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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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Directed Independent Study

A Directed Independent Study can be either a major or a minor course. Most students find that a DIS minor, requiring a meeting once a week and about two hours of work, is the best option. DIS minors are ungraded and non-credit, but they do appear on the student’s transcript. In the past, students have created DIS minors in such subjects as Arabic, Russian, German, philosophy, mythical creatures, layout and design, poetry, investment, watercolor painting and neurobiology.


contact information

Anne Gerbner,
Director of Independent Study
215-951-2394
agerbner@germantownfriends.org


Students in grades 11 and 12 may develop a DIS major, which requires the time commitment of a full-credit academic course. Students who want to pursue a subject that is not offered in the course catalog, or who have completed all course offerings in a particular discipline, are able to propose a DIS major to the Academic Standards Committee. In the past, students have created successful DIS majors in creative writing, sports medicine, Turkish, Arabic, computer programming, advanced music composition and Japanese.

Students planning to apply for either a DIS Minor or Major must first consult with the Director of Independent Study.

DIS Major

Students in eleventh and twelfth grades may elect a program of Directed Independent Study as part of their academic schedule. A DIS Major is equivalent to a full-credit course and graded in the same way. DIS Majors may not replace a pre-existing course offering without the permission of the department in question. In the past year, students have created DIS Majors in Turkish, Arabic, Computer Programming, Advanced Music Composition,and Japanese.

See this DIS Major Information for Students sheet. 

Proposing a DIS Major

Interested students must first consult with the Director of Independent Study. Students must submit a formal proposal to the Director of Independent Study by early May, for approval by the Academic Standards Committee. Students choosing independent study are required to keep a weekly journal, to write at least one major paper each quarter, and to make periodic informal presentations of their work. Students should expect to meet regularly with an advisor (a member of the faculty or other adult) and with the Director of Independent Study. In the spring, they are required to make a formal presentation of their work to their advisor and two other faculty members.

DIS Minor

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Students may elect a program of Directed Independent Study as part of their academic schedule.

See this DIS Minor Information for Students sheet. 

A DIS Minor should demand the same commitment as a 2-period minor elective course, one period a week with an advisor plus one period of preparation. Students may elect to focus on an academic interest or to work on a community outreach project within GFS or in the Germantown community.

DIS minors have included philosophy, foreign policy, history of religion, oil painting, creative writing, computer programming, and tutoring at GFS or local elementary schools. Students who register online are required to meet with the Director of Independent Study in the fall to confirm the details of their DIS. Those who develop a DIS Minor after course sign up must register for a DIS minor before October 1.

DIS Group Minors

Students are expected to develop their own independent study project, but there are a few ongoing group study options that students may join if scheduling permits. Students may register online for these group DIS Minors:

  • Layout
  • Diversity
  • Investment
  • Animation

For further details, email the Director of Independent Study.

DIS Opportunities in Global Languages

A variety of global languages are offered for minor or major credit as part of the Directed Independent Study program that supplement the Modern Language and Classics offerings. Students may elect to take a language DIS in addition to, but not in place of, their foreign language requirement. Some language DIS’s are taught by outside tutors; others may be offered by GFS faculty in their free periods. DIS major classes will meet 3 to 4 times a week and are graded. Students wishing to create a DIS Major in a global language should note that when registering and refer to the section above, Proposing a DIS Major. Minor classes will meet once a week and are credit /no credit.

DIS MINOR - ARABIC 950

This DIS in Arabic language and culture meets once a week. Credit /no credit. Three levels are offered - beginning, intermediate and advanced. When signing up, students should indicate their level of study (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in the notes section of the electronic sign-up form.

DIS MINOR - JAPANESE 952

This DIS in Japanese language and culture meets once a week. Credit /no credit. Three levels are offered - beginning, intermediate and advanced. When signing up, students should indicate their level of study (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in the notes section of the electronic sign-up form.

DIS MINOR - American Sign Language 954

This DIS in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture meets once a week. Credit /no credit.

DIS MINOR - German 955

This DIS in German language and culture meets once a week. Credit /no credit. Three levels are offered - beginning, intermediate and advanced. Availability strictly limited by teacher’s schedule. When signing up, students should indicate their level of study (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in the notes section of the electronic sign-up form.

DIS MINOR - Russian 997

This DIS in Russian language and culture meets once a week. Availability strictly limited by teacher’s schedule. When signing up, students should indicate their level of study (beginner, intermediate, advanced) in the notes section of the electronic sign-up form.

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