Friends schools take on a surprising number of forms, from small rural communities where school is centered around the practical work of the farm to a city school like Germantown Friends where a rich intellectual community draws energy and inspiration from its urban community. In spite of these many forms, Friends schools share a common grounding: a vision of school as spiritual community that reflects, develops, and relies on the full gifts of each person and a belief that the school should live in dynamic relationship with its surrounding community. Germantown Friends takes its strong identity from a constellation of four distinct elements:
- a vibrant intellectual community of teachers and students who share a profound belief in the power of education;
- an historic urban setting in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia where we are richly connected to a complex human story and fabric of neighbors and neighboring institutions;
- a diverse and multicultural faculty and student body in a community where difference is valued as indispensable;
- a Quaker vision of what is possible for both individuals and communities, and a belief in fulfilling this vision through reflection, collaboration, and action.