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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.

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Strategy Through Inquiry

Why plan for the future? Why do a Strategic Visioning Process at all?

Living organisms, unlike abiotic matter, share the ability to be adaptive and responsive, and it is this characteristic that has provided nature with the raw material to continue to adapt and respond, to ensure longevity and the future.

Every healthy institution is in a constant state of inquiry and self-reflection—examining its approach and raison d’etre. Every so often, this process merits extra attention, coordination and focus in order to give all members of the community the chance to come together around a shared understanding of the organization’s approach and direction.

GFS has embarked on a formal planning process using a framework for creative, community-wide reflection that encourages us to think holistically about the educational experience we offer while considering both our current and future context.

This is a deliberative and inclusive process that is designed to draw on the wisdom of our extended community through conversations about our strategic direction.

Our Approach

Drawing on Quaker practice and Design Thinking methodology, we are engaging in a community-wide exploration of GFS’s direction and positioning with regards to particular areas of import to our institution, as well as to independent schools and education more broadly.

The Structure and Queries

We are exploring two queries within each of three core areas—Students, Composition and Context—that are of particular interest to GFS and the future of education. Within “Students,” we are exploring the topics “Whole Being” and “Teaching and Learning”; within “Composition,” we are looking at “Access and Affordability” and “Diversity and Integration”; and within Context, we are exploring “Living Systems” and “Public Impact.”


The Working Group

Twelve members of our faculty and staff make up the Working Group, which is charged with clerking conversations and designing experiences that will encourage community-wide exploration of our six queries.

STUDENTS

COMPOSITION

CONTEXT

WHOLE BEING

ACCESS + AFFORDABILITY

LIVING SYSTEMS

Maryanne Rawlings

David Williamson

Mark Croxford

Megan Culp

Mikael Yisrael

Michael Williamson

TEACHING + LEARNING

DIVERSITY + INTEGRATION

PUBLIC IMPACT

Devra Ramsey

Hal Morra

Kate Hanssen

Diana Gomez

Brandon Jones

Diane Mallery

Click image for larger view.

How to Join In

Our yearlong community discernment process around these six queries will culminate in a public-facing celebration. We invite you to participate in this work over the course of the 2016-17 school year by joining us for events listed to the right.

Please email us at inquirylabs@germantownfriends.org with any questions about the process.

Strategy Through Inquiry December 2016 Update

Our "Strategy Through Inquiry" booklet articulates a more detailed framework for our process.


Public Input Wall Gallery

We've invited everyone to share their thoughts on the Community Input Wall, located in the archway between the Friends Free Library and the Commons.
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