Peer Network Guidelines, Structures & Tools

Friends Council Support for Peer Network Groups

Peer Networks are self-organizing groups of educators across Friends schools who meet to share ideas, offer support to each other, and work together toward their common goals, especially around facets of their work that are related to working in a Quaker institution. These national groups exist as a result of palpable energy, spirit, and leadership from the faculty and administrators within the Friends schools who keep such networks strong.

Friends Council encourages these connections, and can support Peer Network gatherings through facilitating communication of information (via web and electronic mail) about these events to our member schools.

What are the responsibilities of a Peer Network Planning Team?

  1. Choose a point person/clerk
  2. Choose a date, in consultation with Friends Council, by April 1 for the following academic year.
  3. Decide on the details of the program, to fit within program budget provided by the Council, including
    • Start/end times
    • Details of the agenda:
    1. Theme
    2. Keynote speaker?
    3. Workshops/discussions led by participants?

How can Friends Council support the Planning Team in its work?

  • Send out electronic:
  1. Call for agenda items design and mail invitations
  2. Send via email and web Meeting announcement and agenda
  • Track registration
  • Book rooms and arrange for meals for events held at Friends Center, Philadelphia (some Peer Network gatherings are hosted by Friends schools)
  • Consult regarding scheduling date to avoid conflicts with other events. The Friends Council calendar is set by April 1 for events during the following academic year.

Planning is led by the planning team and can happen through e-mail, phone, or face-to-face meetings. The point person for the planning team facilitates the planning process.

Many Peer Networks exist. Some Peer Networks are totally self-sufficient, while others use Friends Council support in distributing information and publicizing their events. Peer Networking groups (that we are aware of) include: US religion teachers, LS/MS religion teachers, Friends Environmental Educators Network (FEEN), heads of Friends schools, service learning coordinators, professional development peer network, and division directors.

For more information, contact Deborra Sines Pancoe, Director of Member Services, Friends Council on Education: [email protected].

(July, 2006)


The Friends Council reserves the right to cancel workshops and peer network programs if there is insufficient enrollment. In this unlikely event, participants will be notified well in advance of the program and given a full refund. The Friends Council, however, cannot be responsible for any financial obligation incurred by participants because of travel cancellations.


Guidelines, Structures & Tools
An overview of planning, support, and sample structures for Friends Council Peer Networks
Focus Group Guidelines
Guidelines for a structured discussion around a topic.
Threshing Sessions
Guidelines for in-depth consideration of a controversial issue, gathering input and opinions, but without the goal of making a decision
Consultancy Groups
Guidelines for a group to to help an individual or group think more expansively about a dilemma. (Adapted from the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Annenberg Institute and the National Center for Independent School Renewal.)
Worship Sharing Guidelines
Guidelines for worship that is focused on a topic or query.