Sandy Spring Friends School



Ninth Grade Program

9th Grade Students

Sandy Spring Friends School offers a rich transitional experience for ninth grade students linking the middle school years with the more intensive demands of the upper school program. 

At Sandy Spring Friends School, we offer help students successfully transition from middle school to upper school, by offering a ninth grade program that is sensitive to the particular intellectual, social and emotional needs of 13 to 14-year olds as they enter late adolescence. Most of the ninth grade classrooms are located in Hartshorne (see school map). This central location allows the students to maintain closer contact with their teachers, their peers, and their books and supplies. Other classes are held in Moore Hall and in the Science Center. The academic program allows for integration across the four basic subject areas of English, history, science, and mathematics. Additional required courses include:

  • Foreign language - French, Spanish, or Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Physical Education
  • Study Hall/Enrichment seminars: Quakerism; interpersonal relationships; leadership & teamwork; diversity appreciation, nutrition and body image; drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

As an experience-based progessive school, our ninth grade program offers a number of experiential components. These include:

  • Pre-school camping trip
  • Community service
  • Field trips
  • Team-building exercises
  • 9th Grade Play in November
    (100% participation)
  • Intersession

Every aspect of the program is required and built into the ninth grade schedule. We value each part of the program as an important educational growth experience. Each experiential component extends and enriches the core academic program. The ninth grade Intersession in recent years has traveled to the Florida Keys. It is primarily a curriculum-based trip with extensive amounts of community service. 

SSFS 9th Grade Camping Trip, 9th Grade Summer Bridge Program

Ninth Grade Camping Trip

To help build community, and prepare students for the school year, our ninth graders participate in a camping trip. This required four-day trip occurs in late August and includes hiking, canoeing and whole group activities at Catoctin Quaker Camp. There is no additional fee for this trip.

Updated 7/30/2019


9th Grade Team

Seven enthusiastic and experienced teachers lead this program. Other teachers work closely with this group. Ninth Grade Program team member  names and roles are listed below.

Steff Kerry, 9th Grade Program Director, Mathematics

Steff Kerr '89
Dean of 9th Grade Program, Mathematics

Johanna Modak '07
Upper School Faculty—Global Languages (Spanish)

Kwame Darko '98
Upper School Faculty—Mathematics

Courtney Ring
Upper School Faculty—English

James Robb
Upper School Faculty—Global Languages

Kieun Song
Upper School Faculty—Arts

Mao-Tong Wang
Upper School Faculty—History