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

Upper School

Explore the Curriculum

Welcome to the Upper School at Friends Seminary.

Upper School marks the years when we launch ourselves from childhood into the start of our adult lives. What kind of path will you take from ninth grade to graduation? At Friends Seminary, we offer some certainties about those four years and many more queries and opportunities for you to individuate, reflect and cut a road that makes good sense to you. As lifelong learners ourselves, the teachers and advisors here strive to locate and honor the Inner Light in all of our students and to embolden each one to shoulder the increasing responsibilities associated with becoming independent.

As a community, we are fiercely committed to one another and to the greater good. Guided by Quaker values, we seek to understand and live by the principles of integrity, equality, peace, simplicity, service and community. We esteem reflection and the empowerment of all to listen for one’s own voice as well as one another’s and to contribute one’s knowledge and experience. Our practice is not to rush to answers, but to engage in the craft of powerful queries. Through reflection — which we practice formally in regular Meetings for Worship in our historic Quaker Meetinghouse — the whole community shares silence to deepen our self-knowledge and expand our capacities for compassion, action, social justice and environmental sustainability. To still oneself in the midst of this pulsing city with three hundred other quieted companions changes you.

Upper School at Friends requires critical thinking skills and reaches beyond the classroom walls to help our students move toward realizing “a world that ought to be.” Our learning philosophy, as captured in our handbook: “When students at Friends participate in contests and tests, we urge them to consider their competitors as those who can inspire them to play a game, perform a solo, or solve a problem at a new level. In this way both competitive and collaborative learning lead to individual achievement and community enrichment.” We expect students to put their learning into action, whether that be through wilderness programs; opportunities to study abroad; community service projects; social justice initiatives; artistic, academic, and athletic performances; student publications; Peace Week; Day of Concern; or school-focused committee and governance work.   

The four years of Upper School at Friends prepares students to pursue college aspirations and to engage with the wider world as compassionate, generous, reflective, curious, resourceful and globally aware citizens. The friendships that blossom and thrive here enable us to grow in company with one another, and they last well beyond the school walls.
Kate Reynolds
Head of Upper School


Upper School Office

Kate Reynolds
Head of Upper School
(646) 979-5120

Hassan Wilson
Assistant Head of Upper School
(646) 979-5128

Erin Mumford
Upper School Dean of Student Life
(646) 979-5127

Denman Tuzo
Upper School Assistant
(646) 979-5121
Friends Seminary actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all its programs and operations, including admissions, financial aid, hiring, and all facets of the educational experience. To form a community which strives to reflect the world’s diversity, we do not discriminate on the basis of race or color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, economic background, physical ability, sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. Friends Seminary is an equal opportunity employer.

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