Dear Friends Select Community:

Advance Friends Select is the culmination of many years of an exciting, thoughtful, collaborative process undertaken by our community to reimagine an unparalleled Quaker education in the heart of Philadelphia. Educational experts believe student agency and cross-cultural competence are essential skills to thrive in a society that’s growing increasingly diverse. Our strategic plan carefully considers the many ways in which we incorporate these ideas, since there is a profound connection between them and our proud Quaker history and values.

The plan calls for a more meaningful experience for Friends Select students through partnerships with educational, cultural, and commercial institutions in Center City. There is also a plan to redesign our learning spaces to further inspire and foster fun, collaboration, and creativity. Finally, the plan recognizes and emphasizes the growing resources necessary to deliver such a transformative educational experience—an investment in our staff, faculty, and students.

Read it. Enjoy it. Imagine the impact we will make together in preparing future generations for the whole of life.

Michael Gary
Head of School

December 2018

What does education look like?

Largely, it no longer is a separate and distinct experience, something you encounter only within the walls of a school building. Learning doesn’t begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. It is neither wholly inside nor outside, nor is it constrained by time. Rather, it is fluid, it is holistic, it is inextricable from life and the “outside” world. The school walls have thinned or come down altogether. Friends Select has long believed that education is not separate from the whole of life, nor is it a place outside oneself, nor is it a discrete goal pushed out for future use. Rather, it is both a series of revelatory moments and a sustained flow of self-discovery. It is present. It is opportunistic.

It is now.

At Friends Select, we redefine and practice education as the art of real and meaningful daily experience through teaching and learning that is creative, dynamic, and integrated with the world, built on a foundation of Quaker values and respectful relationships.

Friends Select was born and lives in Philadelphia. We are in the city and of the city. Cities by their very nature are catalysts for creativity. Our location at the intersection of commerce and culture in Center City means we bump into each other, we leverage chance opportunities to bring down the walls, and we work across boundaries to learn and solve with greater depth. At Friends Select, we thoughtfully and deliberately design our program and our environment to take advantage of the serendipitous moments that the resources of a vibrant, international city presents.

Friends Select is indeed the school of choice for anyone who wants a world class education in a world class city, and for those who desire a foundation of active citizenship for their children. The Advance Friends Select strategic plan invites us to realize the promise of Friends Select School: to refine our holistic, well-practiced approach to teaching and learning; to capitalize on and leverage our place in and of the city through external partnerships; to rethink the use of our space; and to embrace our responsibility to build, steward, and sustain our financial resources.

By accomplishing these things, we further tear down our walls so that when asked the question, “What does the school of the future look like?” we can answer confidently—it looks like Friends Select School.