Academics: Our curriculum is more flexible and open to student input than in traditional schools. In Science, students learn chemistry, physics, and biology through exciting, authentic lab activities. In English, our students hone their writing and grow their passion for reading. Social Studies and History classes empower our students to function as “citizens of the world” who know how to recognize privilege and speak up for social justice. Math is aligned with the local school district to ensure an easy transition into high school. In fact, around 85% of our alumni are honor roll students in high school and almost all go on to college.
Voice: Friends Middle School students learn that their voice matters. Not only can they influence the direction of their learning, our students know they can also change the direction of their lives and of their communities. Here at Friends, adults have a genuine concern for students’ well-being and help them develop self-reliance, tenacity, and independence.
Mentors: At Friends Middle School, students are guided in their decisions about work ethic, character, and behavior by thoughtful mentors (teachers, parents, and volunteers) and are permitted to make personal choices with natural consequences. We offer our students deep respect, support, and autonomy which allows their confidence, self-esteem, and courage to flourish. In turn, our middle school students serve as strong role models for the K-5 students at our school.
Culture of Kindness: Social capital is a top priority for middle school students everywhere but, at Friends, our students have a secure network of peers and adults and work in an environment where kindness and respect are the norm. Here, adolescents can focus more on academic achievement, development of talent, and true qualities of friendship rather than on popularity, peer pressure, and cliques. Here, providing a warm, inclusive environment where middle schoolers can still be kids is paramount. Research supports the K-8 model as preferable for middle school students’ social, emotional, and academic development.
Our Teachers: Every teacher at Friends is a highly-trained professional who is motivated to teach in this unique environment and appreciates the values of Friends School. They have the freedom to design curriculum that is relevant, age-appropriate, and motivating, and their enthusiasm for learning is contagious.
Leadership: Opportunities for leadership abound in the Friends Middle School. From assisting in classrooms to planning community service to teaching our community about civil rights, our students are encouraged to take the lead in creating a school, a life, and a world they can be proud of.
Being Known: Students at Friends Middle School are surrounded by adults who know and love them. Many adults at the school have long-term relationships with the middle schoolers and take great pleasure in watching them grow up—from their first days in kindergarten to emotional, eighth-grade goodbyes.
Quaker Values: Simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship form the foundation of everything we do at Friends. Our teachers live these values and strive to help all students develop them.