What does a Friends School have to offer?
Our School's Mission
We provide an academically vigorous education in a nurturing environment that inspires a love of learning and prepares students to meet challenges with confidence and compassion. Guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship, (SPICES) we support the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each child.
Friends believe there is a divine light in each of us that deserves our loving attention. At State College Friends School, we are guided by this belief as we provide a strong education grounded in the Quaker testimonies of equality, community, simplicity, peace, stewardship, and integrity.
Founded in 1980 under the care of State College Friends Meeting, Friends School is a community in which these testimonies are central to the education of our preschool through middle school students. From the testimony of equality, we emphasize respect for all and a genuine appreciation of diversity. We affirm the importance of all faiths, and we are committed to welcoming students from a variety of social, ethnic, family, economic, and religious backgrounds. We see community as a vital source of strength and wisdom; it shapes the character of learning and all relationships at Friends School. This value also leads us to encourage service to people close to home and throughout the world. Our commitment to simplicity leads us to focus on what is most important in life. We value taking time for reflection, as individuals and through Meeting for Worship, and we strive to center our lives in the spirit. We honor the peace testimony by building strong relationships and teaching nonviolent responses to conflict in our personal lives. We also stress the importance of seeking peaceful resolution to global problems. We encourage stewardship of the earth by promoting respect for our environment and responsible use of natural resources in our community and beyond. Using integrity as a guide, we encourage all members of our community to constantly seek truth, to value honesty, and to act on their convictions with courage.
At Friends School, we believe that education is a lifelong journey. We view learning as a process of exploration and self-discovery, through which children build skills and knowledge experientially by working with teachers and fellow students. We lovingly challenge and support our students to become strong academically, to develop responsible independence, and to appreciate the value of service to others. As we nurture the light in every child, we strive to help each one develop confidence, imagination, compassion, and hope.
We also recognize that the pace and style of learning is different for every child. Our teachers honor these differences by supporting all children and by placing importance on all aspects of learning: intellectual and physical development, social and emotional growth, creative expression, and spiritual awareness. We encourage students to be active participants in their own education by emphasizing critical thinking, learning through cooperation with others, making choices, and taking risks.
We believe that students at State College Friends School will grow into resourceful, capable, and compassionate adults who will minister to the needs of our changing world. As we guide children toward these goals, we heed the words of George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, who once offered this guidance: “Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one...”
Fox's Journal, 1656