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About Us

Bishop McNamara High School continues to be a beacon of faith-based, intellectual development by joining academic excellence with Catholic faith formation. For 50 years, Bishop McNamara High School has borne convincing testimony to the importance of Catholic education.
His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Bishop McNamara School Code

Bishop McNamara High School is a private, Catholic coeducational high school offering its students a challenging college preparatory curriculum and a complete range of athletics and activities. As a Catholic school, Bishop McNamara seeks the development of the whole person. Thus, the academically rigorous program is combined with athletic, artistic, religious and social activities to offer young men and women a well-rounded pathway to success.

In the tradition of the Brothers of Holy Cross, founders of such elite and prestigious schools and universities as the The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana; King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas; and Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts, Bishop McNamara High School exists to educate and to form young men and women in the Catholic faith. The school challenges its students to think with Christ: a thought animated by the gospel, manifested in service, and informed by academic excellence.

Bishop McNamara is staffed by a lay faculty of 90 teachers and support staff of 34. The average teaching experience is 15 years, with all faculty holding bachelor degrees and 60% of the faculty hold advanced degrees.

Students attending Bishop McNamara High School come from a wide geographic area, including Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Calvert County, Montgomery County, the District of Columbia and Virginia. The total student population is 885. Average class size is 21 with a student/faculty ratio of 10 to 1.

Our Congratulations to Golden Apple Award Winner, Mr. Paul O'Brien!

Why do students thrive at Bishop McNamara?

Academic Excellence

Students are encouraged to problem solve in Mr. Gerald Smith's Science classesBishop McNamara High School offers our students a 21st century renaissance education, which includes:

  • Relevant and rigorous college-preparatory curriculum
  • 170 courses
  • STEM initiatives along with the Arts (STEAM)
  • 17 Advanced Placement Courses
  • 46 Honors Courses
  • 8 different Modern and Classical Languages
  • Online Classroom with Learning Management Systems
  • iPad 1:1 program and technology integration
  • Distance Learning
  • Online Courses
  • Dual Enrollment Program for college credit

100% of Bishop McNamara graduates went on to colleges and universities all over the country, earning over over $20 Million in scholarships and aid.


A Holy Cross education encourages students to deepen In preparation for Easter, students receive ashes on Ash Wednesday reminding us to humble our hearts and reflect on our lives in prayer.their spiritual lives through education, worship, and service.

Daily theology classes, spiritual retreats, and authentic prayer build understanding and relationships.

Meaningful liturgical celebrations affirm our Christian identity and Catholic heritage.

As a school community, we look to our students to live as Christ did, "feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, offering hospitality to the homeless, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned." Students are provided opportunities to love and serve the Lord by helping the poor and marginalized.

The Fine Arts Program

BMHS Theatre ProgramThe Fine Arts Department at Bishop McNamara High School offers one of the most extensive arts programs in the Washington, D.C. area.

Classroom instruction is offered in music, dance, art and theater. Students also have a spectrum of performance options, including jazz, orchestra, and band ensembles, dance recitals, theatrical productions and student art exhibits.

Students are given the opportunity to perform, compete, and learn from programs arts programs in the Washington DC area and throughout the country.

The Holy Cross Service Program

The Holy Cross Service Program is an integral part of Participating in the March For Life in Washington DC students offers student an opportunity to not only stand up for the end to legalized abortion, but also for other right to life issues that face our brothers and sisters every day. student life at Bishop McNamara. As a school community we look to our students to live as Christ did, “feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, offering hospitality to the homeless, caring for the sick and visiting the imprisoned.” Students experience service as a formative process, not simply as a requirement to be met. Depending on grade level, students work within a particular focus area such as children, the elderly or the economic poor. This ensures our students have had a diverse service experience when they graduate.

The Holy Cross Service Program at Bishop McNamara High School is guided by love of neighbor and the work of social justice. Students are encouraged to move out of their comfort zones as they help those in need. As graduates, they continue to seek out those in need and to serve the communities around them, convinced that service is essential to Christian life.

Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement (FADE)

Students have the opportunity to follow a specialized curriculum working towrards a Fine Arts Diploma EndorsementThe Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement (FADE) Program serves to refine students’ talent and skill, cultivate a community of respect, appreciation and understanding of the arts, and acknowledge students’ dedication to the Fine Arts throughout their high school career.

Students who graduate with the Fine Arts Diploma Endorsement receive a notation on their transcripts and a special honor certificate at graduation.

Campus Ministry

The Campus Ministry Department strives to carry out the vision of Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. “to make God known, loved, and served.” The five areas of focus are Retreats, Peer Ministry, Liturgy, Service, and Mission. The retreat program is responsible for assisting our community in coming to know Jesus Christ. Through school-wide Liturgies and other forms of prayer, Campus Ministry helps students to come to know God. To serve the most in need, Campus Ministry provides opportunities for students to love and serve the Lord by helping the poor and marginalized. In making God “known, loved, and served” the Campus Ministry Department fosters the spiritual formation and transformation of the entire Bishop McNamara community.

The Peer Ministry Program

A senior Theology Studies course that enables students to build self-awareness, become a mentor for ninth grade students, develop a spirituality based on contemplation and action, and investigate, both spiritually and academically, the roles of service and leadership in Christianity and Catholicism.
Students serve as retreat leaders and peer mentors to the entire community.

Athletic Program

Athletics is an important part of BMHS Student LifeBishop McNamara competes in the highly competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference at the Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman levels. We strive to maintain a proud tradition in athletics. We expect our athletes, coaches, and fans to represent the student body and the Bishop McNamara community by displaying the highest standards of sportsmanship and self-discipline. The Athletic Department at Bishop McNamara seeks to educate the whole person, not just the athlete. As an extension of the classroom, athletics at Bishop McNamara seeks to instill Christian values on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community.

Counseling Program

College counseling is offered through the counseling officeThe Counseling Center offers a comprehensive, developmental program that meets the personal, social, emotional, academic, college, and career development needs of each student. Our professional counselors provide support in a warm, inviting, and safe environment where students are always welcome and important. We provide services to maximize students’ potential and achievement while fostering the independence and self-expression required for life long learning. In partnership with teachers, administrators, parents, and guardians, school counselors assist students as they learn to be effective problem solvers, responsible decision-makers, and critical thinkers who will become independent, productive members of society. Personal, college, and career counseling provides students with the tools necessary to grow spiritually and personally while preparing for life after high school.

Middle States Accreditation

Middle States Accreditation

During the 2012-2013 school year, Bishop McNamara High School began a Self-Study on the various programs and activities as part of the Middle States Accreditation process and completed it in the 2013-2014 school year. Accreditation is a voluntary process by which the quality of the school's educational program and supporting services are measured against internationally recognized standards of quality.

Bishop McNamara chose the "Excellence by Design" protocol that uses strategic planning as a vehicle for growth and improvement in student performance and in the school’s capacity to affect that growth. "Excellence by Design" leads the school to establish objectives for improving student performance and organizational capacity based on its vision of a preferred future for its students. Therefore, "Excellence by Design" is a future-oriented and visionary process. In addition, the protocol provides for a continuous review of programs and services and of the results of student performance. It also allows diverse constituent groups to participate in charting the future of the institution.

Congratulations to the Bishop McNamara community on our successful Middle States Association re-accreditation!

For more about Middle States, go to Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Bishop McNamara High School
6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747
Phone: 301.735.8401
Fax: 301.735.0934
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