Emerson Preparatory School (also known as Emerson) is a small private high school in Northwest Washington, D.C., founded in 1852 as the Emerson Institute. EmersonPrep1852Gear purchases support the Emerson Annual Fund. Emerson is welcoming and flexible. and each new student is hand-selected, so Emerson is able to select students based on more than just transcripts and reports. Emerson is the oldest co-ed college preparatory school in Washington, DC.