QuakerEd News
February 26, 2019

Newest Quaker School is up and running!

International Friends School in Bellevue, Washington

Executive Director Drew Smith visited the newest Quaker school, International Friends School in Bellevue, Washington. The school is a dual-language immersion school, a first in 330 years of Quaker education in the United States.

Friends School Educators on the National Stage at NAIS

Each year Friends school educators have a noteworthy presence at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference. 2019 is no exception! For the second year in a row Friends Council on Education is presenting and we've learned of nine additional workshops featuring Friends school educators (and there may be more)! From workshops on the student experience to leadership and governance, Friends school educators are contributing to the national dialogue on education.

Creating the Future Ready Library

Librarians Peer Network Gathering 2019

Twenty seven Friends educators from 19 schools came together on Friday, February at Greene Street Friends School (GSFS) to talk about Growing a Future Ready Library. How do we create a library space and culture that prepares our students to be citizens of an increasingly diverse world? As librarians, how do we encourage to students to be engaged in their own learning so they can grow to be problem solvers, change makers, accomplices, and advocates? Erika Snowden, Dean and Learning Support Specialist at GSFS (left), shared her presentation "Using Books as Windows and Mirrors to Support Anti-biased School Culture" and Maggie Chiles talked about using flexible seating in learning spaces. The group enjoyed touring GSFS's new building that provides flexible community space and links old and new spaces in innovative ways. Many thanks to Julia Copeland (Greene Street Friends School) (right) and Allison Frick (Friends Select School) for co-clerking this peer network and to Greene Street Friends School for hosting.

Educators New to Quakerism NYC!

ENTQ on the Road

Friends Council on Education took our Educators New to Quakerism (ENTQ) on the road again in February, this time to New York. Mary McDowell Friends School kindly hosted this workshop that gives teachers and staff new to Friends schools the opportunity to explore the Quaker identity of their schools. Through engaging presentations and discussions with seasoned Friends school educators on topics such as Quaker history, beliefs, testimonies, and meeting for worship, participants gain a deeper understanding of the strong spiritual roots of their schools. Schools report that participants return to their communities with a greater understanding of the mission of their schools and renewed energy and enthusiasm for strengthening the Quaker dimension. Many thanks to Mary McDowell Friends School for hosting!  The next ENTQ is right around the corner – at San Francisco Friends School in early March!

Help us Keep the Q in Quaker Education

Gifts to the Friends Council Annual Fund support:

  • Professional development for Friends school educators
  • Governance support of Friends schools
  • Grants to schools
  • Support of heads and trustees in Friends schools. 
    Make your gift today! Thank you!

Friends School Alumni Let Their Lives Speak

Kyle Shenandoah, Friends Select School (FSS) Class of 2004

Friends school alum Kyle Shenandoah, Friends Select School (FSS) Class of 2004, is a community leader, organizer, and social innovator in Philadelphia. Since his graduation from FSS, he's been involved in multiple roles in the City of Philadelphia and within his community of Grays Ferry. In part due to Kyle's advocacy, Grays Ferry has transformed from a place of vacancy and neglect to a neighborhood on the rise of newfound revitalization. Due to Kyle's impact, he has received over 20 awards from the PA legislature, been appointed by the mayor into three positions, won a competitive race for state committee, and recently was selected as a speaker for the upcoming May 2019 TEDx Philadelphia.

Friends Council Spring Programming - Register Now!

March Programs
March 4-5, 2019 - Educators New to Quakerism @ San Francisco Friends School 
March 11-12, 2019 - Educators New to Quakerism @ Pendle Hill

April Programs
April 8-9, 2019 -Educators New to Quakerism @ Pendle Hill
April 11, 2019 – Dinner for Religious & Spiritual Life Committees in Friends Schools @Lansdowne Friends School.
Inspiration and idea sharing with boards and staff who have care of the Quaker Life of our schools! Requires RSVP!
April 11-12, 2019 - Early Childhood Peer Network @ Pendle Hill
April 17-19, 2019 - Elementary and Early Childhood Heads Gathering
April 18, 2019 - Friends Council on Education Annual Meeting
April 18-19, 2019 - Gathering for Heads of Schools with Secondary Divisions
April 24, 2019 – New Workshop Using Quaker-based Decision-Making with Students @ Friends Center
April 25, 2019Division Directors and Association Heads Peer Network Gathering @ Friends Select School

May Programs
May 2 & 3, 2019 Friends Environmental Education Network [FEEN] @ Westtown School

June Programs
June 13-16, 2019 Friends Association of Higher Education Conference @Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill
Theme: Truth and Inspiration. For more details.
June 18 & 19, 2019 – Leading in the Manner of Friends @ Pendle Hill

Friends School News

Germantown Friends School - The Story Behind the Mural
Many schools engage in community service on MLK Jr Day of Service and Germantown Friends School (GFS) is no exception. This year, however, it turns out there's a powerful story about Quaker process and queries behind the Lower School's engagement in this annual day of service. Daniel Rouse, second grade teacher and member of the Lower School Quakerism Committee, shared the story about the genesis of the beautiful mural currently adorning the Cary Building Lobby. 

Buckingham Friends School - Visioning Day. Over 160 community members representing nine stakeholder groups gathered at Buckingham Friends School (BFS) on January 12, 2019 for a community-wide strategic planning event. Trustees, faculty, students, parents, alumni, alumni parents, former faculty, and F(f)riends came together at Visioning Day to articulate a shared vision for the future of the school. Visioning Day was months in the making and led by the new Head of School, Paul Lindenmaier, and a Strategic Planning Council formed of trustees, faculty, administrators, alumni, and current and past parents.  “As an independent school, BFS has the unique opportunity to embark upon a process that will yield a new and shared vision for its future," says Lindenmaier. "Hallmarks of success plans for school are inclusivity, shared responsibility, accountability, evaluation, and on-going planning.”  Buckingham Friends School will now finalize and present the new Strategic Plan to the community this year. Learn more here.

George School -
 Students Awarded for Green Initiatives. The Environmental Stewardship Oversight Committee (ESOC) at George School announced the winners of the 2019 George School Green Initiative Contest. A total of forty-five students entered the contest and submitted twenty-seven proposals. Seven students/student-teams were recently named winners. Read more here.

Quaker Youth Leadership Conference 2019 - Every year students from multiple Friends Schools come together at the Quaker Youth Leadership Conference. What do they do there? See for yourself in this year's QYLC video! 
Friends Seminary - Bryan Stevenson as Guest Speaker. In coordination with five other NYC independent schools, Friends Seminary hosted Bryan Stevenson in the Meetinghouse on February 20 2019. Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy, presented an hour-long talk entitled “American Injustice.”

Friends School Educators Letting Their Lives Speak

Sunshine O'Donnell, Abington Friends School Middle School English teacher and Award-winning author, has written and illustrated a series of mindfulness books for babies and toddlers for Out Breath Press. The Nesting House stores will be exclusively carrying the first release of Your Vacation on Planet Earth, a board book for babies and toddlers. Sunshine shared, “Your Vacation on Planet Earth was created to welcome new human beings to the planet with love, joy and honesty so that they can learn to become native mindful thinkers.”  Read more here.

Spring Happenings! Mindfulness, WPC, Films That Speak

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Mindfulness practices, nourishing silences, and supportive sharing opportunities to strengthen educators’ work In the classroom at all levels.

The White Privilege Conference
March 20-23, 2019, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The White Privilege Conference (WPC) is designed to examine issues related to diversity, equity, power, privilege, supremacy and more. While exploring and challenging these concepts, WPC offers solutions and team building strategies. This community-driven collaboration provides the foundation and resources necessary to disrupt and (possibly) change systems of oppression. Registration is open and fills up quickly.

Bridge Film Festival - 20th Anniversary!
Deadline for submission is March 15, 2019

Brooklyn Friends School’s Bridge Film Festival is open to all students currently enrolled in a Friends school or who are of Quaker families who have an affiliation with a Friends Meeting or Camp. Each Quaker school and Friends Meeting or Camp may enter one narrative and/or documentary film and/or one public service announcement and/or one new media production per division to the Festival. Learn more here:

2019 Friends Association for Higher Education (FAHE) Conference June 13-16, 2019
FAHE invites you to join teachers, scholars and educational administrators on the beautiful campuses of Swarthmore College and Pendle Hill near Philadelphia, for our annual conference. We will consider the theme “Truth and Inspiration” and other topics of interest to Friends and educators through presentations, panel discussions, and three plenary speakers: Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; Maurice Eldridge, Vice Chair, The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and Pendle Hill board member; and Frances Rose Blase, Provost of Haverford College. The conference also offers a disciplinary theme, as we prepare the seventh volume in our "Quakers and the Disciplines" book series. Sessions will address the theme of Quakers, Social Work and Justice Concerns. Conference presentations provide an opportunity to draft an article for inclusion in the volume.

Friends Council on Education

1507 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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