Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When was SSFS founded?
A: In 1961 by S. Brook Moore with the vision to create a school to educate the whole person - body, mind, and spirit.
Q: How many students attend SSFS?
A: SSFS has 592 students in 2016-17 ranging from Pre-K (age 3) to the 12th grade. We have 98 boarding students in the 5-day or 7-day boarding or homestay program, many with an international background.
Q: How many students are in each division?
A: Our Lower School has 159 students from Pre-K (age 3) to Grade 5. Our Middle School has 136 students in Grades 6-8. Our Upper School, Grades 9-12 with a 5-day & 7-day boarding option, has 297 students.
Q: What is the student/teacher ratio?
A: The average student to faculty ratio is 8 to 1.
Q: What is the average class size?
A: The average class size is 16. Many classes are smaller than 16; all are characterized by supportive and trusting relationships between students and teachers.
Q: How many faculty are teaching at SSFS?
A: 66 full-time and 7 part-time teachers
Q: Does my child have to be Quaker to attend SSFS? How does Quakerism influence the academic and community life at SSFS?
A: No, students do not need to be Quaker to attend SSFS. Quaker values - peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship/service - are incorporated into the daily academic and social curriculum. (See the "What is a Friends Education" section of our website.)
Q:What is the religious diversity of your student body?
A: Over a dozen different religions and denominations are represented in the student body. Quakers represent about 10% of our student body.
Q: What are the school day hours? What is a typical day?
A: Each division operates on a similar school day schedule. See below for exact times for each division:
The Lower School day begins at 8:10 am and ends at 3:15 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Lower School day on Wednesday starts at 8:10 am and ends at 2:15 pm.
The Middle School day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:35 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Middle School day on Wednesday starts at 8:00 am and ends at 2:35 pm.
The Upper School day begins at 8:00 am and ends at 3:35 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Upper School day on Wednesday starts at 8:00 am and ends at 2:35 pm.
Q: Do you offer bus service?
A: Yes, our buses pick up students from Montgomery, Howard, and Prince George's Counties, as well as the District of Columbia. Routes are point-to-point, not house-to-house. Collection points are designed to accommodate as many families as possible. Routes and schedules are adjusted each year according to changes in ridership. (See Extended Care and Transportation)
Q: Do you have a before and aftercare program?
A: Yes, we offer before and aftercare for our Lower School students, and aftercare for Middle School students. Before school care in the Lower School is from 7:30 to 8:00 am. Aftercare runs until 6:30 p.m. in both Lower and Middle School. (See Extended Care and Transportation)
Q: What athletic teams does Sandy Spring Friends School offer?
A: SSFS is a member of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference for Upper and Middle School boys and Middle School girls, and the Independent School League for Upper School girls. Our Middle and Upper School teams compete in the following interscholastic sports: soccer, cross country, volleyball, golf, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis. Students also have non-competitive fitness options such as athletic conditioning, modern dance, yoga, and weight training. See more in the Athletics section of the website.
Q: Approximately how many openings do you anticipate?
A: We will accept applications for all grades.
Q: Are any applicants given special consideration?
A: While it is by no means a guarantee of admission, Sandy Spring Friends School does give special consideration to the applicant groups listed below:
Children of Members of the Religious Society of Friends
Children of Sandy Spring Friends employees
Current students' siblings
Children of Sandy Spring Friends alumni/ae
Former students in good academic standing
Q: Are campus tours available?
A: We encourage families to visit our campus to learn more about the SSFS community. We host regular Open House and Discover SSFS events throughout the year. Click here to see upcoming dates.
Q: What is the birthday cut-off date for entering Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st grade?
A: September 1. Applicants to PK3 must be 3 years old by this date; PK4 must be 4 years old by this date; kindergarten applicants must be 5 years, and 1st grade applicants 6 years.
Q:How are admissions decisions made?
A: In keeping with the Quaker process, all admissions decisions are made by committees within the division. Each student application is reviewed with the whole student in mind. Due to the comprehensive nature of the process, all admission decisions are final.
Q: Is your Pre-Kindergarten program a full day program?
A: Yes, the Pre-K program is a full day program.
Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: We offer need-based financial aid. The goal is to make a Sandy Spring Friends School education financially accessible to all families. Grants are made solely on the basis of financial need. (See Tuition & Financial Aid.)
Q: When is your admissions deadline, and when are applicants notified of admission decisions?
A: Applicants whose files are completed by our January 1st deadline will receive notification of the Admission Committee’s decision by early March. Applicants whose files are not complete by the January 1st deadline will be considered on a space available basis.
Q: What is your financial aid deadline?
A: The financial aid deadline for current families is December 1. The financial aid deadline for new families is February 1. The financial aid application and all supporting documents must be received by this date. (See Tuition & Financial Aid.)
Q: Will applying for aid affect my child's chances of being accepted?
A: The admissions and financial aid process are two separate processes. SSFS is a need-blind school. A family's ability to pay does not impact the admissions review process.
Q: Do you offer academic or athletic scholarships?
A: SSFS does not offer academic or athletic scholarships.
Q: Are there fees beyond the tuition?
A: Yes, additional fees may include bus transportation, books, technology, aftercare, and trips. (See Tuition and Financial Aid.)
Q: What is the tuition for the 2016-2017 school year?
A: Tuition varies by grade and division. See Tuition and Financial Aid for current rates on our website.
Q: How many students are in your International Student Program and what foreign countries are represented?
A: There are 73 students are in our International Student Program representing countries across the globe, including Bhutan, China, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
Q: What is the ethnic diversity of the student body?
A: 47% European American, 19% African American, 4% Asian, 3% Latino, 1% Middle Eastern, 13% Multi Racial, and 13% International.
Q: What percentage of graduates attend college?
A: 99% of our students apply and are accepted to college. Some elect to take a gap year before college.
Q: Do you have a 1:1 or BYOD ("Bring Your Own Device") Technology Program?
A: Yes. We have an iPad 1:1 Program in grades 4-8, and have transitioned to a BYOD program in the Upper School for the 2016-17 school year (see more information on the Technology web page). There is an additional cost beyond the base tuition for this program.