A Quaker School
We are a Friends school, under the care of Germantown Monthly Meeting, founded on the belief that there is that of God in everyone. Together, love and respect for each individual provide the premise for all that we do. We regard education not as training for a particular way of life, but as part of a lifelong process. We guide and encourage our students in their personal growth, instilling in them principles that Friends have long considered to have lasting value: truthfulness, simplicity, self-discipline, the resolution of differences without violence and respect for diverse heritages and experiences.
Quakers have a set of testimonies, or ideals, they strive to reflect in their lives. The six testimonies which resonate most profoundly with our Friends educational setting are Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship. (We often use the acronym "SPICES" to remember these testimonies.)
Speak the Truth
We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. Even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.
We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.
"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.
*The words of Helen Keller.
Keep it Simple
In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.
Care for All
This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part - all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.
We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.
A good way to understand how Quakerism lives at GFS is through the publication "Faith & Practice of Germantown Friends School," which is intended to give members of the GFS community insight into the core values that guide the life of our school and give our institution its Quaker character.
Quakers also have a unique form of worship: The Quaker Meeting.
At GFS, students and teachers attend Meeting for Worship together once a week in the school’s Meetinghouse. There, in the manner of Friends, we sit together in reflective silence. Anyone who feels moved to speak, to share an insight, concern or experience with the group, may stand and do so. The discipline of this weekly period of shared, silent contemplation is central to the life of the school—and can be a remarkably powerful and transformative experience.
In this time of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to unplug and sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.
Each division of the school holds its own Meeting for Worship.