Cortona Academy is Open—Onsite—for the Upcoming School Year 2021-2022

11 Cortona Academy Graduates Awarded 1.336 Million in Merit College Scholarships

We are now accepting applications for onsite students, grades 7-12 , for full-time, onsite classes, starting September 2021. Spaces are extremely limited.

Applications for new Cortona students are being considered on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

As parents, you are facing difficult and daunting decisions in regard to the coming school year.

Now, it’s time to your child the education they deserve. We guarantee to maintain our excellent, stress-free education for Cortona Academy students, including for those with learning differences, giftedness, athletes, artists, musicians and our “everyday wonderful” young people. They need us, and we need them.

Now, let’s get back our lives and your child’s future!

See our website for Applications and Financial Aid Paperwork. (Links are listed below)

 Financial Aid Form

Admissions Form

FREE Event Registration

Call us now at 703.464.0034 / 301.215.7788

Cortona Academy: Providing 7th- 12th grade education and College Merit Scholarships of up to $160,000 for all Cortona Academy graduates, since 2009.

100% College Acceptances, Since 1992

Planning for 2022 Space Camp Huntsville, Alabama

To Be Determined, based upon the CDC’s recommendations. 

Cortona Academy Education does NOT just occur in a classroom.

We do what most parents do not have the time to do:

Show their children the

artistic, cultural, scientific and technological venues

in the DC Metro Area.

Yearly, we schedule an average of 15 – 20 trips!

Sample of field trips from 2018-2021, here is a sample of  where we have taken our students:

Heart Operations (live) at Fairfax Hospital’s “Dome Experience,” University Tours, National Portrait Gallery, Madame Tussauds, National Botanical Garden, U.S. Capitol, “Cats” at the Kennedy Center, “The Magic Flute” Opera by Mozart at the Kennedy Center, National Gallery of Art – Sculpture Tour, National African- American Museum, USA Science & Engineering Festival, National Museum of American History & Monuments Tour, European Festival “Passport to Europe,”

IMAX showing of  “Beautiful Planet,” Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, virginia & Frank Llyod Wright’s Falling Water in Pa., “Sense & Sensibility,” at George Mason University, National Zoo, U.S. Botanical Garden, Hillwood Estate & Gardens, Ford’s Theatre, National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, National Air & Space Museum, National Archives, Natural History Museum, International Spy Museum, Goddard Space Flight Center, Tour of the National Basilica, and Titanic’s Untold Story.

Cortona Academy Graduates Awarded 1.336 Million in Scholarships

Upcoming Events & Programs for Prospective Parents

Cortona Academy hosts various events to welcome parents & prospective students in grades 7-12. Please RSVP online or call us at 703-464-0034. 

Student Activities & Events

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.

Chili Cook-Off:

Cortona Academy’s yearly chili cook-off is a student favorite. The cook-off allows students to  participate in a Day for Chefs and engage in friendly competition for the best homemade chili recipes. From vegetarian to gluten-free chili, students and staff have a great time enjoying a variety of chili recipes during the friendly and fun event.

Spirit Week:

We pride ourselves in our superior, personalized education and this transfers over to our students in the form of school pride. Spirit Week gives students an entire week of themed fun and a chance to demonstrate their personal expression. At Cortona, all students are given a voice with the power of choice. THEY choose events. Giving choice equals building strong self-esteem.

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.


The Cortona Academy community is home to a very strong humanitarian spirit. Each year Cortona Academy “adopts” low-income families in the area during the holiday season. ALL Cortona students participate in various activities from logistics, gathering donations, taking inventory, shopping, gift-wrapping, and more. This fun experience is one of the many programs that shape the humanitarian spirit of our students.

Holiday Luncheon & Gift Swap:

Before students and their families head off on their winter breaks, Cortona Academy holds their last big party of the year. Students, their families and Cortona staff enjoy delicious food together and hold the “White elephant gift swap.” The gift swap is a time to choose or “steal” a surprise gift from student to student.

Soup Cook-Off:

Cortona Academy’s bake-off and cook-off traditions continue into the new year. January is the honorary month for a soup cook-off! Students prepare their best soup recipes for a friendly competition of some of the best home-made soup!

Potluck & Gold Medal Winner Speaker:

A special speaker joins Cortona Academy students, parents and staff during a potluck event. The speaker recounts the ins and outs, the challenges and the glory’s of earning their gold medal, as well as the paperwork involved.

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 7th – 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 beautiful young people are representative of different types of Cortona Academy students and as such, also represent 90% of all students in America.

One is a straight-A student who, despite his success at his previous high school, was over-stressed and feeling that teachers were only teaching to the SATs and SOLs. This young man did not feel that he could learn or excel and still explore topics and internships that were of interest to him. There just wasn’t the time! But, at Cortona Academy we gave him the freedom to do all of this and scheduled his classes around his George Washington University internship in nanotechnology.

Another represents 50% of all DC Metro Area students who, though perfectly capable, was not working to potential or (worse yet) not caring about future goals or even attending college! She had lost her hope! As the quintessential, unmotivated student, she did not want to go to school for any reason other than to socialize. By teaching her our Hi-Tech study and organizational skills (HTS-3) and applying these skills to ALL her courses at Cortona Academy, she learned how to focus…and take control of her future.

A third one, everyone can identify with…the student so sure of what he wanted to do with his life, but knew deep in his heart that despite good grades, he was not learning anything in high school. He was truly afraid that he would fail in college, and he was probably right! This young man was the “life of the party;” however, this was merely hiding how he truly felt, which was unnerved when having to “perform”
on tests. Cortona Academy saw him as a “diamond in the rough,” with all the spirit and exuberance of a wonderful, genuinely-talented young man. He had virtually no study skills. At Cortona Academy, we never look at grades when students apply. They are seldom a measurement of who the child can be, if educated by caring, loving, competent teachers, giving students individual help, while still encouraging them stay true to their best self, take courses worthy of their true intelligence, and “Go for the brass

Finally, the fourth is a girl who struggled with many issues, both academic and family-related. This often happens in the DC Metro Area to lots of children whose families are in flux. When in a large private or public school, such quiet, nice children are often over-looked because they are not bringing any attention to themselves, or are not causing trouble. Such children often have little sense of what they can accomplish, but at Cortona Academy, we see EVERY students as a winner. And “win,” this young lady did! She was awarded the highest college scholarship of any of our graduates in more than twenty years…$164,000 ! She is off to an incredible future, having proven to herself that she can stand on her own, knowing that she can accomplish anything. Her self-esteem is back!

The answer: We don’t judge, we educate!

For the past 30 years, because of Cortona Academy’s committed staff, level of courses, HTS-3 Systems and mission to provide the highest level of education in the least stressful environment, at a reasonable price for ALL families, we masterfully have PROVEN that Cortona Academy has revolutionized private education.

By teaching absolutely invaluable learning strategies for focusing and organizing, when combined with recognition of each child’s innate personality and spirit, Cortona Academy students transform into happy, self-confident individuals. They are THOROUGHLY prepared for the future.

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



Pay for Private School Now

to be awarded up to $110,000 in Merit college scholarships

For the past 12 years, ALL CORTONA ACADEMY GRADUATES have been offered $40,000 to $110,000 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 6th – 12th grader into Cortona Academy!

Since 1992, Cortona Academy has been a revolutionary, Northern Virginia Private Academy for 6th -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 30 years of humane, superior education can do for your child.



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.

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.

Schedule an On-Site Walk-Through Today

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