State College Friends School Educational Principles
We offer a vigorous student-centered, rather than rigorous test-centered academic program designed to facilitate and foster a love for deep lifelong learning! Since our founding in 1980, State College Friends School has emphasized the educational principles of understanding, depth, and experience.
By understanding we mean a child's ability to apply his or her knowledge and skills to new problems and situations. Understanding is more than just academic preparation and the accumulation of knowledge; it is the fullest expression of achievement. Understanding is the evidence that demonstrates a child's independence and self-directedness as a learner.
By depth we mean the thorough and unhurried immersion into an interdisciplinary topic, including its factual information, overarching concepts, and its connections to other aspects of the student’s world. By going deep, students learn about a topic in a significant way. They learn how to go deep in any subject to reach true understanding.
By experience we mean learning by doing. The teacher’s job is to provide real and meaningful opportunities for discovery, practice, and understanding. At Friends School, we would not complete a worksheet on the water cycle; instead, we would observe and record the weather, experiment with condensation and evaporation, sing the Water Cycle chant, visit dry riverbeds, and journal the life stages of a snowball.
We keep two goals in mind when creating and revising our academic curriculum. The first is to have a framework that coordinates grade levels through a scope and sequence of skills and concepts. This framework is a synthesis of 1) the national standards of each subject area, 2) best practices of independent schools, and 3) the expectations and requirements for successful entry into the local high schools. Learn More . . .
I want my daughter to be able to figure things out and be able to really research things that satisfy her curiosity, not just memorize facts for a test. The true indication of success is how she sees herself as a thinker, problem solver, and contributor in the world.
A Mother's Words
"This paper came home from school at least a month ago. I brought it up to bed with us last night. We read through the main words, and some of the definitions, pausing to talk about each one. At “Gracious: doing things for others to make them feel included” the almost-seven year old immediately said, “I do that!” And proceeded to give a few examples from his class.
If you had asked me if my son at age going-on-seven would feel he was gracious, I would have asked, how does one teach their son to feel gracious? I guess we are a good team, Friends School and us. I have gratitude for a school that makes these character traits and feelings part of the lesson plan."
State College Friends School