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  • Voices of GFS
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  • Values

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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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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At GFS, we welcome the experiences and perspectives of all members of our community. We strive for continuous growth in understanding and valuing the intersections of age, ability, gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. We aim to be mindful of the roles these varied parts of our identities play in making us who we are, individually and as a school community. 

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team coordinates with all members of our community to better engage in these principles. We see DEI as integral to the ethical foundation of our community and as work that we all share. 

GFS is a community that values both intergroup and intragroup connections. The work we do within groups and across our community permeates the fabric of our school life. 

Our desire is to improve relationships between people by dialoguing, engaging in constructive conflict, and working together in authentic and meaningful ways. 

Engagement on Campus and in the Wider World

On Campus…

GFS creates spaces for students to engage in full-day, focused learning on relational identity development and allyship, including Diversity Dialogue Days in the Upper School, MOSAIC in 8th grade, and the Unity Day Teach-In (coming soon). 

Many of our teachers are actively engaged in exploring race, culture, and ethnicity, and are leaders in these areas at GFS, regionally, and nationally. Faculty- and staff-initiated affinity groups include the Staff of Color Group and the White Allies Affinity Group.

Diversity Committees in Every Division

Each of the four educational divisions—Early Childhood Program, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School—have dedicated Diversity Committees.

The Diversity Committees explore where additional work may be needed, and they address head-on questions and fears that individuals may have in talking to students, parents, and colleagues about race, gender, socio-economic issues, and more.

Student-Led Groups

Our Upper School student-led affinity groups and general social identity groups are centered around deepening students' understanding of their identity. These groups provide safe gathering spaces for students of a wide range of social identities. 

Off Campus...

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work requires ongoing reflection and assessment. GFS seeks to improve the capacities of our students, faculty, and staff in this area, through professional development, conferences, and in-house days at GFS.

Students, faculty, and staff participate in the following conferences and workshops. These valuable events allow us to work in real time, applying new research and practices to inform our work at GFS.  

  • People of Color Conference (PoCC)
  • NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC)
  • National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Conference 
  • The Race Institute for Educators 
  • SEED: Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity
  • White Privilege Conference
  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Diversity Conference (MARD)
  • Annual National Black Male Educators Convening Conference 
  • Teaching Black Boys (Workshop through Friends Council)
  • Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) Diversity Leadership Conference
  • Multicultural Resource Center (MCRC@ADVIS) 
  • Middle School Diversity Conference

Transformational Intergroup Dialogue

One of our primary tools to build better relationships and promote constructive conflict is Transformational Intergroup Dialogue. 

Transformational Intergroup Dialogue is a social justice education approach which promotes intergroup cooperation and understanding through dialogue by helping participants address individual, social, and organizational barriers to diversity engagement. Learn more. 

Diversity Ambassadors

Diversity Ambassadors are Upper School students who take on collaborative leadership roles, inclusive of the immediate and global community, and representative of the school’s Quaker values and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Our Diversity Ambassadors work with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; our Community Involvement team, and our International Student Program to advocate for and provide culturally based programming and dialogues aligned with social justice principles. Diversity Ambassadors operate individually and collectively with GFS departments. 

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The following statement is the collaborative intention of our Germantown Friends School community, created with the Germantown Monthly Meeting. Read the statement.