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Surrounded by Opportunity

“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.”

This truth, which is articulated in our strategic plan, Advance Friends Select, is one of the defining characteristics of a Friends Select education. Could you imagine not just studying injustices but also exercising your First Amendment rights by organizing a march on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to speak truth to power?  Where else could you study the Harlem Renaissance and then walk a couple of blocks—past the historic Race Street Meetinghouse, where students attend Meeting for Worship and the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting is held—to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to see and interact with original artifacts from that period, and then travel to Manhattan to visit the iconic sites in that neighborhood? What upper school affords interested students the opportunity to join students from Ireland and conduct research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics? What pre-K engages in a monthly collaboration all year long with museum educators from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, learning about and creating their own works of modern, mixed media, and textile art? What school teaches Mandarin in lower school through upper school and frequents Chinatown, our neighbor, to offer an immersive experience? What school’s close proximity to City Hall means students can utilize it as a venue for mock trial competitions?  

Since launching Advance Friends Select in 2018, we have invested in a director of city curriculum to further optimize the city as a classroom. We have also invested more in professional development opportunities for teachers to learn about place-based teaching. You will notice the recent additions we have made to our website. A new video and interactive “campus” map visually capture our unique place and proposition as a learning community—in the city and of the city—surrounded by many educational partnerships that we continue to deepen. 

Our long history of preparing young minds well in the classroom is only enhanced by our city curriculum. With the city as our classroom, we are surrounded by opportunities that inspire our learning and efforts to make a difference within our community. Imagine how prepared our students will be, for the whole of life.