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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

Values Container

The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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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.

Shine Together

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.

stay connected

"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.

promote peace

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.

  • Truth
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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Section Navigation

Campus Reopening Plan

Roadmap to ReOpening

GFS has welcomed students back to campus this fall. With new guidance in late August, we altered our plans to gradually introduce students and teachers to campus. A staggered reentry has supported our staff in managing drop-off, dismissal, and transportation processes; provided additional runway for our maintenance team in facilities preparations; and has offered faculty and students more opportunities to build comfort with new protocols and practices on campus.

We continue to offer modified on-campus learning experiences for our students. We believe there are important benefits to on-campus instruction and have developed age-appropriate plans for every division. 

It is our hope that the status of community health in Philadelphia this fall will continue to make modified in-person instruction on campus possible. At the same time, we also want to underscore our keen awareness of the unpredictable nature of the public health situation both locally and nationally. We have built our plans for the upcoming year so that we can respond adaptively to current COVID-19 case conditions in Philadelphia and other critical data. Our decision-making about how we reopen has been guided by the CDC, city, and state guidelines, and in consultation with our Medical Advisory Board

Please note that our roadmap is likely to undergo revisions and changes to accommodate new information and guidance from public health officials. Although typically community health predictions are accurate within one-month horizons, COVID has proven unpredictable. There may be unforeseen shifts both in increases and decreases in cases. There may be new vaccines and therapies that significantly change our considerations. Any changes will be done to best protect the GFS community in an adaptive way and will be communicated in a timely fashion.

Below you will find:

  • Plan FAQs and highlights
  • Guiding principles
  • Divisional plans
  • Food, transportation, and after-school information
  • Health and safety measures (see sidebar as well)
  • What you can do to prepare for school


Roadmap FAQs

Click here to view frequently asked questions. We will update this document over time and will alert families of any changes.

 View FAQs 



  • Staggered Start: Students will re-enter school is an intentional schedule. Please see charts for more information. 
  • Remote Option: For all grades, there will be a remote learning option for those who do not choose to return to campus. To assist in our planning, families will be asked to indicate their intentions for their child(ren) on a quarterly basis. Classrooms will be outfitted with digital broadcast systems to support remote learners.
    • For EC-Grade 2, we will offer learning coaches for those who choose to be remote (based on availability).
  • Divisions:
    • Upper School will proceed with a HyFlex model of schooling in which programming exists in both in-person and/or remote modes each week. Please see below for specifics by grade. Wednesdays will be dedicated to  student support, unique mixed-grade programming, and extracurriculars.
    • Middle School will have a hybrid of in-person and remote learning instruction with students having most of their classes in a cohort model. Days on campus vary by grade, please see below. Wednesdays will be remote. 
    • Lower School will be on campus daily and remain in classroom cohorts, with modifications to manage density while indoors.
    • Early Childhood will be on campus daily and remain in classroom cohorts.
  • Technology: All students in EC-Grade 8 will receive a Chromebook. A survey will be sent to Upper School students in August about signing out computers for the year.
  • Athletics: Plans will be announced in conjunction with League decisions being made this week. More details to follow.
  • After-School: ASPire, Early Childhood Extended Day, and on-campus clubs will not be in session this fall for EC, MS, and LS in order to maintain strict cohorts. We know this is very difficult and may operate limited after-school care for those who contact us, via the division director.
    • All Upper School students will be welcome to campus for athletics, physical education, and select performing arts programming each afternoon from 3:15-5:45.
  • Learning Guides: Learning guides will help our remote Early Childhood and Grades K-2 students navigate Colloquia at home. Please see below Early Childhood and Lower School sections for details. 
  • Food Service: The cafeteria will be closed, but CulinArt will offer pre-packaged options for grades 1-12 that can be ordered online and delivered to various outdoor eating locations, as determined by division. Students may also bring their lunches.
  • Transportation: School District of Philadelphia Buses for students in grades 1-6; Suburban buses and private transportation - still undecided. See Veracross and Family News for current updates. 
  • Academic Calendar: The 2020-21 calendar prioritizes in-person learning, when it may be possible; professional development designed to support faculty and staff in strategic areas of DEI, and remote teaching and learning; and regular breaks throughout the school year.
  • Ruvna will be used for required daily health screening for all students, faculty, and staff. PPE and other risk measures will be strictly enforced. Please see the sidebar and section below for details. See Veracross and Family News for details.


Health and Safety Measures

As advised by public health agencies and our Medical Advisory Group, the following are the key Risk Mitigation strategies we are implementing for a safe reopening. More details are in the Working Plan below.

  • The RUVNA app will be utilized for daily health screening. More details to come. 
  • No students or employees may come to campus if they are exhibiting symptoms of an illness.
    • We ask that families communicate with the school nurse if an illness is suspected.
  • We will limit the number of students and adults on campus to decrease density.
  • Students will be dropped off at designated locations.
    • We will have parent-free arrivals and departures. Teachers or staff members will escort young students to and from class during drop off and pick up.
  • Anyone who enters the school must wear a mask.
    • Students and faculty/staff will have physically-distanced outdoor breaks from masks.
  • Physical distancing:
    • We will observe the medical standard for physical distancing: 6 feet apart.
  • Frequent handwashing:
    • We will provide additional hand-washing stations and enhanced access to hand-sanitizer stations.
    • Hand washing frequency will be encouraged according to CDC guidelines.
  • We will frequently clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces across campus.

Handwashing tips


Working Plan