When Friends Select students began the 2021–22 school year, they were welcomed with new learning spaces in the Parkway Building, thanks to the Advance Friends Select: Transformation Campaign.
Head of school Michael Gary pledged to make Friends Select an antiracist institution, and has since moved faculty and staff to join him in working toward the eradication of structures, systems, and policies—both within and outside the school community—that contribute to racism, biases, and white supremacy.
“We believe in the Quaker values of respect for all, simplicity, the peaceful resolution of conflict, and a constant search for truth.” When I read this segment of our mission statement, I reflect on how we are living it during this transformational time at Friends Select School.
Maia Weintraub’s busy summer started with her graduation from Friends Select School. A lifer who attended Friends Select for 14 years, Maia began attending Princeton University this fall. But first she traveled to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, as a member of the U.S. delegation for fencing.
“By spring break, the majority of Friends Select’s employees, as well as staff from Friends Childcare Center, were fully vaccinated at the school’s two-part, in-house clinic,” said school nurse Kelly Papianou P’29.
After 32 years of service to Friends Select, Linda Patterson retired in June as lead first grade teacher. She holds dear the meaningful time she spent with young learners in the early stages of their educational journey.
Sights on Site, Friends Select’s annual exhibition showcasing site-based student artwork from all divisions, turned its attention to Philadelphia businesses and organizations last spring. The program’s 2021 theme, It’s Monumental, focused on the role of art in public spaces, as students from second to twelfth grade explored the topic of public monuments and created pieces in different mediums, from drawing and sculpture to digital virtual reality.
For the 2021 season of SummerSessions, faculty were encouraged to offer personally-designed courses influenced by their talents and interests, an element that has reshaped the program and attracted both students from Friends Select and those from neighboring schools.
AuxeticBreath, by Hyejun Youn ’14, was exhibited this past February at the 15th annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI), a convention addressing issues of human-computer interaction, novel tools and technologies, interactive art, and user experience.