Welcome to our website and the 2021-2022 academic year. We are happy that you are interested in Friends Seminary, and we are eager to share more with you about who we are—a 236-year-old academic institution that continues to grow, expand and adapt to the needs of its students.
Founded in 1786, almost concurrently with the founding of our country, Friends has remained a steady beacon of education and values in New York City. As we celebrate this long-standing commitment, we are mindful of our responsibility to continually nurture and grow our school, to preserve our values and to ensure that our program prepares our students for a rapidly changing, interconnected world.
We are fortunate this year to welcome 791 students from 105 zip codes to our community: a new record high for enrollment! Our students are supported by 177 dedicated faculty and administrative staff members, and after teaching and learning for eighteen months via distance and hybrid learning, we are thrilled to be back together again as a community. Students and faculty alike were eager to get back to campus in September, and the warmth and sense of community were as palpable as ever, as we were finally able to be in one another's presence again. Check out this video
for scenes of our first day together again since March 2019.
Throughout the pandemic, the School has—and will continue to—put health and safety at the forefront of the student experience. But this time has taught us much about the social and emotional needs of our students as well. In response, we have added a new Health and Wellness course to the ninth grade curriculum, and have centralized the all-school experience around advisory in Grades 5-12. There are also critical new personnel—for instance, a full-time Nurse’s Aide joins the Infirmary—who bring not only their academic credentials to their jobs, but also a proven record of care and concern for students. Click here to view Friends Forward
, our comprehensive Health and Safety Plan for 2021-2022.
In the Upper School, we finalize this year our transition away from the Advanced Placement curriculum and debut 21 advanced courses. These courses unleash the creativity of our inspired faculty, while also inviting more student-driven, inquiry-based learning experiences, which are no longer bound to the rigidities of teaching to a test. There are four courses completely new to our catalogue: Advanced Microeconomics, Advanced Macroeconomics, Advanced Programming in Python, and An Introduction to the Literature of Toni Morrison. For more details, check out this letter
sent to our community in February 2021 announcing the changes, then review the courses in our course catalogue
Program enhancements in the Middle School include a Digital Citizenship curriculum partnership with Common Sense Media,
as well as math new support and enrichment classes offered through the Math Department in partnership with the Academic Center
In Lower School, The Center for Peace, Equity and Justice (CPEJ) is excited to launch the Global Perspectives Passport Series, a virtual program for students and families. These virtual sessions will be offered monthly across the 2021-2022 academic year as optional extensions to the School’s academic program.
Finally, we are excited to announce the return of Upper School domestic immersion experiences through our Global Education Program. Visit our Global Education website
to learn more about this year's trips, which will focus on the technology, politics and the future of renewable energy in the United States.
As you can see, we've been busy not only planning for how we and our students can come together in 2021-2022, but also how we and they can thrive in new and different ways. As I begin my twentieth year as head of Friends Seminary, it gives me immense satisfaction to see our School flourish and continue to reach for its best future.
I hope you enjoy exploring our website and that your curiosity about our school will continue to increase as a result. It would be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have about the Friends experience, no matter what grade you may be exploring. Please don’t hesitate to contact our admissions office if we can be of assistance.
In the meantime, I wish you health and happiness.
Robert (Bo) Lauder
Head of School