History

It is my belief that this school gives its students opportunity for a fine fine education; it gives its teachers opportunity to do what they do best. But most important of all, it gives opportunities to nourish the soul, helping all those connected with it to grow in spirit and in truth. ~ Mary Lil Moore

Brook and Mary Lil MooreThe history of Sandy Spring Friends School illustrates the path of self-discovery and individual experience that our students undertake on a daily basis: inquiry, reflection, cooperation, action, refinement and perpetual personal growth.

In 1958, Brook Moore suggested a new school for Sandy Spring at the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends. Interest grew, and Esther Scott gave the first of several acres of her family farm to develop a Friends Center and a school seeking to educate the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. Sandy Spring Friends School opened in September 1961 with a limited enrollment Upper School program for 77 students. In 1980, SSFS added a Middle School program in Brookeville, which moved onto campus in February of 1984. In 1983, the historic Ashton Meeting House was moved to the campus. Since then, each division of the School has held Meeting for Worship on a regularly-scheduled basis in the Meeting House. It is a visible reminder of the living Quaker heritage of the School.

In 1992, Friends Elementary School moved onto campus, officially merging with SSFS one year later. The following year, the School expanded again to serve students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and beginning in 2016-2017, our pre-primary program is expanding further to include three-years-olds. In recent years, the Athletic and Performing Arts Centers have opened, the Community Farm and solar arrays have become living symbols of our commitment to sustainability, and our revitalized campus enjoys a swimming pond, a climbing wall, and the neighboring Adventure Park. Today, our student body reflects a truly global community as our International Student Program attracts students from around the world to engage in intellectual, athletic, artistic, and personal pursuits with our already-diverse community of students representing many backgrounds, faiths, and cultures.

Sandy Spring Friends School remains a close-knit community: innovative, diverse, welcoming, and rooted in our Quaker heritage. SSFS is a dynamic institution, and we continue to grow and develop. Yet Mary Lil Moore’s words, spoken on the occasion of Sandy Spring’s 20th anniversary and seen at the top of this page, were true at our founding, and are still true today.

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