|December 15, 2017|
Educators New to Quakerism (ENTQ) is now offered up and down the east coast! This flagship program, which for years was held only in Pennsylvania, is now held in New York, Pennsylvania, the Mid Atlantic Region (Maryland/DC) and the southern region. In November, Drew Smith and Deborra Sines Pancoe took ENTQ on the road to serve our southern schools. Held
at Carolina Friends School this year, 28 educators came together from
Carolina Friends School (Durham NC), Friends School Wilmington
(Wilmington, NC) and High Point Friends School (High Point, NC).
and mental health professionals serving 13 Friends Council member
schools gathered on December 7, 2017. Frederick Pratt of Friends'
Central School and Natan Gottesman of Friends Select School, facilitated
conversation with school support colleagues. Coming together to share
resources, policies, protocols, and insights, this network is poised to
support each other especially in times of crisis. Friends school
counselors provide care in their schools for administrators, teachers,
students, and families. Guest presenter Jen Cort was on hand to provide
professional development for creating crisis response processes and
January 26, 2018
In the Midst of History: Embracing the Tension in Uncertain Times - Diversity Peer Network
Engaging students in civil discourse about events
like Charlottesville, DACA, #takeaknee, hurricane relief and response,
use of the “n” word, etc., may feel particularly risky and politically
charged. This workshop will address the following question: In
a time of profound polarization and division, how can Friends’
educators safely situate teaching and learning in personal and political
contexts, and embrace the plurality of identity in our society?
When she was fourteen, Liliana Velásquez fled
horrific violence and poverty in her native Guatemala and headed out
alone on foot to the US in pursuit of sanctuary. Come hear Liliana's story and engage in conversation about what it means to be a sanctuary city, what role Friends school communities can support those who come to the U.S. in search of freedom and safety and how Friends school communities can find a balance between teaching advocacy for social justice without political partisanship.
February 2, 2018
Librarians as Social Justice Change Agents
Come together with other librarians in Friends schools to explore how you might best support teachers and students through these
tumultuous times and actively serve as social justice change agents
within your school.
Friends schools educators and students attended this year’s NAIS People of Color Conference (POCC). A host of schools were present, including Carolina Friends School, Abington Friends School, Brooklyn Friends School, Westtown School and San Francisco Friends School. Shown here at POCC are San Franciso Friends School educators Yvette Bonaparte, Director of Admissions, Guybe Slangen, Director of Community Engagement, Raymond Artis, Middle School teacher and Sunné Clarke, PE teacher. Stay tuned for more reflections on POCC from SFFS in FCE's Quaker Voices blog.
Friends Council was fortunate to hear from Corey Fletcher, Assistant Teacher of
Primary Circle at Westtown School, who attended POCC for the first time this year. "My first time attending the People of Color Conference this year created a shift in consciousness, an immediate apperception of a unity among black teachers further than I previously understood, and validation of my agency as a young black educator in a white space," shares Corey. "Also, I became committed to uplifting the stories and voices of children of color in our pre-k and k curriculum, in resident life, and in our faculty meetings by opening up a recording studio on dorm as a therapeutic venue for upper school students of color, donating books about black history from a black perspective, and being verbally and intellectually present in faculty meetings."
go out to the two new heads of Friends schools. Friends School Mullica
Hill’s Board of Trustees has announced that Matthew Bradley has been
appointed the next Head of School. Cambridge Friends School is thrilled
to announce David J. Tierney as their selection for the next Head of
Friends Council on Education is pleased to introduce "Sustainability Spotlight", a new feature to our Quaker Voices blog brought to you by Friends Initiative to Reach Sustainability Together (FIRST). "Sustainability Spotlight" will highlight important sustainability initiatives at Friends Schools. In keeping with the Quaker testimony of Stewardship, many Friends schools have incorporated environmental sustainability efforts into their curriculums, campus plans, and energy and waste management efforts. In our first post, we highlight sustainability mission and vision statements and school administrative support for sustainable initiatives.
Students participated in a national reading of I Am Jazz
School Community Meeting on December 7th. I Am Jazz
was written by HRC Youth
Ambassador Jazz Jennings and author Jessica Herthel and is a
first-person account about being transgender. Jennings was one of the
first trans children to talk publicly about her identity and the
challenges she has faced as a trans youth. This groundbreaking book is
often used by schools and families to help children understand
transgender youth and adults.
Jonathan Flaccus, Oakwood Friends School class of 1958, decided he wanted to do more to support Oakwood’s diverse student body. Inspired by the School’s celebration of Lakota Culture and the activism of rising senior, Shai Black Bird, Jonathan found a way to combine his life-long interest and concern for the rights of indigenous people with support for the Oakwood community by creating the Native American Fund. Income from the fund will provide scholarship for Native American students at Oakwood and support programming about the culture and heritage of indigenous people. Last April, Jonathan joined his friend, Professor John Willis of Marlboro College, for a visit to campus on Earthshare Day where they participated in the raising of an 18’ tipi and discussion of Lakota symbols and cosmology. Professor Willis gave a presentation to the school community about his work as a photographer and the program he founded, The Exposures Cross-Cultural Youth Creative Arts Exchange. Each year, John brings students
and volunteer staff to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where they collaborate with schools and organizations on the reservation to share photography and life stories.
Ashley Edwards, Moorestown Friends School (MFS) Class of 2008, has been named to the Forbes list of “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.” Ashley is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MindRight. MindRight’s mission is to help at-risk youth recover from trauma and its vision is to leverage technology to make mental health support accessible to every child living in poverty. MindRight provides personalized mental health education over text message to youth who have experienced community violence, abuse, neglect, and poverty-related stressors. “…If I could give one thing freely – it would be the gift of knowing that you’ve changed a life. That is the gift I hope each of you can experience if you have not already,” said Ashley during keynote remarks to students and families at MFS. Congratulations to Ashley on this recognition for her work toward eliminating barriers to educational achievement for inner-city youth.