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. 


Preschool Teacher with Students

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 inquiry-based 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 with LS students

Quaker Values

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


Pen y Bryn Upper School

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 


All-School End of Year Assembly 2024

All students, faculty, and staff gathered May 29 for the last all-school assembly of the 2023-2024 school year. We heard song selections from the Upper School musical and from the 1st Grade; welcomed the new Torch clerk for 2024-2025; celebrated each senior; and applauded the Senior class gift to the School (a new swing set!). Head of School Rodney Glasgow then shared some reflections on the past year; we watched the end-of-year photo slideshow; and finally, per tradition, we ended the assembly with a rousing all-school sing of the "George Fox Song!" See photos from the assembly and reminisce with the EoY slideshow.

Speech and Debate Medals

Over Memorial Day weekend, four SSFS students competed in the 2024 NCFL Grand National Speech & Debate Championships in Chicago. Although Speech and Debate is a relatively new program at the school (English teacher Scott Carneal started it in 2021), the small-but-mighty SSFS team has demonstrated that it is a force to be reckoned with, competing against public and private schools across the country, most of which have much larger student populations and decades of institutional experience. Going up against approximately 3,000 other debate pairs, SSFS' Public Forum Debate team of Alexios Eleftheriou '25 and Daryan Tchoubineh '24 made it to the Final Four in the championship, and ended up in 3rd PLACE IN THE COUNTRY! All four participants performed exceptionally well; read more...


SSFS once again participated in the annual DC Electric Vehicle Grand Prix, this year entering two electric cars built by our team of student engineers, with guidance from team sponsors David Hickson and Parshu Gyawali. The 2024 race included very experienced teams, including two teams from a school that recently won the international event in Dubai. Despite this very stiff competition, SSFS placed 6th out of 29 teams (23 schools), an impressive showing given the experience of the top-placing teams (see final standings)! Several alums from last year's team showed up to lend a hand on Saturday: an example of how special our SSFS community is. Parents and community members who have an interest in supporting our team's efforts with technical and/or construction EV expertise, please contact David Hickson.

2024 Senior Art Show

This spring, seniors had an opportunity to showcase all the hard work they did in their arts classes this year in a Senior Art Show, a stunning display of talent and creativity. Each student selected 4-5 of their best pieces and chose how they would like to exhibit their work. Their exhibits included explanatory text for each piece, reinforcing the message that art includes writing clearly and concisely about your work, presenting your art to an audience, and deciding how to display pieces to best convey your message. 

Spring 2024 Spring Sports Highlights

It was another banner spring season for SSFS! The 'Beests ran away with several PVAC season and championship wins in both the Upper School and Middle School. The Upper and Middle School Baseball teams and all MS and US Track and Field teams, brought home banners. See below for full updates from all our spring teams, and thanks to all the fans who came out to support our athletes!

Senior Passion Projects 2024

Thank you to all who were able to attend the Class of 2024 SSFS Senior Passion Projects webinar held on Wednesday, May 29 (6:30-8:45pm). If you were unable to attend—or want to re-watch these dynamic presentations—the video recording is now available on the 2024 Senior Passion Project web page, just below the Overview and Schedule portions of the web page. You can also see Sam's finalized film project, Frames of Mind!

Upper School Spring Musical 2024

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the 2024 Upper School musical, Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s "The Theory of Relativity." The actors, singers, and stage crew experts did a phenomenal job bringing this mix of both heartbreaking and hilarious vignettes to life, where characters find themselves tested and interconnected as they navigate the world. Along the way, they bump into one another, changing each other's trajectories, learning and evolving as they go. 

Upper School Awards 2024

We were excited to recognize several Upper School students' accomplishments this year. Students were acknowledged for their dedication to their academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits. Each recipient was recognized for their passion in a specific area. As always, our students’ talents and achievements are phenomenal and continue to exemplify what a Sandy Spring Friends student is at their core. Please join us as we congratulate and celebrate their contributions and continued excellence.

New Wildebeest Art

On June 5, Johanna Cowie, SSFS Archivist and member of the Inquiry Guide Team, unveiled the wildebeest statue's most recent art installation together with the PK3 class, who helped create the new look for the 'Beest's belly! Stacked pieces of wood cut and drilled by Upper School Woodworking teacher David Hickson were set in a spiral, painted by our youngest Springers, and given multiple coats of marine varnish by Johanna. The colorful designs now spin delightfully in the wind! Read more about the history of this special community art project...

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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