Sandy Spring Friends School




Sandy Spring Friends School is committed to fostering a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and families who accept, appreciate and respect each individual’s uniqueness.

Our All-School Diversity Statement

Sandy Spring Friends School embraces the values of the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers. Quaker values are grounded in the belief that there is that of God in everyone. This belief – along with the continuous quest to seek the truth – is central to the understanding that diversity of thought, identity and experience is essential to academic excellence, personal growth and spiritual development. Our School is committed to fostering a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and families who accept, appreciate and respect each individual’s uniqueness.

At A Glance



Students identify as Students of Color



Religious affiliations represented



Countries represented in the Boarding Program



Students receive financial aid

News & Events

Diversity in Our Curriculum

Below are some of the ways in which each division incorporates diversity into the curriculum at SSFS:


2nd Grade "Family Journey Day" presentations


Lower School

  • Each grade introduces and honors diversity through comparisons and differences among classmates and families;
  • Instructional materials and toys are selected to reflect different genders, ethnic, foods, and geography backgrounds;
  • Holidays are used as opportunities to celebrate and learn about holiday differences;
  • Music, art, and physical education activities reflect classroom curriculum themes;
  • Starting in first grade, the social studies program focuses on specific cultures.
SSFS Middle School Students Outside


Middle School

  • Advisory group programs include diversity topics throughout the year;
  • Middle School Diversity Committee meets weekly and organizes ongoing diversity discussions on topics selected by the students;
  • Students who self-identify as black meet monthly as an affinity group with adult mentors;
  • Black History Month programs are organized with parent involvement;
  • Seasonal celebrations of different ethnic groups are organized by students and faculty and are supported by parent involvement;
  • The language teachers organize a number of activities around typical Spanish- and French-speaking countries' holidays or observances;
  • SSFS hosts the Middle School Diversity Leadership Conference run by EastEd. The conference is open to schools throughout the east coast and is attended by over 700 students annually.
Black History Month Assembly


Upper School

  • An Upper School diversity committee of faculty/staff members address the ways diverse populations are recognized, included and celebrated at SSFS;
  • The 9th grade participates in the National Coalition Building training in the winter;
  • A two-day NCBI training is conducted for upper grade student leaders before the 9th grade NCBI event;
  • A group of Upper School students and faculty members attend the national People of Color conference held annually;
  • Student-initiated clubs such as the Black Student Union (BSU), the Sexuality and Gender Alliance Club, and the World Wide Culture Club organize campus activities and events throughout the year;
  • Diversity assemblies include an annual Martin Luther King observance, an international assembly, and others with varying cultural and international themes;
  • Cultural competence and multicultural activities occur regularly in the advisory curriculum.

Student Affinity Groups 

Black Student Affinity Group  (BSAG) provides a safe, supportive, and affirming space for our students who identify as Black and/or African-American. The affinity group meets weekly to discuss various topics around race and equality, and hosts events with influential Black leaders throughout the year. The BSAG hosts the All-School Black History Month Assembly  to help educate the School about African American culture and history.

SAGA  (Sexuality And Gender Alliance) is a group of LGBTQ+ and allied students, supported by faculty advisors, that is committed to educating and advocating on issues of sexuality, gender, and inclusivity in order to create a safe environment for all.



What is the ethnic diversity of the student body at SSFS?

39% European American, 20% African American, 7% Asian, 4% Latino, 12% Multiracial, 1% Middle Eastern, 1% Pacific Islander, 2% Undisclosed, and 14% International (boarding and host family students represent 21 different countries across the globe).

How do we balance economic diversity at SSFS?

Approximately a third of our students receive need-based financial aid. See the Financial Aid FAQs for more information about how families' needs are determined.

What does our international residential life program add to SSFS?

Our international residential life program provides a unique and rich cross-cultural experience for both the American and International Students. The ISP enriches the diversity we have on campus both ethnically and culturally. The ISP includes students from across the globe; in 2018-19, our international student population includes students from Albania, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

What is the School's anti-discrimination policy?

The School admits students of any race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and qualified candidates with a disability and accord to them all the rights and privileges, programs, and activities generally offered or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or as a result of a person's status as a qualified candidate with a disability in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, staff hiring and other School-administered programs.