Sandy Spring Friends School



Sandy Spring Friends School

SSFS Campus Overview

Sandy Spring Friends School

SSFS is a progressive, coed, college preparatory Quaker school serving students from Preschool (age 3) through 12th Grade, with optional 5- and 7-day boarding programs in the Upper School. 


Lower School Head Liza Long with student

Let Your Lives Speak

Recognizing the unique worth of each person, SSFS teachers cultivate the individual talents of every student and foster caring and effective citizens of the world.


The stream on our campus provides opportunities for hands-on learning

Inquiry-Based and Hands-On Approach to Learning

Our approach to learning challenges students to question, to reflect, and to act on knowledge.


Meeting House - Lower School

Quaker Values

A values-based education emphasizes universal Quaker values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship.


New Upper School Building

The Future is Bright at SSFS

SSFS is “Lighting the Way” for the future with the opening of our new, environmentally-sustainable Upper School building. 


Uniquely Sandy Spring

Quaker Values

Students entering the SSFS Meeting House

At Sandy Spring Friends School, we have a profound sense of hope in the individual's ability to create positive change within the world, and we foster the values that create change: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. These values are sometimes referred to by their acronym, the Quaker SPICES.

Inquiry-Based Approach

4th Grade Seed Study

We take an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, challenging students to strive for academic excellence and to realize their highest potential.

Experiential Learning

Stream Study with Students

We believe that learning is significantly enriched by experience-based projects and programs. They help develop capable, responsible, and globally-aware students who can apply their learning in useful, practical, and meaningful ways.

Teachers as Mentors

SSFS Teachers are Life Mentors

Because our teachers see each student as a unique individual, they strive to cultivate each student’s inner Light and talents. The resulting dynamic of frequent communication and trust facilitates confidence and growth, as well as an optimistic outlook, a lifelong love of learning, and the desire to accomplish positive change in the world.

Campus as a Classroom

Middle School Stream Study - Campus as Classroom

Our 140-acre campus near urban centers features an old-growth forest and stream, making it a natural environment for study and contemplation and enabling access to a wealth of resources, including six miles of cross-country trails, a pond/swimming hole used seasonally by students and our summer camp, and an aerial adventure park.

Diverse, Caring Community

Seniors with Their Lower School Buddies - Community

We believe in a diverse, collaborative, nonhierarchical community, strengthened by all-school and all-division meetings, an active Parents Association, an engaged alumni body, and an emphasis on affirming and empowering the individual and examining all points of view.

At A Glance



Students in Preschool-12th Grade



Pastoral acres in the heart of Montgomery County



Student-teacher ratio



Students identify as Students of Color



Countries represented 


SSFS Community Play -square

Sandy Spring Friends School’s (SSFS) Community Play is back after a hiatus due to the pandemic! Four years after its last full staging, this longstanding, hard-working tradition that is done only through wide-spread involvement from so many areas of our school community,  combines our robust arts programming with the connected, inclusive spirit of the School, drawing on our founding history of radical optimism, genuine belonging and courageous risk-taking. Read about the history of the Community Play, hear from past participants about what makes this event so special, and find out how you can get involved. 

US Fall Play 2023- Caucasian Chalk Circle

While in our modern minds the name may conjure up many different connotations, this year's SSFS Upper School's Fall Play, the Caucasian Chalk Circle, is a fresh spin on an ancient Chinese folk tale and Biblical story centered around the Caucasus Mountain region. It’s a maze of ethical questions, challenging the audience and the actors on multiple levels. Brecht's play illuminates profound insights, explores the concepts of class and status, and actively engages the audience in spinning narratives of justice, love, and sacrifice. Come see the play: Dec. 15-16, 2023!  

Alumni Spotlight-Clara Shapiro

As a senior during the 2021-2022 school year, William Henderson set his sights on an ivy-league-caliber school. Thanks to the personal attention and support of the College Counseling Department—which, he says, is “really good at matching students to the schools that fit them”—William is now a sophomore at the College of William & Mary and soaking up all that college life has to offer. In this spotlight, William shares five ways SSFS helped prepare him for college and reach his potential.

Gratitude - Peace Dove

At Sandy Spring Friends School, our curricular and co-curricular programs offer an extraordinary experience that transcends the standard expectations for a college preparatory school. The School’s sense of community and the values-based education blend knowledge with a broader context, empowering our students to cultivate meaningful connections and emerge as positive change-makers on a global scale. See examples from the classroom in Lower, Middle, and Upper School.

SSFS Dorm Fall 2023

This fall, the SSFS dorm welcomed 18 new dorm students and 7 new dorm staff to our boarding program. From on-campus activities like weekly community dinners and Halloween bonfires to off-campus trips to the National Zoo and Kennedy Center theater, it's been a busy fall for the SSFS boarding community!

Upper School Play 2023

This fall, the Upper School will stage Bertolt Brecht's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" on Fri., Dec. 15 at 7:00 PM, and on Sat., Dec. 16 at 2:00 PM and at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Friday and Saturday night performances will be followed by an audience Q&A with the cast.

All-School Community Day 2023

On Oct. 17, SSFS students, faculty, and staff began the day with a walk to the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting House for an all-school Meeting for Worship. We then gathered in cross-divisional Family Groups for bonding activities, art projects, on-campus service/stewardship, and lunch. In the afternoon, we played Morley Games and Captain's Calling, and ended the day with an all-school aerial photo.

Senior-LS Buddy Meet-Up 23

Each year, Preschool (age 3)-Grade 1 students are paired up with a "Senior Buddy” who helps them become familiar with the SSFS community. These special “Buddies” have several lunches and recess play dates together throughout the school year. It's one of SSFS's sweetest traditions!

Upcoming Events

Discover SSFS

pre- school

Research shows that play is a powerful tool for learning. That's why at Sandy Spring Friends School, play-based learning is woven into the preschool curriculum through fun hands-on activities both in the classroom and outside on our beautiful campus and natural playground.

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lower school

We believe students learn best when creative thinking, active listening, and positive interactions are reinforced in the classroom. Our students learn to shape questions about concepts and ideas, reflect upon their learning, and put their learning into action - developing initiative and self-advocacy skills in the process.

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middle school

Our Middle School offers a strong academic program that is taught by dynamic teachers and emphasizes critical thinking, global-mindedness, and problem solving. Through a combination of challenging academics and a welcoming environment for students to explore, our students are able to fully experience and take advantage of their Middle School years.

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upper school

Our Upper School develops confident, responsible, thoughtful people who understand the wider world and seek to make a difference in it. In partnership with an extraordinary faculty, our students gain intellectual and interpersonal skills that help them thrive in college and beyond.

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