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.
Head of Upper School