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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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Upper School Assembly Welcomes Environmental Leaders

GFS Upper School Environmental Assembly

The South Philadelphia oil refinery explosion in 2019 influenced a recent assembly hosted by the Upper School environmental clubs.

When a series of explosions occurred at the South Philadelphia oil refinery in June 2019, questions emerged about residents’ safety in the surrounding neighborhoods. In October of that year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the blast released 5,239 pounds of the deadly chemical toxic hydrofluoric acid. During the explosion, a shelter-in-place order was issued for residents near the refinery, but no evacuation was ordered. 

This harrowing event, which was studied during a J-Term course in 2020 and included a visit to the refinery, influenced a recent Upper School assembly hosted by the environmental clubs. The assembly was held during environmental week, which focused on the clubs’ agendas and sustainable efforts.

GFS Environmental Action Club, led by GFS seniors Norah Lee ’22 and Anna Macdonald ’22, hopes to improve the school’s environmental footprint by reducing paper usage on campus, providing resources to students and faculty, and beginning a school-wide composting program.

During the assembly, Bethany Wiggin, Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, Grays Ferry residents Charles and Tammy Reeves, and participants in Futures Beyond Refining, an ongoing collaborative exploring the historical relationship between the refinery and its surrounding neighborhoods, spoke to students about their ongoing work and goals for the new refinery site. It was sold to Hilco Redevelopment Partners in early 2020, which plans to turn the industrial site into a major economic hub.

“Nobody was paying attention until this catastrophic explosion, but this was hardly the first one,” remarked Tammy Reeves, environmental activist and a long-time resident of the Grays Ferry neighborhood. "I grew up six blocks from the refinery. You would see all of this fire coming up out of the tanks, but we didn't know what it was or that it was harmful. We know so many neighborhood friends and relatives who have died of cancer or who have asthma, or other medical problems."

GFS Upper School Environmental Assembly with Futures Beyond Refining

The Reeves talked to the group about their experiences living next to the refinery, the harms caused by chemicals, and their wishes for the future of the former site, including a memorial for friends and neighbors who died as a result of oil refinery pollution.