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The Linder Academy

Kristin Carpenter
607 S. Washington St.
Alexandria Virginia 22314

The Linder Academy has created a welcoming home for students that don’t fit into more traditional models.

The school, in historic Old Town Alexandria, has a unique mix of students: one-third are typically developing, one-third have a learning or developmental disability, and one-third are top percentile gifted. “We utilize skill-based cohorting,” says Founder and Head of School Kristin Carpenter. “We place students where they are challenged but still capable of succeeding.”

Carpenter founded Linder EC in 2008 and The Linder Academy in 2020. The Linder Academy’s nine-student class size means that each class is engaging and supportive. While students break into different core classes for skill-based instruction, they are also given opportunities to work cohesively on large projects, experiments and events. 

The Linder Academy boasts a highly educated staff: a large percentage have graduate degrees, and many are in fields other than education, such as psychology and neuroscience. They not only encourage inquiry, they use it to fuel a child’s engagement in the learning process. The school is a national leader in the utilization of problem-based learning. The Linder Academy’s teachers don’t expect their students to sit still and be quiet, but much prefer them to ask questions—hard ones—and to be prepared to help pursue answers.

At The Linder Academy, students are not put into a box. Rather, they are encouraged to find their own motivation and to pursue what interests them. “We believe our students are not just academic learners, but, more holistically, they are here to become thoughtful, caring and engaged participants in the world around them,” says Carpenter.

Awards & Honors

Arlington Magazine Top Vote Getter, Best Private K-8 School 2023

Arlington Magazine Top Vote Getter, Best Private School for Nontraditional Learners 2023