Let’s Advance Friends Select Together

The implementation strategy for our strategic plan, Advance Friends Select, received strong support from our Board of Trustees during our November meeting. Now is the time for us as a community—alumni/ae, parents and grandparents, and friends—to join together with exciting anticipation to advance the institution we all love.  

In many ways we have already begun to make progress. We’ve hired a Director of City Curriculum, Heidi Hutchison, who has been meeting regularly with leaders of prominent Philadelphia institutions to discuss partnerships and clerks our City Curriculum committee, which is comprised of students and faculty. We’ve also hired a Director of Equity and Inclusion, Toni Graves Williamson, a thought leader and consultant in the independent school world, who is clerking our Equity and Inclusion committee and helping us strengthen our curriculum to inculcate in students cross-cultural competency to successfully navigate a cosmopolitan world. Beyond adding these two vital members of our community, we have improved key spaces in our building, including the Blauvelt Theatre, the gymnasium, the floor on the second level, and the alcove. Our endowment increased $2 million in two years, growing past the $12 million mark, and participation in our Friends Select Fund is at an all-time high.

But our vision is even greater. In Advance Friends Select, we reimagine the front foyer being alive with student traffic because of the new studio art and history classrooms, public collaborative spaces, new STEAM lab, a new administrative suite of offices, and a Spanish Steps-inspired staircase leading to the second level. On the second level, you will be able to see activity below from the atrium and access the newly created collaborative center (formerly the library and STEAM lab), with views down into the gymnasium. These potential renovations would allow us to have all of our students back in the main building and provide a learning environment that would be open, collaborative, and display the high level of engagement that occurs in our classrooms. Upper school science labs will be renovated along with adding lofts to some of the lower school classrooms. Significantly growing our endowment would reduce the pressure on tuition increases and support academic programs well into the future.

Let’s advance Friends Select together as a community and bring these strategic goals to fruition. We are the beneficiaries of those who supported previous ambitious strategic objects, including our current location. Now, it’s our turn for the next generation.