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 


Kindergarten Movie - Back in Time

This year's kindergarten class learned about at the history of SSFS, from Brook Moore's first introduction of the idea of building a Quaker school at the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting and Esther Scott's donation of her family land in 1958, all the way up to recent events - including virtual learning during the pandemic! On Monday, May 20, they invited family and friends to their movie premiere to see their rendition of SSFS history in their short film, "Back in Time - The History of SSFS."

5th Grade National History Day posters

SSFS 5th grade students hosted a Maryland History Day showcase on Tue., May 21, where they presented their project displays to LS students, faculty-staff, and family. Maryland History Day (MHD), an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), is a project-based learning curriculum that has students investigate a historical topic of their choice, explain its significance, and present their findings in a creative format. Completing a poster allows students to pursue topics that interest them, introduces the idea of writing a thesis statement/historical argument, and allows them to demonstrate the significance of their topic in history and its relation to the theme through evidence. Plus, it's fun! 

6th Grade Stream Study 2024

As part of Jamie Bonetti's 6th grade Science class's Hydrology unit, the students visit the on-campus stream, which is a tributary of the Anacostia, and eventually leads to the Chesapeake Bay. Here, the students do a close examination of the water to see what organisms live in and around the stream. Along with lots of snails, crayfish, and mayfly larvae, students also found several water pennies. Since these macroinvertebrates can only survive in clean water, finding them is an indicator that the stream's water is healthy and unpolluted. Using water samples from the stream, students also test other parameters like phosphates, nitrates, and pH, to support claims regarding the health of the water system. 

Upper School Musical, "Theory of Relativity"

The Upper School Musical Theater class will stage Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The Theory of Relativity on Fri., May 31, at 7:00 PM, and on Sat., Jun. 1, at 2:00 PM and at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). A Senior celebration will follow the matinee performance to acknowledge and appreciate our graduating thespians. The show is appropriate for children 12 and older, with some adult themes and language. Ticket purchase is not required, but donations are strongly encouraged! See play synopsis from the MTI website here. 

Senior Passion Projects 2024

Save the date! On Wed., May 29 from 6:30-8:45 PM, nine SSFS seniors will be sharing their Senior Passion Projects Presentations in a virtual event open to all in the community. Each senior (or group of seniors) is participating in a two-week intensive session to sample a potential career, serve the community, or explore a deep personal interest. Topics range from exploring the future of the automotive industry and the role of diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy to engineering an original electric guitar - and more!

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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