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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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Earth Month at GFS...and Beyond
Earth Month at GFS...and Beyond

The Quaker testimony of Stewardship embodies the art of taking care—of each other, of the spaces we inhabit, and of our planet. April is Earth Month, and this sampling of the actions that GFSers have taken to contribute to improving the health of our planet demonstrates that they are driven by a desire to be responsible and ethical stewards. 

From our administrative offices to our classrooms to the wider world, please enjoy these Earth Month highlights. 

In the Classrooms...

In the Upper School, Lola Osborne '20, Sophie Boyd '20, Margot Linn '20, and Flora Kerner '20 solicited sneaker donations for their environmental science project for Science Night, with the goal of keeping these shoes out of the waste stream and donating them to be recycled to make new environmentally friendly shoes. The GFS community dug through their closets and pitched in with vigor!

Sophie Boyd '20 said, "Our sneaker drive went very well. We collected 160 pairs of shoes in total. We gave 10 pairs of the shoes to a third grade class who will donate them to the Dominican Republic and the rest will go to Nike Grind or Mom's Organic Market."

In the Lower School, Karen Cherubini leads an annual science unit on environmental justice with her fifth graders in connection with Earth Month.

Her students begin by discussing environmental issues that are easy to see, such as litter, and then they consider issues of equity, such as: Where do they see litter? Why do some neighborhoods have more or less litter than others? Where does the trash go when it is left on the street? 

The students work in teams to research particular environmental topics, and then they work individually to write their own argument on the topic, using the scientific claim/evidence/reasoning methodology that they apply to all areas of scientific investigation. Tying the lesson into the students' language arts studies as well, the students write full descriptions of their issue, detailing the evidence, and then posing suggestions for how they can make a difference, backing up their suggestions with their research. Read all about the kids' projects here: Environmental Justice Begins at Home
 
For Earth Month, our Early Childhood students came up with ideas for ways they—and all of us!—can help take care of the Earth.

They created drawings and hung them in their classrooms to serve as reminders for their good ideas. Some of the Earth-saving stewardship tips demonstrated in their adorable masterpieces were:

  • Throw your trash away
  • Use both sides of the paper
  • Only take/use 1 piece of paper at a time
  • Throw your trash in a trash can, not on the ground (or as one of our kids says, "put the rubbish in the dustbin")
  • Don't let the water run in the sink while washing your hands
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room

 

In the Admissions Office...

Danielle Miller, our Admissions Office Manager and Director of the Parent Ambassador Program, joined a team for a point-based emissions reduction challenge through Drawdown EcoChallenge

She has been adding daily challenges and has already committed to:

  • reducing/eliminating single-use toxic plastics
  • choosing bamboo-sourced materials over plastic, metal, and wood
  • going for a 30-minute walk each day to observe the pedestrian and bike accessibility around the community
  • signing up for a solar roof consultation
  • using muscle power over fuel power whenever possible
  • and installing toilet banks in all the toilets in her house to reduce water waste.

Danielle shared, "I've been learning so much about the small and large individual and household contributions that can make a big impact. Many of the challenges are research-based or donation-based, such as researching the impact of my diet to see how it contributes to deforestation or donating to supply a community with reproductive health materials."

Outside of GFS...

The Quaker testimonies that we promote at GFS become a part of our students' lives. For some, the testimony of Stewardship has colored our graduates' professional careers.

In celebration of Earth Month, we highlighted a handful of our many alumni—Josh Volk '90, Rich Walkling '90, Andrew Sharpless '73, Jonathan Propper '73, and Wynn Calder '79—who are helping make our planet a greener place.

Read their stories here:  
Environmental Changemakers: GFS Alumni Greening the Planet