"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

Table of Contents

Friends Seminary Distance Learning

The purpose of the Distance Learning Plan is to provide a framework for continued learning for the Friends Seminary community. The learning this plan intends to enable will not be the equivalent of what each learner would have experienced during school as normal, rather, this plan aims to support an alternative program of learning that is the best achievable under the circumstances.  

The Friends Seminary Distance Learning Plan presumes that students and families are able to maintain digital communication (email and internet). Further requirements for devices and networking differ by age group and are spelled out within each divisional section. 

While the school will also endeavor to maintain the fabric of the community during the closure, the daily practices and informal interactions that bind us together will obviously be diminished. Our hope is that by maintaining some connections to teachers and classmates and engaging in continued learning, students will remain engaged and committed to not only their own learning, but to the community at large.  

The Friends Distance Learning Plan is based on several guiding principles:

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Maintaining Community

    The reason we gather each day as a community is because the relationships — all of them — matter to learning. Our Distance Learning Plans include specifics for maintaining the human connections between teachers and students, advisors and advisees, divisional Meetings for Worship, and student-driven programs like Clubs.
  • Structure and Routine

    Students and their families should maintain a daily routine and schedule.  While we navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic and school closure, maintaining the structure of our daily lives will be settling and reduce anxiety.  Maintaining a shared schedule will allow us to continue teaching and learning together. Establishing routines in each home that support student participation will also be important.
  • Rethinking Time

    While our eight-day schedule with eight different periods in the US and MS helps us offer a variety of programs with shared spaces, distance learning presents different challenges and constraints around time. While we have stuck with eight different class periods, we will free ourselves from the eight-day structure in order to best meet the new challenges of coordinated distance learning. You will find scheduling specifics for each division, but across the board we have instituted several supportive features: a slightly later start to the school day of 9 AM; a common lunch time, 12-1 PM, for everyone; and for US and MS, an open, independent work day with no live class meetings on Wednesdays. In LS On Wednesdays, no synchronous experiences will happen, and the school day will be from 9 AM - 12 PM, giving our teachers grade level planning time and opportunities for Professional Development. 
  • Platforms

    Many of the platforms that will be central to Friends Distance Learning are the ones our students and families have used in the past (PowerSchool for MS and US, Google Drive, edublogs and seesaw in LS). One platform that will be new to many is our video conferencing platform, Zoom. Many classes and meetings will take place via Zoom. Students do not need a specail account, and can join any meeting using the link provided by their teacher. You will find further information and instructions on digital platforms within each Divisional Section.
  • Limiting Screen Time

    While our Distance Learning Plan will necessarily rely on technology and screens, we want to be mindful of not overdoing it. For that reason, we want to limit overall screen time and also provide opportunities for non-screen-based learning. Guidelines for each age group can be found within Divisional Sections.
  • Supporting ALL Families to Engage with Distance Learning

    Each division will have a plan for checking in with each student and family on March 30 in order to assess general wellbeing and technological readiness for the Distance Learning Plan(s) with which their child(ren) will engage. In addition, a Community Support Committee has been established and will work to support issues of need for individual families.


Families, Students, and Faculty and Staff will receive various communications from the school. In order to provide some predictability and consistency, we will attempt to follow the framework below:

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

Technology Requirements for Distance Learning

Lower School students need only connectivity to the internet for distance learning. Parents of Lower School students will also need email access in order to support their child(ren)’s work.

Students in grades 5-12 will need high speed internet connectivity and a school provided iPad or other personal device. A cell phone and cellular data plan, while viable for some tasks, are insufficient because students may be asked to watch video content which requires broadband service and to compose written work that would be impractical to complete on a phone. 

The Technology Department will be available to help with issues related to school-provided devices or problems accessing distance learning resources. If issues arise, parents or students may access support by starting a help ticket (https://bit.ly/fsremotesupport). Submitting a ticket will allow the team to review, prioritize, delegate and respond to issues efficiently.

If needed, an email can be sent to remotesupport@friendsseminary.org to create a ticket as well. If it is determined that a device is broken or in need of service, families will be directed by Tech Department staff on how to proceed.  

Below is a checklist that students and families may use to ensure they are prepared for Distance Learning:

Technical Checklist:
  • Confirm your student’s device is connected to your home network
  • Verify your student can log in to Gmail and Powerschool
  • Confirm the download and upload speeds on the device are 3 Mbps or greater by going to https://fast.com/ 
  • If using an iPad, confirm it is on iOS 11 or higher
  • If using a computer, confirm that the latest version of Chrome is installed
  • Confirm the Zoom application is installed

General Distance Learning Guidelines for Parents

Establish a Schedule — using the divisional schedules, work with everyone in your household to plan the rest of your days including times for eating, playing, cleaning up and getting exercise. 

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Help your child connect

    Work with your child to make sure they have basic connectivity (see the above Tech Checklist) and also access to each platform that will comprise the Distance Learning Plans. This may require checking in with your child frequently during the first few days and less frequently once they are accustomed to the various forms of interaction.
  • Define a physical space for school work

    • Identify a place that can be as quiet and distraction free as possible  
    • Ideally the location will have strong wifi signal
    • For video conferencing, please choose a location with limited background distractions
    • Adult supervision should be factored into choosing a learning location as age appropriate
  • Monitor Communications from Teachers

    For younger children, parents will play a central role in helping students access information, lessons and feedback from teachers. For Middle School, parents may need to help students gather and organize information and assignments from their various teachers. Upper School students will benefit from parents checking in to make sure they feel in control and up to date with their classes and communications from teachers. More than ever, students of all ages will benefit from daily check-ins from parents on the specifics of distance learning.
  • Check in with your child regularly

    In addition to monitoring communications from teachers, parents can support distance learning by checking in with students at the beginning and end of each day.  

    Morning Check ins:
    ‘What will you be working on today?'
    ‘What will you be learning today’?
    ‘What is your schedule or plan for the day?’

    Afternoon Check ins:
    ‘What did you learn today?’
    ‘How did your plan for the day go?’
    ‘What went well today and what, if anything, was frustrating?’
  • Encourage Physical Activity

    In addition to suggested PE activities that will be communicated by the PE department, it will be important for every student to engage in daily physical activity.  
    • Try to get outdoors daily – short walks, runs, bike rides, fresh air!
    • Take frequent breaks – stand up, stretch, stay hydrated! These things happen automatically during a normal school day, but during closure, it will be important to intentionally sustain our bodies and minds.
    • Children can pitch in and help with household tasks and chores.
  • Monitor your child’s amount of online activity

    Distance learning will ideally include a healthy balance of online and offline activities. Since this balance may differ from child to child, please monitor your child’s levels of engagement and focus. Parents should also monitor non-school related online activity to ensure healthy balance. Discuss limits to screen time and monitor social media use.
  • Support Healthy Social Interactions

    Students will miss their classmates and other social relationships. Support them in connecting with friends and relatives when appropriate. Help them learn appropriate online and video conferencing etiquette. Remind them to be polite and respectful in their communications with others.

Lower School Distance Learning

Distance Learning Plan: Teacher-Supported Family Engagement 

In these unprecedented times, we are deeply concerned about our city, our country and the world. At the same time we are optimistic and excited about your children’s learning as Friends Lower School shifts to distance education.
From attending virtual professional development workshops with other schools, to spending hours delving into new resources, to gathering together online to explore digital tools, the Lower School faculty, administrators and staff have worked diligently over break to construct new possibilities for connection, engagement, and discovery while teaching and learning from home.
Our program addresses many challenges families must navigate. We understand:
  • You may be juggling working from home with childcare.
  • You may need to continue to work away from your home and your child may not have consistent adult supervision.
  • You may be caring for several young children at a time, or perhaps an older relative in the home.
  • You may need technical help.
  • You may be managing big emotions around missing school, teachers and friends, so to balance children’s need to see their teachers and friends in real time with parents scheduling and childcare concerns, we’re providing both asynchronous ["on your time"] and synchronous ["real time'] learning experiences.
Community is a hallmark of Friends Seminary, and during this difficult time, our partnership is critical. We are firmly committed to maintaining the values and sense of community we cherish at Friends. 
  • The social and emotional well being of your children is our first priority.
  • Children thrive when they can rely on developmentally appropriate routines.
  • We strive to balance time using technology with time away from devices.
  • We incorporate the testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship into our teaching.
  • We aim to be sensitive to differences, and ask that you communicate directly with us should needs arise for your family.
We have witnessed this partnership in action. Lower School families have been sharing pictures and videos of their children working on projects, building with blocks, doodling and singing! Our teachers are uploading and sharing these precious moments for others in our community.

Middle School Distance Learning

The events of this spring semester are unprecedented. The switch to online, distance learning will be challenging, but together, we will do this, in true Friends fashion! Please read on to find out the basics for how we plan to continue learning and being in the community over the next weeks. Click the button below to view a Google slides presentation of this information.

Expectations for Students and Families

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Goals for remote learning

    • Review and reinforce prior learning and maintain forward curricular progress.
    • Provide structure and routine for students’ days.
    • Maintain class and school community connections.
  • Expectations for students

    Students are expected to check PowerSchool for instructions and assignments at the start of each class period. They must also check their school email regularly (at least once a day). On days a class is scheduled, they may have:
    • Content to read and/or view.
    • Log in to Zoom for a live class video discussion. Click here for Distance Learning Student Expectations
    • An online forum or discussion board for exchanging ideas.
    • Online instructional games or other activities.
    • Work to complete and submit.
    • Something experiential.  Group activities, art projects, singing -- lots of possibilities!
    • Follow all rules as outlined in the Friends Responsible Use Policy.
    • Stay engaged in the classwork and avoid distractions. Turn off any phones or other devices during class time.
    • Work independently, with minimal assistance (at most) from parents, tutors, or other family members.
    • Maintain academic integrity and honesty in their work.
  • Expectations for families

    • Try to designate a quiet place for your child to work during school hours.
    • Help to eliminate distractions from your child’s learning environment, especially digital distractions including cell phones,  chats, messaging and games.
    • Reinforce expectations for independent work and academic integrity. Resist the temptation to over-supervise or help your child with schoolwork. Your child’s first resource should still be the teacher, via email.

Work Expectations

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • 5th Grade

    For each scheduled class, up to a total of 40 minutes of classwork and homework combined (for a total of up to 2.5-3 hours per day).

    NOTE: Times may be adjusted as we settle into routines and assess student 

  • 6th Grade

    For each scheduled class, up to a total of 45 minutes of classwork and homework combined (for a total of up to 3 hours per day).

    NOTE: Times may be adjusted as we settle into routines and assess student 

  • 7th and 8th Grade

    For each scheduled class, up to a total of 60 minutes of classwork and homework (120 minutes for humanities) (for a total of up to 4 hours per day).

    NOTE: Times may be adjusted as we settle into routines and assess student 

Tech Tools

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Main Platforms

    Our Learning Management System, PowerSchool Learning, and the Google Suite (including Gmail and Google Docs) are the main platforms that we will use as we transition to this distance learning plan. 

    We will also hold class meetings through Zoom.
  • Zoom Meetings

    • Each of your teachers will send a link to a Zoom meeting to join your class during its scheduled time.  
    • Find these links in your email.
    • When you click the link for the first time, you will be prompted to download and install Zoom.

Student Expectations for Distance Learning

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • 1. Arrive on Time & Be Prepared

    • Be on time to each online class session. 
    • Be prepared for class; have access to any documents or materials you need for the session.
    • Dress appropriately as you would for school.
    • Make sure your device is charged, and/or plug in your device. Video conferencing uses a lot of battery.
  • 2. Find a quiet place & log on

    • Be mindful of where you are sitting. Choose a space with little or no background noise and minimize visual distractions in the background. We recommend headphones.
    • As soon as you log on, turn on your camera and mute yourself.
    • Muting will avoid any excess background noises that might distract your teacher or your fellow students.
  • 3. Participation

    • Focus and engage. Follow the direction of your teacher. For example, typing in the chat, or a shared Google Doc, or presenting your screen to share materials and speak.
    • If you have a question, type “question” into the chat feature. Your teacher will direct you about when to speak.
  • 4. Be Respectful

    • You are a member of a learning community, whether you’re online or face-to-face. Same expectations apply as if you were sitting in a classroom together. Support each other through this new learning journey!
    • Do not take a screenshot, picture, snapchat, etc of your teacher or fellow students. 
    • Do not distribute any recordings of any classes.
    • Do not navigate to another tab or app unless directed by your teacher.
    • Do not interrupt while someone else is speaking.
    • Remember that you are expected to abide by all rules as outlined in the Responsible Use Policy and the Student Handbook.
  • 5. Ask for help when you need it

    • If you have IT problems, please email helpdesk@friendsseminary.org
    • Reach out to your Advisor and Teachers.
    • Remember to check the PowerSchool pages for each of your classes for learning materials, resources, and notes from your teachers regarding online classes, assignments, and possible office hours.
  • Zoom How-To's

    CONNECTING TO CLASS: To access your class on Zoom, click on the link that your instructor provided for you. 

    1. Select “Connect with Computer Audio” and “Join with Video” when you are prompted
    2. If you don’t see these when you enter, you will find them at the bottom right of your screen
    3. If you enter the class and have trouble with audio/video, look at the bottom left corner of your Zoom where you should see “Test Speaker / Microphone”if you need to troubleshoot audio
    4. If you are still having trouble connecting, try updating your browser, & restarting your computer. If you still are having trouble, Please submit a ticket (https://bit.ly/fsremotesupport) to the Friends helpdesk or email remotesupport@friendsseminary.orgfor further assistance. 

Schedule of Classes

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Regular schedule of classes

    *Note that Week 1 (March 30-April 3) will be modified

  • A day in the life...

    Rutherford is in the 6th grade. On Monday, they have language, a free, science, and history. At 9:00 AM, Rutherford logs in to the Middle School PowerSchool to get the link to a virtual Meeting For Worship. After a query, a few teachers make announcements. Then, Rutherford takes a short break before going to the page for Spanish at 9:45 AM.  Their teacher has left instructions to review a list of vocabulary. The directions say that at 10:15 AM the class will have a Zoom Meeting with the teacher and their classmates to discuss the material. The teacher checks for understanding and then splits the students into virtual groups to practice a dialog. The class ends with a final message from the teacher and instructions for the week’s homework. In total, Rutherford will spend about an hour on Spanish. Then they will have a longer break and lunch before returning to their computer or iPad for their afternoon classes. In the case of History, the teacher has designated this class period as a Collab, so Rutherford works independently and checks in once with the teacher via Zoom to ask a question.
  • Schedule for Monday, March 30th

    Students should visit the new Middle School Distance Learning PowerSchool Page on Monday Morning at 9:00 AM to view announcements and a Meeting For Worship query. 

    At 10:00 AM you should join your homeroom or advisory for a ZOOM meeting. Your teacher will send a link for you to join.

Submitting Work, Receiving Feedback and Grading

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Submitting work

    You may be asked to submit your work to your teachers in a variety of different ways, including:
    • Sharing a Google Doc or Sheet 
    • Submitting a pdf through PowerSchool
    • Emailing a photo or scan of your work (math problems or a drawing for art class, for example)
    • Attaching it to an email
    • Other methods
    Each teacher will post information about deadlines. 
  • Receiving Feedback

    You may also receive feedback from your teachers in a variety of ways, including:
    • Comments on a Google Doc or Sheet
    • Work returned through PowerSchool
    • Email
    • Recorded message or live video chat
    • Other methods
  • Grading

    Most of your work will be graded. Your teachers will let you know which assignments are graded and how they will be evaluated. You will even have quizzes and tests!

Physical Education and Dance

The PE department will be following an asynchronous plan of teaching. This means teachers will NOT be meeting on Zoom with their classes.

Physical Education Teachers will have lessons posted on the Middle School Physical Education PowerSchool Page every Monday at 9 am. Each grade will receive 4 workouts per week with an assigned teacher.

Students will have the opportunity to ask questions to that assigned teacher. Dance Teachers will post on the Middle School Dance PowerSchool Page every Monday at 9 am. Students can reach out to Barry or Adia with questions.

Community Building

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Clubs and Activities

    We want students to have as many ways as possible to connect with peers and maintain a sense of community. We are opening up these new and old Clubs to all Middle School students. 

    Zoom will be shared on the  MS PowerSchool Page. Students can attend any of the following clubs or activities:
    • Spirit Club
    • Film Appreciation
    • Slide Show
    • Quarenzines
    • Art Club
    • Community Yoga
    • Book Talks
    • Sing Along
    • Video Creation/ Photography
    • Virtual Talent Show
    • Virtual Field Trips
    • Read Alouds
    • CPEJ Led Discussions
    • Quiz Bowl
  • Meeting for Worship

    Meeting For Worship will begin with videos and queries from teachers and the Middle School Team on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Advisory and Homeroom

    Advisory and Homeroom time will happen every Tuesday and Friday, after the initial Week 1 check in.
  • goLead

    goLead is scheduled for 5th and 6th grade every week. There will be an alternating goLead schedule for 7th and 8th grade beginning in Week 2.

Middle School Support Services

Sam will be offering individual counseling “check in” sessions for all students via phone or Zoom. To sign up for a meeting, all a student needs to do is email Sam to schedule a time slot (15-20 min). Starting Week 2 (April 6) and beyond, there will also be optional virtual “drop in” support groups available for 5 th /6 th graders on Mondays from 12:30-1 and for 7 th /8 th graders on Wednesdays from 12:30-1. Zoom invitations will be sent via email. If you would like to participate, just click the link and join the group at the start time. The groups will provide an opportunity for students to identify feelings, social-emotional challenges, learn coping skills, tools, and strategies, and get support from Sam and peers.

Expectations and limitations for our virtual (Zoom) check-ins and groups:  Please check your calendar to remind you when it is time for your check-in.
  • It is important to be on time. If you need to cancel or reschedule your Zoom appointment, you must notify Sam in advance. This will allow her to plan accordingly.
  • Sam will assure you that she is in a private space when providing an individual check-in. Please make sure that you are in a private space without anyone else present. It is important that this space is quiet and free of distractions (including cell phones or other devices) during the session.
  • To ensure confidentiality, Sam will not record your session, and you are not allowed to record it either.
  • Our confidentiality policy will remain through these virtual sessions; however, Sam will discuss any moments when we would need to reach out to a family member.  
  • Sam needs a back-up plan (e.g., phone number where you can be reached) to restart the session or to reschedule it, in the event of technical problems.

If You Are Absent or Have Concerns

We are all here to help! Reach out first to teachers and advisors directly. In addition, you can always contact a member of the Middle School Team:

Pankti Sevak: Head of Middle School
Penney Peterson: Assistant Head of Middle School
Samantha Meltzer: Lower and Middle School Psychologist
Elle Hauschen: Middle School Office Assistant 

Do's and Don'ts

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Please do

    • use only your school email account to contact your teacher. 
    • name documents or files according to instructions so you get proper credit for your work.
    • take your work seriously and do your best!
    • ask for help when you need it.
    • contact Helpdesk if you have technical difficulties.
  • Please don't

    • expect your teacher to respond to email after 4:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m.
    • give or receive help on an assignment unless specifically given permission by your teacher.
    • use materials from the internet and present them as your own (plagiarize).

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

Upper School Distance Learning


Distance Learning Schedule

Week 1 is a modified schedule and that starting Week 2 forward, classes will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Classes that meet twice a cycle will meet once a week. Classes that meet on Days 1/5 will meet on Mondays (Tuesday the first week), Days 2/6 on Tuesdays (Wednesday the first week), Days 3/7 on Thursdays, and Days 4/8 on Fridays. 

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Block Schedules

    A Block: Day 1, first period (8:15)
    B Block: Day 1, third period (10:25)
    C Block: Day 1, fourth period (11:45)
    D Block: Day 1, last period (2:00)
    E Block: Day 2, first period (8:15)
    F Block: Day 2, third period (10:25)
    G Block: Day 2, fourth period (11:45)
    H Block: Day 2, last period (2:00)

Grades, Narratives and Exams

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • All fourth-quarter grades will be Pass/Fail

    All fourth-quarter grades will be Pass/Fail. Having consulted the College Counseling Office as well as several peer schools and universities, the Upper School made this determination recognizing that this quarter will not consist of equitable learning opportunities for students to represent their best selves. Many colleges have made their own cases for Pass/ Fail, and Admissions offices have assured us that there will be no negative outcomes for our students. As Harvard professor Allison Stanger wrote in her article “Make All Courses Pass Fail Now” in the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 19, 2020, “Faculty members could focus on engaging students for learning in demanding new circumstances. Students would get a respite from direct competition with their peers to focus on both individual growth and doing their part in a common endeavor (a skill we are very much going to need in the months ahead). Parents could focus on loving and nurturing their children rather than worrying about how to assist them in navigating or gaming a new system.” The fourth quarter runs from March 30-June 10th.

    In order to pass a class, a student must complete all of the work of the class. 
  • Spring Narratives

    Spring narratives will be replaced with a third-quarter grade and no comment unless a student is missing work from the third quarter. In these cases, teachers will list the work missing and a due date for the work to be completed to be considered for the third-quarter grade. The third quarter includes all work assigned from January 27-March 13, 2020. The third-quarter reports will be available to students and their parents to view no later than April 13.
  • For year-long courses, a year-end grade will be reported and appear on the transcript

    For year-long courses, a year-end grade will be reported and appear on the transcript. The grade’s calculation consists of the first semester grade, the third quarter grade, and the P/F grade, and it will be the only grade that appears on student transcripts that are college-facing.
  • Final Exams

    We will not hold final exams at the end of this school year regardless of whether school reopens or not.

Online Etiquette Guide

Click here to view a helpful infographic regarding Upper School Online Etiquette.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Preparing for online (Zoom) meetings

    • Be prepared with a charged (or plugged in) device.
    • Dress appropriately, as you would for school.
    • Make sure you have access to all the class materials that you’ll need.
    • Find a quiet place to join the meeting that is free of background noise and visual distractions.
    • Be on time!
  • Participating in online meetings

    • Make sure your microphone is muted when you’re not speaking.
    • Follow rules and guidelines shared by your teachers.
    • Stay engaged (eg, don’t eat, play with pets, or check your phone).
    • Remember that you are expected to follow all school rules in the Student Handbook and the Responsible Use Policy (p.34).
  • Recording

    • You may not record online classes in any way.
    • You may not take pictures of or record classes, teachers, or classmates in online meetings.
    • Teachers may record classes to post afterwards, but you may not distribute these recordings.
  • Practice Academic Integrity

    • All academic integrity rules and guidelines are still in place (pages 32 and 47 of The Handbook).
    • If you have questions about using resources or collaborating with classmates, check with your teacher.
    • You should accurately represent your access to tools and resources (such as internet connectivity and devices) to your teachers and advisor.
  • Ask for help if you need it

    • Reach out to your advisor, teachers, Jason, Hassan, Erin, and Karin.
    • Remember to check your email and your classes’ PowerSchool pages every day for class materials and information about online meetings.
    • If you need tech help, email helpdesk@friendsseminary.org and copy your advisor.
  • Using Zoom

    • To access your class, click on the link that your instructor provided for you.
    • If you haven’t downloaded the Zoom app on your computer or iPad, you will be prompted to do so.
    • When you join the Zoom meeting, you will get a pop up; select “Connect with Computer Audio” and “Join with Video” when you are prompted. (If you don’t see these when you enter, you will find them at the bottom right of your screen.)
    • If you enter the class and have trouble with audio/video, look at the bottom left corner of your Zoom where you should see “Test Speaker/Microphone.”
    • If you are still having trouble connecting, email helpdesk@friendsseminary.org and send your teacher an email explaining the issue.

Change in AP Testing Policy at Friends

As you know, Friends requires all students enrolled in our twelve AP courses to sit for the corresponding AP exams. As such, we automatically order the exam once a student enrolls in an AP course. Given the situation we currently find ourselves in, though, we have decided to make AP exams optional this year for students enrolled in AP courses as well as for juniors who signed up for an AP English exam.

One note in regards to college admission: AP exam scores are not a required part of the application process in the US; however many international schools do require the results for admission. If a student is seriously considering universities in the UK or other countries, it is advisable to still take the AP exams for which one is registered.

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Process of Opting Out of an AP Exam

    The College Board has not decided how students will indicate that they would like to cancel an exam. That process may not be determined for a few weeks so right now students do not need to take any action. Once we know what the cancellation process is, the college office will reach out to AP students with further information.
  • Changes to Format, Scope and Timing of Exams

    There are also changes to the exams themselves. The College Board's full announcement is here. Listed below are the most salient points: 
    • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take 45-minute online free-response exams at home. Please note, the College Board has yet to share information in regards to how accommodations such as extended time will apply to these updated tests.
    • Students will be able to take these streamlined online exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option.
    • There will be two different testing date options for each AP subject. The exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each test and additional details will be released by the College Board by April 3. 
    • Students will have the option to cancel their exams at no charge. As noted above, the mechanism by which students can cancel exams has not been announced yet.
    • Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, students can attend free, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses are optional, mobile-friendly, and can be used alongside any work your teacher may give you. These will be available on-demand, so you can access them any time.
    Students should plan to be in touch with their AP teachers because the AP exams' content coverage is being adjusted, and our teachers know how to be helpful to students in navigating the newly adjusted content.

    As more information about the AP exams becomes available, the College Office will share it with students and families. It goes without saying, though, that we are all very sorry that our students have to be in this situation. Please know that Friends teachers, administrators, and staff members are right here alongside you and will support you in any way we can. 

Additional Resources

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • College Counseling Office

    The College Office: The College Office continues to be open and available to juniors, seniors,  and their parents. Justin and Audrey are available for meetings via Google Hangouts to discuss student options as you receive news. Students can sign up for a meeting by emailing Alyssa. More news will come directly from Audrey and Justin.
  • counseling “check in” services via Zoom

    Beginning next week, Karin will be offering counseling “check in” services for all students via phone or Zoom.To sign up for a meeting, all a student needs to do is email Karin to reserve a time slot (15-20min). She will have availability Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 9:45-3:15 and Wednesdays 9:00-1:00. Pls review guidelines for counseling zoom sessions here.
  • Center for Peace Equity & Justice (CPEJ)

    Center for Peace Equity & Justice (CPEJ): In these uncertain times, the bonds of community can bring comfort, while empowering us to make a difference in the world. To that end, the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice aims to virtualize some of its programs for community education and engagement. From lunchtime interactive sessions to an evening speaker series, from distance volunteering opportunities to family empathy-building activities, such programs can enhance self-understanding, strengthen familial relationships, and foster service to others. Expect a communication from CPEJ staff shortly with a few upcoming opportunities––both synchronous and asynchronous––to engage our heads, hearts, and hands.
  • The Friends Seminary Technology Team

    The Friends Seminary Technology Team will support our community in these difficult times as we embark on distance learning and remote access. Please submit a ticket (https://bit.ly/fsremotesupport) to the Friends helpdesk for issues with school-provided devices or issues accessing distance learning resources.  Submitting a ticket will allow the team to review, prioritize, delegate and respond to issues efficiently. If needed, an email can be sent to remotesupport@friendsseminary.org to create a ticket as well.
  • PE and Athletics

    Students will receive an email from Cat with details about where to access online workouts and weekly PE logs to complete.  We recommend three times a week for physical activity. We will have a variety of workouts for students to choose from including fitness, yoga and qigong. We encourage all students, including those who do not need the credit to graduate, to take part. Students who are currently enrolled in a spring semester PE class must submit a weekly log to their assigned teacher.  The PE exemption students will also fall under this category.  
  • Seniors MFW Zoom Basckground

    Click here to download the Senior Meeting For Worship Zoom background.

Spring Events in the Upper School

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Service Day

    Service Day is canceled. For the remainder of the year, we will suspend the service hours requirement and instead ask that students participate in one "distance service" experience. We'll be sharing a number of opportunities once the distance learning is underway. The students will still log that distance learning experience and then credit for the annual requirement will be fulfilled.
  • Performing Arts

    While classes will continue, all performing arts events are cancelled: the musical, the jazz concert, the chamber concert, the One Act Festival and the ChoreLab Show.
  • Athletics

    All Athletic Team programs are suspended and will remain suspended for the duration of the closure. Students who were participating in a spring sport will need to complete a PE log and should consult the PE department info via the US Power School page.
  • Prom, Powell House Retreat, Senior Dinner and Graduation.

    We value these rituals and hold them sacred; as more information becomes clear about the longevity of required social distancing, we will adjust plans based on what is possible.
  • Senior Projects

    Senior projects are canceled. Should we have the good fortune to return to school before the end of the semester, we will want to maximize our opportunities to be in the company of one another, especially our seniors who are being shortchanged time together as it is. Therefore, we will not be releasing those seniors who proposed projects and had them approved from their classes in the second week of May.
  • Videos

    In order to foster community and joy, Erin and I are considering how we might invite community members to make short videos in response to a question; videos will be checked by the Upper School team before posting. We will also invite committee clerks to make videos reading announcements for a virtual MFA. We are open to student ideas!
  • Club Meetings

    We tried to replicate the meetings that would happen during this time. Faculty advisors should be present for virtual club meetings; we will let club leaders know to coordinate this with their advisors. These meetings can also be a quick check-in followed by instructions or activities (a recipe to try, an article to write, a movie to watch).

Center for Peace, Equity and Justice

In these uncertain times, the bonds of community can bring comfort, while empowering us to make a difference in the world. To that end, the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice aims to virtualize some of its programs for community education and engagement. From lunchtime interactive sessions to an evening speaker series, from distance volunteering opportunities to family empathy-building activities, such programs can enhance self-understanding, strengthen familial relationships, and foster service to others. Expect a communications from CPEJ staff in the days ahead with a few upcoming opportunities––both synchronous and asynchronous––to engage our heads, hearts and hands.

Academic Center Support During School Closure

The Academic Center will continue to offer tutoring support for students, although make-up testing services will be suspended. As you think about accessing the Academic Center staff, please keep the following in mind:
  • Students will be able to schedule appointments via an appointment booking link that will be available here beginning next week.  
  • Appointments will be available for students in Grades 7-12 daily from 12-1 PM and for several additional hours on Wednesdays.
  • All Academic Support will be live via Zoom meeting.
  • Students should not email their work to the Academic Center Staff for feedback unless it associated with a scheduled appointment.
  • Support for APEX language courses will continue, and students in those classes should expect to check in with Debbie Schneider during "D" periods.
  • In scheduling appointments, the Academic Center staff will prioritize students that need the most urgent academic support.  

Support Services

While our school is engaged in distance learning, our psychologist and counselor are available to parents, students, faculty and staff during virtual school hours as needed. Should you like to connect, please email your divisional counselor to correspond or to set up a time to speak by phone or zoom meeting. They look forward to being directly available to you in-person upon our community’s return to campus.

Lower and Middle School Psychologist–Samantha Meltzer: smeltzer@friendsseminary.org
Upper School Counselor–Karin Spitzer: kspitzer@friendsseminary.org

Should you or your child need immediate emotional support, you can access NYC Well or Vibrant via text, chat or call. If your child has an out-of-school provider, please also reach out to them. In an emergency, please dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Additional Counseling and Support Resources

Below are outside practitioners who treat anxiety and other mental health conditions should you want to consult with someone for additional care.

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

Talking to Your Child About CoronaVirus

Guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can help make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate and minimizes anxiety or fear.

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

Relaxation, Mindfulness, and Coping Resources

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.

222 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
P: 212-979-5030
F: 212.979.5034