Come along as we take a look back at one of our Middle School’s spring semester classes. Guided by the principles of an innovative problem-solving approach called design thinking, this group of engaged seventh and eighth graders tackled a real-world challenge presented by an SSFS staff member who uses a wheelchair. In the process, they learned about engineering, disabilities, privilege, and much more. This inspiring story showcases the transformative power of an SSFS education to equip students to become empathetic and innovative problem solvers.
Sandy Spring Friends School creates a place of belonging for each student, where they are equipped and empowered to Let Their Lives Speak, becoming positive changemakers in the world.
At Sandy Spring Friends School, knowing why we learn—and how we learn—are just as important as what we learn. Our educational program is grounded in a deep respect for each student and intellectual rigor. Our teachers help students internalize a process we call "QRA"—Question, Reflection, Action—which ensures that they think critically, integrate new knowledge, and apply what they learn. We help students develop their individual sense of purpose as they become caring citizens of the world.
QRA—our student-centered approach—encourages students to question concepts and ideas, reflect upon inquiry and experience, and put learning into action.
In his third year of teaching Third Grade at SSFS, Johnny Williams, recently collaborated with an engaged group of student illustrators to publish the delightfully whimsical tale, Og. Read the full article.
Thanks to all who were able to join us for the May 31 virtual “Senior Passion Project” presentations from our participating members of the Class of 2023! The video recording of the presentation is now available. Topics ranged from examinations of cultural norms and our democratic institutions to sustainable fashion and artistic exploration.
Each year the nonprofit organization Global EEE (Global Education Energy Environment) sponsors a race of student-built electric vehicles. SSFS's Upper School Engineering Club entered a vehicle in the Washington, DC, event, which included 25 teams from MD, VA, and DC schools, including some of the region's best public technical schools and STEM magnet programs. SSFS was the only independent school to enter this year, and they placed fifth out of 25 teams and earned the "Best New Team" award!
Our 140-acre campus, paired with beautiful fall weather and excellent teachers who understand the value of experiential learning, have provided many opportunities for our students to use our campus as an extension of their classroom. Read more about nature observation walks in the Lower School, hands-on lessons about sustainable agriculture in the Middle School, and an AP Statistics class's revisit of their Middle School "Barbie Bungee" experiment from the outdoor porch of the new Upper School building.
Each year, our Algebra I students put their math and engineering skills to the test to create an exclusive bungee jumping company that has one VIP client—a Barbie.
The SSFS Kindergarten class embarked on a study of "ramps and pathways," which introduced engineering and design concepts to one of the most popular play spaces in the classroom— the block area!
- Close, cooperative relationships between teachers and students are the firmest foundation for effective learning.
- A Sandy Spring Friends education is intellectually rigorous.
- Students learn best when they are included in the classroom and feel a deep sense of belonging.
- Sandy Spring Friends students interact with the natural world as a part of their learning environment.
- SSFS seeks to provide students a global perspective.
- Classroom learning is authenticated by real-world experience.
- The School’s motto, “Let Your Lives Speak,” represents the Quaker belief that how we live our lives is the most direct indicator of what we believe.