Our Stories

Learning with the Nation’s Capital as Your Classroom

April 10, 2024

“Wear your MILTON shirt. We have a field trip tomorrow!” 


With approximately 120 field trips spread over 170 days of school, MILTON students are on the move, in the neighborhood, traversing museums and monuments frequently. And they don’t just visit historic sites; they meet with experts, learn about complicated issues, and make recommendations based upon research. 

For example, second grade students studying city planning visited L’Enfant Plaza and then developed detailed plans for its revitalization. Middle school students viewed art books from the private collection of the National Gallery of Art and then tried their hand at creating their own artistic designs in the Immersive Learning Experience “The Art of Paper.”

Opportunities for historic explorations are close at hand – whether that’s fifth grade students learning from reenactors at historic Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg before returning to campus to create their own early American village, or first graders standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and reading their dreams aloud before visiting the MLK memorial. 

“We take them to the Lincoln Memorial so that they can step into their history as Americans, and understand the power of their dreams,” South Campus Principal Melissa Davis said. 

Students are encouraged to examine the natural world closely through field studies. First graders traveled to the C&O Canal and created complex models of the flora and fauna. Middle school students visited Bladensburg Waterfront Park and grappled with more complex issues of environmental justice and water rights as part of Scholars Forum. 

“Scholars Forum is an opportunity to deepen their studies as middle schoolers,” North Campus Principal Lisa Schopf says, “to extend their learning beyond the conventional curriculum and beyond the classroom walls.” 

The DC Metropolitan area is rich with cultural resources and MILTON students frequent our museums, galleries and theaters. Pre-K artists studied portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery. Third graders visited the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater to see ‘Lions of Discovery, Mothers of Invention.” 

Making the most of our proximity to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the second grade has a robust space curriculum. Students have met former Astronauts and traveled to Boeing’s Headquarters in Virginia. 

Some of the most meaningful trips involve acts of service and friendship to our broader community, whether that’s delivering sandwiches to Martha’s Table, celebrating the holidays with seniors from the Jewish Council for the Aging, or picking up trash in our neighborhood. 

As they grow older, student trips venture farther afield with a weekend trip to New York for the seventh grade, and a week-long trip to Israel in eighth grade. 

With each step into the world outside their classrooms, MILTON students revisit and reinforce the core belief instilled within this institution, that they are a vital part of the larger world, and they have a voice in shaping the future.