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 in our Boarding Program


PHOTOS: Upper School Dance Performance

Upper School dancers were happy to be back on the PAC stage, even if they were unable to perform in front of live audiences, as they showcased their original contemporary dance pieces to be shared via video. 

VIDEO: "Let Your Lives Grinch" 

SSFS faculty perform a brilliant new rendition of the traditional SSFS faculty-staff skit, "How the Grinch Stole the Holidays," featuring the Learning Specialists from each division.

PODCAST: SSFS Community Holiday Episode

Listen to our Lower School students as they perform Joyous Hanukkah (1st grade) and Joy to the World (4th grade). Then hear a collection of students and faculty sharing their family winter traditions.

PHOTOS: Senior & Lower School Buddy Card Exchange

The Class of 2022 met up with their Lower School buddies for the third time this year (each time socially-distanced, masked, and outside) as they visited with one another and exchanged winter holiday cards. 

PHOTOS: US Coffeehouse

Upper School students and staff gathered outside the PAC for performances that included musical performances, singing, tap dancing, flute playing, and showcasing of digital music re-mixes.


Lower School (LS) Counselor Joel Gunzburg has been working with students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade on lessons to teach students how to give good, thoughtful, and kind feedback to their peers. 

VIDEO: Thankful for YOU!

We'd like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU and share our gratitude for every person in our SSFS community! We invite you to watch our thankful video to hear what our students are grateful for this year.

PHOTOS: 2021 Upper School Play

Upper School students are excited to be back on the PAC stage for a limited-seating performance of “The Bold, The Young, and the Murdered.” Attendance at the live performance is limited, but everyone can view the recorded performance,  streamed via Showshare on Friday, Nov. 19, at 7:00 PM. 

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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