Sandy Spring Friends School



David Hickson

Almost a full year has passed since SSFS completed its diversity audit, a comprehensive examination of our progress in fulfilling the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals of our mission and strategic plan. It is a fair time to consider what progress has been made towards the action items spelled out in the report to the community distributed last fall. 

Read More about Diversity Audit Update: June 2020
Tom Gibian

The act of “speaking truth to power” is the manner in which Quaker spirituality is made manifest. In an abstract sense, it is the thread that connects the inner Light to our boundless faith in humanity’s unrealized potential. As a more concrete action, it can be defined as a non-violent political tactic, employed by dissidents against the received wisdom or propaganda of oppressive, authoritarian regimes and institutions.

Read More about Dissent and Leadership in Quaker Organizations
Tom Gibian

When I count my blessings, high up on the list, just a smidge below having married well and having two kids who I admire and love to hang out with, is that I have been the Head of Sandy Spring Friends School for the past ten years.  

When I was hired, I didn’t know what it would be like and I wasn’t able to get a straight answer from Ken Smith, the previous Head of School. All he would say is that being Head of Sandy Spring Friends School is the greatest job in the world. 

Read More about The One About What Comes Next
Tom Gibian

Welcome everyone to our graduation ceremony honoring the Sandy Spring Friends School Class of 2020. I want to recognize the parents and family members, the grandfriends and neighbors, the brothers and sisters and, of course, the incredible faculty who have zoomed today to celebrate these young people who have earned not just a diploma from Sandy Spring Friends School but our respect and gratitude. Each of you, all members of the Class of 2020, have argued with us, debated us, irritated us, made us laugh, pointed out our mistakes, given us pause, amazed us, improved our minds—and now, you carry our hopes.

Read More about Head of School Remarks at Class of 2020 Graduation
Tom Gibian

As a school community, what do we want to be known for at this time? That we rose to the occasion. We sought advice from experts, we viewed every decision through the prism of compassion. We never forgot to put the health and safety of all members of our community first.  We remained true to our mission. We kept our promises.

But there is another pandemic ravaging our country, one that is routinely dismissed and quickly forgotten despite its lethal nature: systemic racism. This scourge deserves—requires—the same urgent attention we are giving to Covid-19.

Read More about The One About the Pandemic of Racism
Margaret Rosser

In the face of so many recent uncertainties, the strong community ties that are the hallmarks of a Sandy Spring Friends School education have served as a source of constancy and comfort. Students have not only continued to progress academically during the spring of 2020; they have also continued to connect and engage socially and emotionally with one another, and with faculty and staff. Our families have reached out to one another--and to our community at large--to offer assistance and support. Now, more than ever, our sense of community is what sustains us, even as we are obligated to remain apart.  

Read More about How is SSFS Prepared to Support our Students in the Current and Post-COVID-19 World?
Tom Gibian

When the coronavirus came here and we stopped gathering together at 16923 Norwood Road, we did that so that we could all be safe since the virus is contagious. For the past few months, we have all experienced a big disruption. When things are disrupted, turned upside down, often, it becomes a time when we can learn a lot about ourselves and what is important. What have we learned, what we now understand, that “school” is not the noun we thought it was. It is not a building or even a place. When we stopped coming to school, we had to reinvent what school means. 

Read More about Head of School Remarks from All-School End of Year Assembly 2020
Tom Gibian

I have been thinking about the take-aways during this time of COVID-19. Among the things this pandemic has revealed is that a society that is dependent on an economy that only works for some and, even then, only when it is constantly expanding, is not sustainable into perpetuity... While physical growth is finite, our capacity to understand (continuing revelation!) is not. Even now. Especially now.

Read More about The One About a Story for Our Times



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