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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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From the Front Lines: Ken Hellendall '73 shares his experience as an Emergency Management Leader

From the Front Lines: Ken Hellendall '73 shares his experience as an Emergency Management Leader

Ken has spent most of this life focused on helping people and communities. In fact, Ken began volunteering for the Township of Cheltenham in high school. Today, he continues to support his hometown and city—and his mission to help others during crisis—by serving as the Emergency Management Coordinator and EMS Director and Chief of Operations for the Township of Cheltenham. Beyond his role, Ken advises and consults other organizations in their efforts to prepare for crises and create safe protocols. 

Ken has spent most of this life focused on helping people and communities. In fact, Ken began volunteering for the Township of Cheltenham in high school. Today, he continues to support his hometown and city—and his mission to help others during crisis—by serving as the Emergency Management Coordinator and EMS Director and Chief of Operations for the Township of Cheltenham. Beyond his role, Ken advises and consults other organizations in their efforts to prepare for crises and create safe protocols. 

Ken is also involved and committed to GFS. A former GFS parent, alumni, and longtime volunteer and supporter, Ken is dedicated to helping current students and bringing together alumni. Please enjoy reflections from Ken during this complex time.

 

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Emergency management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies.  The four principles of Emergency Management are preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. The aim is to reduce the harmful effects of all hazards, including disasters. Emergency Management teams are led by The Emergency Management Coordinator.  In 1990 I joined Cheltenham Township's Emergency Management team and was promoted to the Coordinator's position in 2004.  No one ever told me I would be dealing with a Pandemic!

The majority of our work has been planning.  Our team has plans in place for weather emergencies, fires, hazardous materials incidents, civil unrest, and school emergencies.  If you noticed the word "pandemic" was missing, it was not part of our plan.  In 2009 we had a pseudo plan for the H1N1 the swine flu virus.  As the flu never became a pandemic, the plan was never tested.

In January of 2020 we heard about a pneumonia or virus in the Wuhan, Hubei province of China.  We, like most of you, thought "never here".  By early February we had begun the "what-if" planning process.  During the first week of March we received a phone call from the Superintendent of our School District, saying a parent had tested positive, and he was closing the schools......for a week.  This was one month before Pennsylvania's Gov. Wolf closed all Pennsylvania Schools on April 2nd.  Someone said to me "This just got real".

And real it got!  Our team was working long days (and nights) to ensure the safety of our staff and residents.  Our planning included:

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for all first responders and Township Employees.  This became a difficult project as everyone else in the US was trying to purchase the same supplies.

Staff reduction planning.  What if a department or departments had employees who contracted COVID-19?  Each department had to provide plans for a 10, 20 and 30% staff reduction.  Plans had to include services that would be cut.

We closed all of our Township Buildings and Parks, but had to find ways to still provide essential services.  Staff was put on a platoon / rotating schedule in hopes that an entire department would not be closed due to COVID-19.  It worked!

Decontamination processes had to be established for all Township buildings and vehicles.

While the list went on, suffice it to say we were busy.  While there were a lot of jokes about me having been the only one that was around for the 1918 Pandemic (I'm the oldest member of our team), none of us were prepared for the pandemic of 2020.  We used our Avian Flu plan as a starting point, and moved forward using the best possible knowledge available.  Fortunately, so far, we have been successful.

This has been the most challenge event of my almost fifty years in Public Safety.  It did not have a firm starting date, and no end date is in sight.  I said to our County's Director of Public Safety, this changes every day, he cut me short and said "no every hour", and he was right.  Our job will not end when the virus subsides.  We will be responsible for recovering money from the Federal Government, helping business reopen, and keeping those closed that should not be open.  Finally, we have to prepare for the next emergency, whatever it may be and whenever it may happen.

You may not know the Emergency Management team in your town, but be assured they are there keeping you and those that protect safe and sound.