Sandy Spring Friends School



Sandy Spring Friends Lower School

Nurturing the innate curiosity of young minds through exploration.

At Sandy Spring Friends School, we believe in empowering our students to become the best version of themselves. We strive to create a collaborative learning environment that encourages creativity, active listening, and positive interactions. Our focus on social-emotional skills, self-advocacy, and a love of learning helps our students develop into confident, capable individuals. By exploring their interests, experimenting with new ideas, and applying their knowledge in hands-on activities, our students are well-prepared for success in the future.

Every day, we create an environment in which children can follow their curiosity into experimentation and engagement, applying their energy to full participation in collaborative learning, hands-on activities, and opportunities for academic enrichment.

Christine Lewis

Christine Lewis
Acting Head of School
Interim Head of Lower School
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David Blake, Head of SSFS Middle School

David Blake
Head of Middle School
Interim Head of Intermediate School (4th-5th Grade)
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Joel Gunzburg

Joel Gunzburg
Assistant Lower School Head
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Pam Gilmer, Lower School Administrative Assistant

Pam Gilmer
Lower School Administrative Assistant
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Learn More about the Lower School from Our Community

Jauffmick Michel and Amir Tejpar P ’26, ’30

"Our older daughter started in Kindergarten; she tended to be on the shy side. We decided to give Sandy Spring Friend’s Lower School a try, and it was one of the best parenting decisions we’ve ever made. Now that she’s in the Upper School, she’s turned 180 degrees in her maturation—how she interacts with us and her peers. She’s come out of her shell and she’s comfortable in her skin…she’s truly blossomed."

Jauffmick Michel and Amir Tejpar P ’26, ’30, Parents

Grant Gross P '25

“Small class sizes and tons of attention from teachers starting in the Lower School had a big impact on our son. Now that he’s in the Upper School, he’s very kind and focused on what people around him are feeling—he’s emotionally intelligent. I think part of that is the result of Sandy Spring Friend’s Quaker philosophy—the emphasis on kindness, respect, equality, and community.”

Grant Gross P '25, Parent

Tiffany Jones P ’23, ’27, ’28

“As an early childhood educator, I know that the elementary years are incredibly formative. Certain skills and habits are easier to establish when you’re younger. In the Lower School at SSFS, they intentionally teach kindness and stewardship of people and the environment. You want to make sure you get it right in the early years—here at SSFS, they get it so right.”

Tiffany Jones P ’23, ’27, ’28, Parent

Packing Smart Sacks

Global Citizenship

Our dedication to celebrating diversity, nurturing awareness, and inspiring compassion among our students sustains our community of global citizens. Through our emphasis on peaceful conflict resolution, community service, and a deep commitment to environmental stewardship, our Lower School students become involved and invested in making a positive impact on the world community.

Learn how we help our children become global citizens:


LS Reading Buddies

Intentional Community

Lower School students are encouraged to be responsible and responsive listeners and fully present members of a community. Through active listening and interactive modeling, they demonstrate their understanding and readiness to learn. By allowing every person to have a voice and a chance to shine, they recognize that each of their fellow students should be respected for their ideas, experiences, and expertise.

Learn about the programs and activities that strengthen our community ties:


LS Going to MFW

Quaker Values

In keeping with our Quaker belief that there is "that of God in everyone," we honor the unique gifts within each child. We focus on every student’s academic, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. By emphasizing the individual strengths of our students, we nurture their sense of self-worth and give them the confidence to take risks within a safe and supportive environment.


Learn more about Quaker or "Friends" Education:


More About Sandy Spring Friends  Lower School

Sandy Spring Friends Lower School—a private elementary school—is located close to a number of communities including Silver Spring, Olney, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Columbia, and Laurel. We are conveniently located off the ICC (Exit 13). Our Lower (Elementary) School begins in Preschool (Age 3) and continues to 5th grade.