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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

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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.

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Building Tipis and Sharing Lore with Second Graders
Building Tipis and Sharing Lore with Second Graders

In October, our second grade classes worked with Robin Moore, a children's book author and storyteller, who led the students in constructing a tipi on the Pennsbury parking lot. Tipis are the traditional homes of the Lakota and Cheyenne, natives of the Great Plains of North America. 

Our second graders have an ongoing relationship with teachers and students at Sapa Un Academy, a school on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota, where many Lakota people live today. 

To make sure that everyone got to participate in the tipi assembly, Robin put up the tipi outdoors twice, with groups of about 25 second graders at a time. All three second grade classes were involved in the raising of this amazing structure. 

The raising of the tipi was an extension of their classroom studies, where students have been learning about the ancient ways of the native Lenape people, the indigenous people of this region, including the construction of a wigwam on the Lower School patio. In contrast, tipis—which can be readily transported and reassembled—suited the nomadic lifestyle of the Lakota, who followed the buffalo herds. During hunting season, the Lakota would move every 3-4 weeks. 

Horses, introduced to the Great Plains by the Spanish explorers, became central to this lifestyle. Because there were no tall trees to make tipis with on the Great Plains, the Lakota had to travel hundreds of miles by horse to the Black Hills harvest the lodgepole pines that served as the tipis’ structure. The tipis would traditionally be covered with buffalo skins; Robin’s tipi has a canvas cover. 

First, Robin and the students constructed the frame with the pine poles. Traditionally, a tripod of poles would be inserted into the ground for strength and stability to start, but Robin has created a frame that allows a tipi to be constructed on hard surfaces, like our playground asphalt. 

After the frame was complete, Robin showed the students how to hold the tipi cover “drum-tight” and how to lash the cover to the lifting pole, which will enable the cover to be spread around the structure. 

After the cover is in place, and the buffalo design on the outside is revealed, the kids cheered “Buffalo, buffalo!” and a child commented, “It looks so perfect!”

After the tipi was complete, Robin invited the students inside, where they sat and listened to Robin tell stories about how far the Lakota people had to travel to get tipi materials, and what tipis meant to their way of life. 

We thank Robin for coming to GFS and sharing an unforgettable experience with our students!