Sandy Spring Friends School



Upper School Curriculum

At Sandy Spring Friends Upper School, we encourage our students to challenge their hearts, minds, and bodies and take academic risks in an atmosphere of support and belonging.Our robust and vibrant educational program promotes open and honest communication between all community members, exposes students to diverse cultures, and encourages students to stretch their intellectual capacity in an atmosphere of support and belonging. Recognizing that experience shapes character, students are provided opportunities for leadership, artistic expression, athletic competition, meaningful community service, and experiential education. The program is not just ample preparation for college, but it also prepares students to Let Their Lives Speak, empowering them to be positive changemakers in the world.

Upper School Curriculum

Download a printable version of the Upper School Curriculum Guide for an overview of our program and educational philosophy.

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Celeste McDaniels

Dr. Celeste Jamison McDaniels
Head of Upper School 
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Meredith Shankle

Meredith Shankle
Assistant Head of Upper School 
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Global Languages


Physical Activities & Sports

Other Upper School Curriculum Highlights

  • A rich transitional experience for ninth grade students, linking the middle school years with the more intensive demands of the upper school program.
  • Our College Counseling department is committed to ensuring that every student and family receives the necessary support required to design and implement a successful plan for college.
  • Community service opportunities, which help our students learn to be contributing members of both their community and the world.
  • Our School offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities, which provide meaningful, longer, and memorable experiences that are correlated to various aspects of the curriculum and build community.
  • Our students have opportunities for leadership, whether by serving as a member of TORCH (student government), managing a club, serving as as Writing Center tutor, and more.
  • To help our International Students and non-native English speakers integrate into the SSFS community, we provide English Language Support through our ESOL courses. The ESOL department improves English Language Learners’ linguistic and cultural competence to engage more effectively in social and academic contexts.
  • The Upper School provides learning support services to students, faculty, and families to assist students in acquiring the academic, social, and emotional skills needed for success.
  • In addition to SSFS's on-campus courses, our students are able to take online courses. We work in partnership with Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC) and Montgomery College to expand the course offers available to our students.