Information and Forms

Health

Health Forms 

The GFS Health Form (download from the link in the right column) is required annually for all new students and for returning students entering grades 3, 6-8, and 9-12. The Health Form must be completed and returned to school by August 1. Students will not be allowed to participate in any school activities, including pre-season choir or athletics activities, until medical forms are received by the school. We recommend that you photocopy the medical form for your own records prior to sending in to the school.

NEW STUDENTS

Newly enrolled students will receive the required GFS Health form in a postal mailing. In addition to the GFS form, all new students must complete an enclosed Pennsylvania Department of Health Certificate of Immunization.

NEW & RETURNING STUDENTS 

The 2013-14 health form contains two pages. Your health care provider must complete page two and a parent or guardian must complete page one. Please mail both pages to the attention of Marie Larkin, School Nurse, before August 1. Completion of all parts of this form is essential to provide us with updated health information, emergency telephone numbers and a parental consent to initiate emergency medical care.

Most physicians need several weeks to schedule appointments and to process forms. This form must be completed and submitted every year with information that is up-to-date. If your insurance will not cover an exam at this time, your health care provider can still complete the form as long as the physical exam took place less than 1 year ago.

If your child is restricted from participating in any form of school activity or sports program, a letter from your physician is required. This letter should include diagnosis and duration of medical condition. 

Your cooperation in returning the forms promptly is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Marie Larkin, the School Nurse at (215) 951-2308 or mariel@gfsnet.org. Fax: (215) 754-1024

Medication in School

Please contact the school nurse if your child needs to have medication administered during the school day. This medication requires a note from your health care provider stating the dosage and time of administration for the medication. Medications should be delivered to the school in an original prescription labeled container. Medications can be returned home on a daily basis if needed.

Students are not permitted to carry or self-administer any medications without prior authorization. A parent must submit written documentation to the nurse for notification and approval of any self-administered medications while on campus. Currently, the only approved self-administered medications are asthmatic inhalers, insulin for diabetic students and emergency anaphylactic medications (EpiPens). The School Nurse will administer all medications to children in Lower School.

Food Allergies

A growing number of students have serious food allergies. Our food allergy program focuses on identification of students, a plan to meet their needs and educating our community to keep them safe. Faculty are instructed yearly on food allergy safety. 

Head Lice (Pediculosis) 

The transmission of lice is a persistent problem in most schools, camps and daycare settings. The lice are passed from one person to another by the sharing of clothes, hats and very close contact. 

When head lice are identified at school, we must take action to assist all students and their families and do our best to contain the problem before it becomes widespread. A child who is found to have lice will be sent home for treatment. Once the child has been treated, s/he can return to school. Students who appear to be inadequately treated will be sent home from school.

It is important to remember that lice are always present in every school and summer camp most of the time. We only learn about the presence of lice when a family reports it or we see it at school. Although head lice are highly contagious, there are measures you can take to prevent an infestation in your home. We ask all parents to check their children OFTEN, at least once a week all year long. This is one area where parents have a great deal of control. By checking your own children frequently you can keep a lice infestation from becoming a problem in your household and at the same time help keep lice out of public places, such as the school or camp. 

If you need help or more information, please download the Lice Prevention & Treatment information listed in the right column of this page, and contact me at 215-951-2308 or mariel@gfsnet.org.

Cafeteria

On a daily basis the cafeteria menu includes choices such as a full salad bar, homemade soups, bagels, sandwiches, yogurt, fruits and fruit salad, as well as hot and cold entrees.

Mealpay Plus

Mealpay Plus is a debit account that students can use to purchase food in both the school cafeteria and Hargroves snack bar. Families create an online account with Mealpay Plus for each student, and make a prepayment into that account. Students use a finger-scan each time they make a purchase, and the amount is automatically deducted from the online account. To get started, visit the Mealpay Plus. Select "New User Registration", then "K-12 Schools". Follow the registration instructions from there. Use the GFS student ID number for each child, which has been sent to parents in an email. (If you need the student ID number, call your division's administrative assistant.)

Transportation

GFS operates morning and afternoon shuttle buses to specific locations in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs. (Click here to see photos of our transportation staff.) There are also transportation options provided by the Philadelphia School District and suburban districts. All forms and additional information can found in the K-12 section in the right-hand column of this page. Forms may be brought to the front desk of the Main Building, or mailed to: Transportation Department, Germantown Friends School, 31 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia, PA 19144.

To contact Transportation, please email transportation@gfsnet.org or call  215-951-2339.

Shuttle Driver Information
Lloyd Hall and 25th & Pennsylvania- Juanita Morgan 215-651-7642
Rittenhouse Square and 5th & Bainbridge- Wendell Outterbridge 215-651-2046
Queen Lane Shuttle - Ed Sharp 215-651-5597
Blue Bell (Wings Field 1501 Narcissa Rd., Blue Bell)- Ron Epps 215-783-3085

Traffic & Parking

Parents coming to campus for evening events will find parking:

  • in the Hargroves lot, but enter from Germantown Ave. You can use the walkway next to the Admission building to walk toward Coulter Street;
  • in the Germantown Avenue Lot across from the Hargroves Center, also entered from Germantown Ave. or the unit block of East Coulter Street;
  • in the Pennsbury-Greene Lot, using the driveway on Coulter Street;
  • Street parking on Coulter and on Greene Streets.

For large evening events, additional parking will be available in the Wachovia Bank lot on School House Lane, and at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (entrance on School House Lane).
 
There is no parking in the Commons which is directly next to the Main Building. There is no parking in the driveways around the Meeting.
 
All of these areas will be patrolled by security officers. Again, we thank you for your patience and good humor as the new building takes shape. If you have questions, please contact your child’s principal or GFS Director of Security and Operations Deborah Mateffy at 215-951-6900.

Safety & Security

The safety of the members of the GFS community and the protection of our property are very important to us. GFS Safety and Security personnel are contracted through U.S. Security Associates, Inc. They are on duty from before school starts in the morning until after the last event finishes at night and during weekends. There is 24-hour security coverage.
 
Our Safety and Security personnel serve as crossing guards on Coulter Street, make daytime patrols of the campus with particular emphasis on the parking lots and playgrounds, provide security for train riders at Queen Lane station, and patrol the corners of Coulter and Germantown, and Coulter and Greene Streets. They are on duty at the playing fields in the fall and spring sports seasons, and at the gyms  in the winter. Safety and Security personnel patrol the campus in the evenings, opening and closing buildings and monitoring campus use. GFS security personnel carry radios and can be in touch with authorities immediately.
 
We ask all members of the GFS community to be a part of our safety and security efforts by being vigilant and by reporting unusual or suspicious situations or incidents to the switchboard (215-951-2300) as soon as possible. Parents may reach security officers on the radio phone (215-951-2335);  please identify yourself and speak clearly.  Parents should address concerns to the Director of Security and Operations, or to their child's principal.
 
Deborah D. Mateffy
Director of Security and Operations
215-951-6900

Snow/Emergency Closing Policy

If the Philadelphia School District is closed, GFS is closed. If the Philadelphia School District announces a two (2) hour delay, GFS will also have a two-hour delay. In the event of a two-hour delay, GFS will be open to receive students beginning at 9:45 a.m., and classes will begin at 10 a.m. In delay situations, all GFS buses and vans (including door-to-door private transportation, Lloyd Hall, Rittenhouse Square, Blue Bell and Queen Lane shuttles) will run on a two-hour delayed schedule.

If the Philadelphia School District is open, GFS reserves the right to make an independent decision to close. GFS will communicate to parents, faculty and staff via phone call and e-mail through the Connect 5 System (formerly known as AlertNow). GFS will also place the information on the homepage of the school website. GFS will provide this information to local media outlets (KYW 1060, NBC, CBS). KYW 1060 is the primary and first media notification.

The GFS School Closing number is 120.

Midday Closing: If Philadelphia Public Schools close during the day, GFS will also close. The After School programs will be canceled and the Preschool will also close in this event. GFS will send students home on their buses. As Philadelphia and Suburban buses arrive at school, we will send students home on them. Be aware that this could happen at any time during the day. Suburban buses: Parents should contact suburban school districts directly for closing plans. Suburban district decisions are made independently of Philadelphia and are rarely announced on the radio.

We strongly suggest parents plan ahead by making a contingency plan with their child on the morning of a day with threatening weather. The Blue Book contains more detailed information on how to plan for snow closings (pgs. 24-26). Parents are encouraged to read and be familiar with the entire snow policy in this section.

After School Program

The After School programs (ASP) at Germantown Friends School are designed to provide afternoon care for children in grades K-8. ASP provides children time in the afternoon to unwind and play with friends after a long day in school. We also encourage students to participate in physical activities as well as our other programs like computers, homework time and arts and crafts.  Click here for more information, rates and forms.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and Financial Aid information for continuing students can be found in the Admissions section of the website, or download this year's Tuition Schedule in the right-hand column of this page. A user's guide to the FACTS system can also be found in the right-hand column. Please do not hesitate to contact Audrey Pancoe in the Business Office with any questions or comments regarding this guide.

To submit your online application for financial aid, visit the FAST website.

Book Purchasing

Middle School and Upper School books can be purchased online with MBS Direct. Here are some book-buying tips from the Parents' Association.