Norwood School (Bethesda, Maryland)

Norwood School (Bethesda, Maryland)

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Norwood School (Bethesda, Maryland)

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Norwood School is an independent co-educational K-8 school in Bethesda, Maryland founded in 1952.


Norwood was founded as an Episcopal parish day school. In early 1952, in response to requests from parishioners, the Rector of St. John’s Church, Norwood Parish, asked Frances Marsh, the Director of the Church’s Sunday School, to start a parish primary school. The Vestry Resolution founding the Parish School indicated that preference would be given to families from the Norwood Parish and then, as space was available, opportunity would be given to other church families of the community. That fall, the Norwood Parish School opened with 40 children attending from the start. As a church school, it held religious services led by the Rector and operated under St John’s Vestry. The school prospered under Frances Marsh, though the small amount of space at St. John's limited both the possibilities for more school activities and the amount of people who could attend. This led to the establishment of Norwood Inc., a non-profit corporation founded by Marsh and parents with the intention of finding a larger building.

Unhappy with this effort to relocate the school, the Church Vestry dismissed Frances Marsh as Director of Norwood Parish School in March 1970. Ideological differences over racial integration between the school and the church also arose. The families at the Parish School helped Marsh establish the new Norwood School in temporary quarters for two years before its...
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