Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When was SSFS founded?
A: In 1961 by S. Brook Moore with the vision to create a school to educate the whole person - body, mind, and spirit.
Q: How many students attend SSFS?
A: SSFS enrolls 613 students from Preschool (age 3) to the 12th grade. We have over 100 students in our 5 day and 7 day boarding program.
Q: How many students are in each division?
A: Our Lower School has 153 students from Preschool (age 3) to Grade 5. Our Middle School has 147 students in Grades 6-8. Our Upper School, Grades 9-12 with a 5-day & 7-day boarding option, has 313 students.
Q: What is the student/teacher ratio?
A: The average student to faculty ratio is 8 to 1.
Q: What is the average class size?
A: The average class size is 16. Many classes are smaller than 16; all are characterized by supportive and trusting relationships between students and teachers.
Q: How many faculty and staff work at SSFS?
A: There are 150 faculty and staff working at SSFS, each one contributing to a positive educational experience for our students.
Q: Does my child have to be Quaker to attend SSFS? How does Quakerism influence the academic and community life at SSFS?
A: No, students do not need to be Quaker to attend SSFS. Quaker values - simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship/service - are incorporated into the daily academic and social curriculum. (See the "What is a Friends Education" section of our website.)
Q: What is the religious diversity of your student body?
A: Over a dozen different religions and denominations are represented in the student body. Quakers represent about 7% of our student body.
Q: What are the school day hours? What is a typical day?
A: Each division operates on a similar school day schedule. See below for exact times for each division:
The Lower School day begins at 8:10 am and ends at 3:15 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Lower School day on Wednesday starts at 8:10 am and ends at 2:15 pm.
The Middle School day begins at 7:55 am and ends at 3:40 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Middle School day on Wednesday starts at 7:55 am and ends at 2:40 pm.
The Upper School day begins at 7:55 am and ends at 3:40 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Upper School day on Wednesday starts at 7:55 am and ends at 2:40 pm.
Q: Do you offer bus service?
A: Yes, our buses pick up students from Montgomery, Howard, and Prince George's Counties, as well as the District of Columbia. Routes are point-to-point, not house-to-house. Collection points are designed to accommodate as many families as possible. Routes and schedules are adjusted each year according to changes in ridership. (See Extended Care and Transportation)
Q: Do you have a before and aftercare program?
A: Yes, we offer before and aftercare for our Lower School students, and aftercare for Middle School students. Before school care in the Lower School is from 7:30 to 8:00 am. Aftercare runs until 6:30 p.m. in both Lower and Middle School. (See Extended Care and Transportation)
Q: What athletic teams does Sandy Spring Friends School offer?
A: SSFS is a member of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference. Our Middle and Upper School teams compete in the following interscholastic sports: soccer, cross country, volleyball, golf, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis. Students also have non-competitive fitness options such as athletic conditioning, modern dance, yoga, and weight training. See more in the Athletics section of the website.
Q: Approximately how many openings do you anticipate?
A: We will accept applications for all grades.
Q: Are any applicants given special consideration?
A: While it is by no means a guarantee of admission, Sandy Spring Friends School does give special consideration to the applicant groups listed below:
- Children of Members of the Religious Society of Friends
- Children of Sandy Spring Friends alumni/ae
- Children of Sandy Spring Friends employees
- Current students' siblings
- Former students in good academic standing
Q: Are campus tours available?
A: We encourage families to visit our campus to learn more about the SSFS community. We host regular Open House and Discover SSFS events throughout the year. Click here to see upcoming dates.
Q: What is the birthday cut-off date for entering Preschool (age 3), Preschool (age 4), and Kindergarten, Kindergarten?
A: September 1. Applicants to Preschool (age 3) must be 3 years old by this date; Preschool (age 4) must be 4 years old by this date; Kindergarten applicants must be 5 years old.
Q: How are admissions decisions made?
A: In keeping with the Quaker process, all admissions decisions are made by committees within the division. Each student application is reviewed with the whole student in mind. Due to the comprehensive nature of the process, all admission decisions are final.
Q: Is your Preschool program (ages 3 and 4) a full-day program?
A: Yes, our Preschool program is a full-day, 10-month program with extended day and summer care options.
Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: We offer need-based financial aid. The goal is to make a Sandy Spring Friends School education financially accessible to all families. Grants are made solely on the basis of financial need. (See Tuition & Financial Aid.)
Q: When is your admissions deadline, and when are applicants notified of admission decisions?
A: Applicants whose files are completed by our January 15th deadline will receive notification of the Admission Committee’s decision by early March. Applicants whose files are not complete by the January 15th deadline will be considered on a space available basis.
Q: What is your financial aid deadline?
A: The financial aid deadline for current families is December 1. The financial aid deadline for new families is February 1. The financial aid application and all supporting documents must be received by this date. (See Tuition & Financial Aid.)
Q: Will applying for aid affect my child's chances of being accepted?
A: The admissions and financial aid process are two separate processes. SSFS is a need-blind school. A family's ability to pay does not impact the admissions review process.
Q: Are there fees beyond the tuition?
A: Yes, additional fees may include bus transportation, books, technology, aftercare, and trips. (See Tuition and Financial Aid.)
Q: What is the tuition for the 2019-2020 school year?
A: Tuition varies by grade and division. See Tuition and Financial Aid for current rates on our website.
Q: What countries are represented by your international student population?
A: There are 17 countries from around the world represented by our international student population, including Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Croatia, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Spain, Ukraine, Vietnam.
Q: What is the ethnic diversity of the student body?
A: 37% European American, 20% African American, 7% Asian, 4% Latino, 1% Middle Eastern, 14% Multi Racial, and 14% International, 1% Pacific Islander, (2% Undisclosed).
Q: How diverse is the faculty and staff at SSFS?
A: 23% of the employees at SSFS identify as faculty and staff of color.
Q: What percentage of graduates attend college?
A: 100% of our students apply and are accepted to college. Some elect to take a gap year.
Q: Do you have a 1:1 or BYOD ("Bring Your Own Device") Technology Program?
A: Yes. We have a 1:1 Program in grades 5-12; SSFS provides 5th graders an iPad, and we have a BYOD program in the Middle and Upper School (see more information on the Technology web page). There is an additional cost beyond the base tuition for this program.