Campus Life

National Cathedral School is located on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral in northwest Washington, DC. Our unique location, both in DC and on the Cathedral Close, allows us to offer rich opportunities for girls to explore our nation’s capitol as well as the many facets of a spiritual life.

NCS dedicates itself to fostering a welcoming and nurturing community. We offer a broad range of opportunities designed to cultivate the many talents of our diverse community. Small class size ensure that the teachers know their students intimately and work with them individually to improve. Our Advisory program is just one more method for us to discover the best possible curriculum for each girl based on her interests and strengths.

Girls who attend National Cathedral School often say they have the best of both worlds. They are a part of an all-girl school which offers many co-educational opportunities with their brother school, St. Alban’s. Most of the classes include a single-sex environment; nevertheless, the students have coeducational opportunities in the classroom, including 11th- and 12th-grade English, in the arts, and in athletics.
Each NCS student has a full schedule of classes and other activities each weekday. Classes run from 8:00 am-3:15 pm Sports begin at 3:45 after the academic day and the options are numerous. Students can choose to participate in an interscholastic sport that meets five days a week, or they can choose among the many physical education options that meet usually two afternoons a week. Performing arts programs are also extensive, including various musical ensembles and theatrical opportunities. Most performing arts are scheduled throughout the academic day except for the theater rehearsals which run in the evening.
For many girls, weekly all-school services in the Cathedral are a cherished time of the week. Students from 4th through 12th grade are asked to read, sing, perform, and speak during these services. By demonstrating their talents, sharing experiences, and promoting action for social good, they find their voices. For example, the Black Student Union usually sponsors a Cathedral service during February to celebrate Black History Month. The Student Government leaders sponsor a Cathedral service that celebrates leadership in our community. In the Middle and Upper School, the student vestry works closely with the division chaplain to plan meaningful chapel services that celebrate Episcopal traditions, as well as recognizing and celebrating holy days of our many diverse faiths. Students of all faith traditions share their experiences with the community.
Since 1900, NCS’s guiding mission has been to prepare young women for the intellectual, ethical, and emotional challenges of life - and we look forward to continually growing our vibrant community in the years to come.