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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.

  • Truth
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

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January Term

January Term (or J-Term, as the students call it) enables our community to live the mission and values of our school and to explore new passions, interests, and interdisciplinary ways of learning about the world and ourselves. Through a month-long program of “mini courses,” it provides teachers and students a space for experimentation, investigation, and reflection. 

At GFS, we ground our educational practices in the Quaker notion of continuing revelation and the belief that there is that of God in everyone. In order to better live these ideals, the Upper School has modified its schedule to make room for teacher and student exploration. January Term enables both teachers and students to find and share their passions outside of our regularly-offered curriculum.

J-Term is supported by a dedicated committee of Upper School teachers and administrators. In alignment with the program’s philosophy, it is entirely elective and all courses are evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. Students submit preferences following the publication of the course catalog, and enrollment is facilitated by members of the committee. Successful completion of three January Term sessions is a graduation requirement. Browse catalogs from previous years below to check out past offerings of these interdisciplinary courses.

January Term 2023 Course Catalog

First page of the PDF file: GFSJanuaryTerm2023CourseCatalog


J-TERM 2022


J-TERM 2020

J-TERM 2019

J-TERM 2018

J-TERM 2017