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: 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. 

PHOTOS: Learning the Scientific Method 

Middle School scientists have been learning all about the foundations of the scientific method in their math and science classes: math students used the scientific method to determine the ratios of colors, and in science class, students tested which liquid would dissolve a candy corn the quickest. 

PHOTOS: Halloween Fun for All Ages

The rainy weather on Oct. 29 prevented us from having our traditional LS Halloween parade, but Springers of all ages joined in the fun that day for classroom Halloween parties, cupcakes, costume contests, and visits during carpool and across the campus from Dorothy and Wizard of Oz friends!  

PHOTOS: Celebrations for Senior Fall Athletes

Our student athletes have loved being able to play sports together again this year! As the SSFS fall season team sports (soccer, volleyball, and cross-country) wrap up, teams have celebrated their senior athletes.

PHOTOS: Extracting DNA from Strawberries 

8th Grade students extracted DNA from strawberry cells as they study the importance of DNA in a cell's structure and function, and how those scale up to the very specific structure and functions of human organs and organ systems. 

PODCAST: Sustainability Education at SSFS

One of the central Quaker values ( “SPICES”) is “stewardship.” Hear from SSFS faculty, as well as SSFS alum Kip Kelley (owner of Full Cellar Farm), as they discuss how we teach an appreciation for and understanding of the importance of stewardship of the earth.

PHOTOS: Community Day 2021

SSFS students, faculty, and staff enjoyed a day of reflection, service, and community-building on our Oct. 18 Community Day. There were some modifications to maintain our Covid safety protocols, but we got to participate in many of our beloved Community Day traditions. 

Thanks to All for a Successful Open House!

SSFS was excited to host prospective families on our campus. A big thank you to our faculty and staff for sharing the SSFS experience, and to our student and parent volunteers who brought that experience to life! 

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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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