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 


Upper School Intersession Week 2024

SSFS was thrilled to re-introduce our Intersession program in 2023-2024, following several years of pandemic restrictions.  Intersession experiences are anchored in core aspects of our program at SSFS: Quakerism, Community-Building, Experiential Learning, Global Citizenship, and Service. This year's Intersession experiences offered opportunities for international, national, and local travel and activities.

Middle School Immersion Week 2024

Middle School students enjoyed a deep dive into experiential, project-based workshop offerings during MS Immersion Week (March 12-15). Students each chose three different workshops that rotated throughout the day, with topics such as STEM Challenges, Farming, Cooperative Games, Stewardship, Ceiling Tile Mini-Murals, Storytelling and Role-Playing Games, Team Peace, Writing and Illustrating Picture Books, and more.

Women's History Month Assembly 2024

On Thursday, March 28, Upper School students, with the support and contributions of Upper School Art teacher Dana Scott and the Office of Institutional Equity, Justice, and Belonging, presented a Women's History Month assembly for Middle and Upper School students. The assembly began with a brief video sharing the history and significance of Women's History Month, followed by various student performances including poetry readings, dance, and music. 

US Woodworking Class Delivers K Furniture

The Upper School Woodworking class has been hard at work this year building child-sized tables and chairs for use in the kindergarten modular porch space. The kindergarten students visited the Upper School Woodworking class in February, and on March 29, the Upper School students delivered the furniture to the kindergarten modular space, where K students were delighted to test out their beautiful new tables and chairs!

Clothing Swap 2024

To align with Our People, Our Planet Day and highlight the message of reducing clothing waste, the Upper School's Environmental Stewardship Committee is hosting the 2nd Annual Clothing Swap on Friday, April 26 (3:15-4:30 PM) and Saturday, April 27 (10:00 AM-2:00 PM) in Yarnall gym. Donations will be accepted until  2:00 pm on Saturday! Any item not picked up will be donated to Interfaith Works. Boxes for donations can be found in each division. Drop off clothes that no longer work for you/your family, and pick something up instead of buying new!

2024 PA Auction for Financial Aid

The Annual Auction raises funds for student financial aid. All of our hard work and money raised goes right back to our students and families. The auction is both a live in-person party, as well as a week-long online auction. It's an incredible way for our community to come together to have a great time AND support a worthy cause. Access more information about how you can get involved, including purchasing tickets and donating items!

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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