuals, thoroughly prepared to take the next great step in their lives.

Please click on the pictures above to read more about their stories.



Pay for Private School Now

to be awarded up to $120,000 in Merit college scholarships

For the past 10 years, ALL CORTONA ACADEMY GRADUATES have been offered $40,000 to $120,000 in MERIT College Scholarships! This class of 2018 is no exception!

Parents have a clear choice: Save your retirement money (which many of you will be having to spend for college or grad schools for your child) OR enroll your 7th – 12th grader into Cortona Academy!

Since 1992, Cortona Academy has been a revolutionary, Northern Virginia Private Academy for 7th -12th grade gifted, talented, and out-of-the-box learners, serving parents who want a superior, accredited, stress-free education where the individual, NOT THE LABEL, is respected. Encouragement, 4 students per class with expert professors, flexible schedules and kindness creates “self-made students.”

See what 25 years of humane, superior education can do for your child.

See Ava's Story



Don’t allow your child to have yet ANOTHER bad school year!

It’s not too late to make a better decision by choosing private schooling.


To be considered for ANY financial aid or scholarships, parents and students should attend one of the events listed below.

Seating is limited at these events, so please register today.

Monthly Hi-Tech Information Dinner

Monthly Dinner

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Weekly Cortona Information Session

Cortona Information Session

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Weekly Breakfast with the Director

Weekly Breakfast with the Director

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Weekly Seminar: Early College Preperation

Early College Preparation

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SAT Prep (Grades 10 - 12), ACT / PSAT Prep (Grades 10 - 12) & TJ / AOS Prep (Grades 6 - 8)

SAT Prep

Register Here

College Essay Common App Boot Camp (Grades 11 & 12)

College Essay

Register Here

Schedule an On-Site Walk-Through Today

Click here to schedule

Transportation arranged from various locations in Maryland & Virginia, plus from the Silver Line Metro Station.

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