Foreign Service Families: Admissions Process


Here at Cortona Academy we are so very welcoming and immensely thankful to Foreign Service families. Ever since the Director, Sharon Strauchs, who attended college with Judy Resnik, heard the news of Judy’s tragic passing on NASA’s space shuttle, Challenger, a major mission at Cortona Academy has been that of supporting those who put their lives on the line for  America.  Foreign Service families do this every, single day.Foreign Service Families

To honor your commitment and service to our country, it is our goal to ENSURE your child’s transition back to America is as smooth and stress free as possible.  Not only are you getting used to American culture again, but now you have to ENSURE that your child is on the exact same level as students in America.  What we have discovered is that even with the I.B. overseas programs, there is often make-up work that is necessary to guarantee both high SAT/ACT scores, as well as college scholarships.

Furthermore,  because of our extensive experience with Foreign Service families, we intimately understand that the transition back into the U.S. can be stressful, especially if your child faces giftedness or learning disabilities, such as ADHD or dyslexia.  We are especially adept at helping ALL students conquer these before entering college.  These systems have been adapted on the junior and senior high school level, often eliminating the stigma of learning disabilities while teaching our students how to study.  These HTS-3  systems are taught in every class, helping all students learn to organize, write papers, and learn more efficiently, overcoming all executive functioning issues, especially those students who are gifted.  Proof of Cortona’s success is that we have educated more than 2,000 students in the past 26 years.  All Cortona graduates have a 100% acceptance rate to colleges, with merit scholarships.

This is why we warmly welcome you to our nurturing, happy, stress-free academic environment which caters to YOU and YOUR child’s needs. If you need help in finding housing/boarding  or simply are outright struggling in the transition process, we are here for you and are only 4.5 miles from Dulles Airport!



This is Cortona’s Application and Financial Aid process for Foreign Service families:

First Step: Attend Information Session

Please call Cortona Academy at 703-464-0034 to reserve a place at an Information Session . If you and/or your family are overseas or out-of-state, telephone interviews are accepted, but Skype interviews are preferred.

These group Information Sessions are held weekly.  If you would prefer a private appointment without your child present, please call. We will do everything to accommodate  your schedule and situation.

Please complete the Application. You may submit your completed Application along with the required documents listed below, either on-site when you attend Cortona Academy’s Information Session, via Fax at 1-703-880-7259 OR via email at [email protected].

Cortona Academy, unlike other schools, awards both need-based and merit-based full or partial tuition scholarships.

(Links to Application & Financial Aid form found below)

Second Step: Placement Assessment

Please call Cortona Academy for a Placement Assessment. This is NOT a graded exam nor is it meant to determine their acceptance into our school. This is simply to determine a new student’s place  in our Cortona courses and to design their own unique curriculum. Every student at Cortona Academy has choices for courses, teachers, and start times. This Placement Assessment helps determine the prospective student’s options.

Please bring the following to this Placement Assessment:

  1. Completed Application form (if not yet submitted online) (click here for PDF)
  2. Director/Counselor Recommendation (click here for PDF)
  3. Math & English Teacher Recommendations (click here for PDF)
  4. Most recent academic records. We never “judge” students on these, they simply serve as reference for course completion.
  5. Copies of any education testing that you think are relevant
  6. $100 Non-refundable Application Fee
  7. Completed Financial Aid form (if applicable) (click here for PDF)

Third Step: Planning Session

Once the Information and Placement Assessment Sessions are completed, Cortona Academy professors, as well as the Director, will meet with you in person or via Skype to design an ideal educational plan for your student. Parents will go over the plan, make any necessary adjustments, then discuss educational and cost options.