Upper School Welcome
By promoting a culture of mutual respect and trust between teachers and students, we challenge our students to take intellectual risks and move beyond their perceived boundaries to explore a wide spectrum of interests and activities.
At Sandy Spring Friends School, you will find a unique integration of challenging academics, experiential education, and a strong and supportive learning community. Our Upper School prepares our graduates to go on to higher education—where they excel— but we aspire to much more than college preparation. Our program is designed to develop confident, responsible, thoughtful people who understand the wider world and seek to make a difference in it. The academic program of the Upper School embodies the quest to “Let Your Lives Speak,” our School motto. We supply our graduates with the intellectual and interpersonal skills that help them thrive in a rapidly changing, increasingly global community.
Led by an extraordinary faculty, we are a dynamic, interactive community committed to expanding students’ academic, artistic, athletic, social, and spiritual education. By promoting a culture of mutual respect and trust between teachers and students, we challenge our students to take intellectual risks and move beyond their perceived boundaries to explore a wide spectrum of interests and activities. Our teachers, deeply passionate and knowledgeable about their disciplines, inspire students to discover their own strengths and passions, wherever they may lie.
In the Upper School, we create a learning environment that provides numerous opportunities for student exploration and growth. You will find a full complement of academically rigorous courses, including APs in each discipline, pursued in small classes. This enables us to truly challenge every learner to achieve at the highest levels. In addition, you will find strong arts and athletics programs that nurture important habits of mind—risk-taking, problem-solving, cooperation, and perseverance.
Underlying all that we do in the Upper School is a commitment to the Quaker values of simplicity, equality, honesty, respect, peaceful resolution of conflict, and community involvement. Students practice reflection, engage in cooperative decision-making, and demonstrate meaningful community membership in Meeting for Worship. We not only teach students to understand and value global understanding and connectedness, but we enable students to live this through our boarding and International Student Program, and Intersession and Summer Service trips. Students apply and extend their education in environmental stewardship by studying our solar field, working on our community farm, and investigating the vibrant woods that surround the campus. They develop leadership and collaboration skills through advisory groups, clubs, student government, peer counseling, and national conference attendance.
We invite you to come see first-hand how we challenge students to build lives of purpose and personal fulfillment as they “let their lives speak” in college, in careers, in their personal lives, and in every corner of the globe.
Karen Cumberbatch, Upper School Head