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




Pastoral acres in the heart of Montgomery County



Student-teacher ratio



Students identify as Students of Color



Countries represented 


Speech - Debate Trophies

The Speech and Debate Teams have been Letting Their Lives Speak! Since the start of the 2023-2024 school year, they have competed in 9 league and 3 invitational tournaments. Eleven SSFS students earned 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place during the regular season events in categories such as Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking, Dramatic Performance, Oral Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, and Public Forum Debate. Fourteen students finished in top six positions, which are metro qualifying spots.

5th Grade Book Launch

Fifth-grade students recently participated in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) program. They learned about the different steps in the writing process, had lessons on developing characters and plot points, became more effective peer reviewers, and revised their novellas, which range in length from several pages to over 40 pages long! Then, they designed their book covers and invited peers and parents to a book launch event February 14-15. View the photos!

Bruce Nkala, Trailblazer in K-12 Athletics

If you’ve ever been on campus for a sporting event, you’ve heard “Go ’Beests!” shouted by exuberant fans. Yes, our mascot is the wildebeest, but for us, “being ’Beestly” is more than just a play on words. We look to the wildebeest for inspiration for the entire approach to our athletics program, connecting this extraordinary animal’s traits to the human realm. We recently sat down with four particularly ’Beestly student-athletes to learn what inspires them, who they’re grateful to, and what’s next in their athletic careers.

Rustin: Blackness, Quakerism, Sexuality, & Civil Rights

February 22, 2024 |  Movie Screening, Dinner, & Discussion
Yarnall Library | 6:30 PM

Do you know who organized the March on Washington? It wasn't Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; it was Bayard Rustin, a Black, Quaker, LGBTQ+ Activist. Learn more about Rustin's role in organizing the March on Washington by joining us for a screening of the Netflix movie Rustin in Yarnall Library on Thursday, February 22 at 6:30 PM. Dinner will be served, and a panel discussion will follow. Community members should RSVP through the link in the emailed newsletter.

Valentine's Annual Fund

This past Valentine's Day, we were reminded of our love and appreciation for the special people in our lives. One group of individuals that deserves special recognition and gratitude are our dedicated teachers. As a Valentine's Day Annual Fund Gift, show your love and appreciation for our teachers by making a gift to our annual fund in honor of a faculty member who has made a difference this year. Together, we can ensure that they have the support they need to continue to inspire and enrich our children's lives.

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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