Abington Friends School Viewbook
In a culture of intellectual and creative ambition, we expect our students to achieve great things. And they do.
Age 3 through Grade 12 Abington Friends School THE AFS school of thought In a culture of intellectual and creative ambition, we expect our students to achieve great things. And they do. What sets us apart is that this high-achievement environment is also a joyful, spirited place. At AFS we know and appreciate our students for who they are, and we skillfully guide them with a vision for who they may become. “AFS is a school that recognizes each student as an individual and stretches them to the limits of their abilities, while still helping them grow as creative and social members of the world they inhabit.” — AFS Parent 1 THE AFS SCHOOL OF THOUGHT this is our school of thought ... WE MAKE TIME FOR MEANING & REFLECTION. WE ARE DIVERSE & RELEVANT. Why it matters | The ability to think clearly, to take time to reﬂect and discern the meaning of information, is essential in a world where vast stores of knowledge and data are just a click away. Making sense of new information, especially from multiple perspectives, and being able to collaborate and communicate that meaning to others are foundational skills. Why it matters | Tomorrow’s leaders must be able to explore ideas in creative ways that spark new thinking and new possibilities. They will have to orchestrate multiple points of view and effectively synthesize information in a rapidly changing global environment. How we do it | Our curriculum is designed to teach students to navigate and embrace opportunity in a resource-rich, entrepreneurial world. Our school community reﬂects the world at large and is a rich context for learning and friendship. As one parent said, “AFS understands diversity to be a cornerstone for a strong, well-rounded whole education.” How we do it | The valuable lesson of reﬂection is threaded into our students’ experience through collaborative decision-making and Quaker Meeting for Worship, a practice at the center of Quaker life and also a part of our school week. Graduates often remark on their ability to sit in silence and take the time to think things through, to be thoughtful, not reactive, and to speak only when their voice will improve the dialogue. “This is an environment where welcoming and celebrating diversity is not just preached, it is lived and practiced every day.” — AFS Parent 3 THE AFS SCHOOL OF THOUGHT 4 WE DEVELOP EACH STUDENT’S VOICE. Why it matters | Research tells us that children who can express their passions at an early age are more likely to thrive in their adult lives and careers. How we do it | The AFS experience educates for initiative, clarity of thinking, engagement and leadership through several signature programs that allow students to ﬁnd and build their voice, their passions and their talents from an early age. In Lower School the curriculum is guided by the children’s interests and develops in exciting, often unexpected ways. By Middle School, students are ready to embark on extended, self-directed research, culminating in the Eighth Grade Independent Study project. In Upper School, programs like our signature ECCO (Exploring, Connecting, and Committing to Opportunities) program help students discover their passions and connect them to opportunities beyond our walls to deepen and extend their interests. WE TEACH WITH INTENTION. Why it matters | To help a student achieve all they are capable of, you must value the individual student before you. How we do it | Everything we do stems from our commitment to appreciating children and young adults fully for who they are, with a vision for who they may become and the expertise to help them get there. Our exceptional faculty skillfully guides each student to be the best learner and contributor he or she can be. AFS teachers know their students well – they know their strengths, their weaknesses and their potential. They know how to motivate each student to deﬁne his or her goals and gain the capacities needed to accomplish those goals. When a student here has a dream, we have teachers willing and able to help develop that vision. WE BUILD STRONG ROOTS & DEEP RELATIONSHIPS. Why it matters | The ability to connect deeply with others is not just a source of happiness and contentment in life, it is an increasingly necessary skill in our world. We need not just logic, but empathy. From this, comes authentic support and, best of all, inspiration. How we do it | More than a school, AFS is an active citizen in the larger world and a place where teachers befriend students and their families. Our students grow deep roots and strong relationships because AFS is a happy, healthy and inspiring place to be. DEEP LEARNING, true learning At AFS, true learning goes well beyond gaining proﬁciency at the tasks of academic work. It is about engaging the thinking and assumptions that underlie our everyday understanding of the world around us. We intentionally develop in students an authentic desire to learn, to frame questions, to pursue answers, to think independently, to lead, to explore and to create. Here, in a program that is intellectually alive, deep learning builds as students grow from early childhood to young adulthood. “Students expect that their work will be meaningful and that they will play an active role in that work.” — AFS Teacher 7 DEEP LEARNING, TRUE LEARNING LOWER SCHOOL (age 3 to 4th Grade) Our child-centered Lower School program builds on the excitement and curiosity that our young students bring to their school experience. As children join the Abington Friends community in Lower School, they enter the world of creek walks and peace tables, mold symposiums and outdoor classrooms, poetry night and reading breakfasts. Skilled teachers provide a high level of challenge in a program designed to guide and inspire children. In our specially designed Early Childhood program for children 3 years old through Kindergarten, our youngest students develop their sense of independence and their social skills. Through hands-on, interdisciplinary activities, students in Lower School are immersed in carefully planned projects that teach them to research, experiment and solve problems. Through the timeless and vital institution of free play, our children develop sensitivity and respect and learn to live peacefully and joyfully within a community. 8 To truly develop new ideas takes extended exploration, speculation, testing and reﬁnement – whether that means three-year-olds tracking tree growth over the course of a year or developing exceptionally strong young writers through habits of intensive reﬂection and revision. 9 DEEP LEARNING, TRUE LEARNING Learning happens when we ﬁnd ourselves compelled to explore, to make meaning, to ﬁgure out. Engaging questions are the norm here, whether it’s our youngest students starting their year by asking, “What is a question?” or 7th and 8th graders in our math program posing questions that go beyond arithmetic to a true exploration of practical application. 10 MIDDLE SCHOOL (5th to 8th Grade) Middle schoolers navigate a fascinating period of development as they move through adolescence, evolving from concrete to abstract thinkers and growing daily in independence. Our Middle School is staffed by a group of talented educators dedicated to guiding students and families through this sea of change. Students learn to assume more responsibility, take risks, tackle academic challenges, engage with the world and take initiative in a joyful, dynamic and supportive environment. The capstone of our Middle School program is the Eighth Grade Independent Study. EGIS projects challenge students – over the course of a year – to give voice to an area of emerging interest. Whether they are making a ﬁlm about human rights or studying Roman battle strategies, students reveal the passionate, thoughtful voice that results from supported exploration and academic risk-taking. Students leave Middle School well prepared for the challenges of an ambitious Upper School curriculum. 11 DEEP LEARNING, TRUE LEARNING UPPER SCHOOL (9th to 12th Grade) We prepare students exceptionally well for college and success in the contemporary world, developing in them the skills, capabilities and values they will need to lead fulďŹ lling lives. Upper School students enjoy small school intimacy combined with a broad landscape of opportunity on and off campus. Through an extraordinary range of activities and choices, we encourage students to participate on many levels and engage fully in an exciting four-year journey of self-discovery and expression. A comprehensive advising program and an off-campus Senior Independent Project help Upper Schoolers discover and connect with their personal interests and passions. In classrooms our talented faculty lead students through a welldesigned curriculum where quality of discourse is the key focus, assumptions are effectively challenged, ideas are sharpened and multiple perspective is always engaged. When our students graduate, they have learned how to produce sophisticated work, how to have meaningful relationships and how to take full advantage of the resources around them. 12 “The teachers, programs, and friends here are amazing. I couldn’t imagine being happier at another school.” – Upper School Student Great teaching is at the heart of true learning. AFS fully supports a faculty training and professional development model that puts our teachers and administrators on the national stage as leaders in educational philosophy and practice. 13 A DYNAMIC school campus AFS has been on the same beautiful acreage for over 300 years. Throughout our long history we have consistently responded to the times we live in by creating the most relevant experience for our students. Today, our dynamic teaching and learning environment includes the ﬁrst interdisciplinary outdoor classroom in the state, new engineering, robotics and design labs, a multi-racial classroom pedagogy forged through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, and so much more. “Through music I aim to provide a window to the world that allows students to see and experience ways in which they can be successful, creative, conﬁdent, part of a team and risk takers for life ... always eager to wrap their mind around the next challenge ahead of them.” — AFS Middle School Music Teacher A DYNAMIC SCHOOL CAMPUS AN ENGAGING ﬁfty acres Beautiful, Historic, Innovative Campus | Lower, Middle and Upper School buildings and athletic facilities at the center of our Campus. A verdant 50 acres including a creek, meadow, historic Quaker Meetinghouse and extensive playing ﬁelds. AFS Outside Classrooms | The ﬁrst nature playground and outdoor classroom in Pennsylvania to be accredited by the National Arbor Day Foundation. A standard-setting program and dynamic leadership for outdoor learning. Wilf Center | A new type of learning center provides resources to enrich skills of active engagement, discernment, collaboration, leadership and continual learning. The Wilf Center is part of a suite of advising resources, which includes our Director of Studies, College Counseling, Faulkner Library and ECCO. Our multidimensional approach to advising was commended by The Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools. Faulkner Library | A modern, dramatic space alive with student learning and collaboration. Home to a collection of over 25,000 print volumes, special collections including a peace collection and a leadership collection, subscriptions to a host of online tools for students including elibrary, JSTOR and ACCESS PA. Media and Design Lab | Computer Assisted Design and engineering software workstations for students in our new engineering electives, an AFS News Show studio and space for our competitive robotics team. 16 “The teachers, programs and friends here are amazing. I couldn’t imagine being happier at another school.” — Upper School Student 17 A DYNAMIC SCHOOL CAMPUS A R E P U TAT I O N in the arts AFS has a long tradition of award-winning theatre, music and visual arts. Students study art history as well as work across a comprehensive range of traditional media and new media such as digital video and computer graphics. We celebrate student work with fully produced theatre productions, concerts, art displays and formal art exhibitions. Art, Ceramics, Photography Studios | Four well-lit studios feature SMART Boards with overhead data projectors, multiple potter’s wheels, ﬁve kilns and a photography classroom with powerful design software, a dark room/lab and 13 enlarging stations. Black Box Studio Theatre | A ﬂexible theatre space ideal for student produced performances, cabarets and open mic nights. Lower School Music Room | Designed for music and movement education with a hardwood classroom ﬂoor, beautiful panoramic views of the AFS campus, a full ensemble of Orff and percussion instruments, SMART Board and an 88-key weighted digital piano/ music workstation. Electronic Music Studio | Apple and Roland recording software/ hardware, 10 Korg X5 synthesizer keyboards and Sibelius music notation software, ACID Pro sound looping and Sound Forge digital editing software to enhance the Digital Audio curriculum. The Josephine Muller Auditorium | A fully equipped professional setting that seats 400, and includes a tech booth, lighting catwalks, a large backstage area, dressing rooms, a prop/costume shop and green room, a sound system with mixing console and a suspended microphone system with surround-sound speakers. Choral and Instrumental Music Classrooms | Baby grand pianos, A/V equipment and an instrumental backline that includes timpani, vibraphone, xylophone, marimbas, acoustic and electric drum kits, concert bass drum, various cymbals, keyboards and guitar/bass ampliﬁers. 19 A DYNAMIC SCHOOL CAMPUS FRIENDS AND champions AFS has 49 interscholastic teams in 20 sports at the middle and upper school levels and a Lower School afterschool athletic program. Interscholastic sports begin in Middle School with student-athletes developing their individual talents while experiencing with their teammates the winning and losing that comes with competition. Our Upper School program welcomes both novice players and those at the highest levels of skill with a desire to continue their competitive athletic experience in college. Since the founding of the Friends Schools League in 1982, AFS has won 31 Varsity team championships. Thode Fitness Center | The home for many of AFS’s instructional Personal Fitness programs and the School’s strength and conditioning and athletic rehabilitation programs. AFS’s strength and conditioning coordinator and the School’s certiﬁed athletic trainer make use of the center daily throughout the year while training and rehabilitating student-athletes. Hallowell Gymnasium | Renovated in 2011 and the site of 19 Friends Schools League championship boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. Four Soccer Fields | Highlighted by the Varsity soccer ﬁeld, which boasts a 90,000-square-foot Kentucky bluegrass playing surface with state-of-the-art irrigation and drainage systems and a 14-by-6-foot pivoting wireless scoreboard. Six Tennis Courts | Recently renovated courts have Plexipave playing surface and color scheme found at the nation’s top tournament courts. Varsity Baseball & Softball Diamonds | Home to 16 Friends Schools League playoff teams since 2003, including the 2011 girls’ state softball champions. “Everything I’ve learned, the very person I have become, has been shaped by AFS. I did Model UN, was the yearbook editor, peer tutored, participated in various math and science activities and played three Varsity sports, one of which I captained.” — AFS Graduate Class of 2008 21 C O L L E G E R E A D Y, world ready More than ever before the world is an open road and there is no longer a predictable route to success. We celebrate this world in which opportunities abound. We also know that success requires knowledge, creativity, initiative and the ability to inspire others like never before. The AFS curriculum and experience hones skills and orients our students toward highquality work so they are not only college ready, but also world ready. They leave high school ready to collaborate with and motivate others in meaningful and profound ways. AFS graduates truly “let their lives speak.” “AFS is intentional, mindful and daring in approaching all aspects of what it means to be human – the intellectual, the emotional, the social and the spiritual. It’s an education and experience built to make each child the best he or she can be.” — AFS Parent 23 COLLEGE READY, WORLD READY 24 GENESIS FELIZ ’11 Bryn Mawr College Genesis Feliz is a biology major, Spanish minor and environmental studies minor at Bryn Mawr College. She plans on going to veterinary school after graduation. “I felt really prepared going into college. I knew that there was going to be a lot of reading and writing and I knew how to handle it. My four years at AFS helped me become comfortable with reading 40-plus pages a night or writing a seven- to 10-page research paper, much like what is expected in college. Taking on many leadership roles at AFS, such as participating in SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Conference) my junior and senior years, being a Varsity soccer and track captain and the president of the Latino Afﬁnity Group also helped me hone my leadership qualities.” COLLEGE READY STEVE PETTIT ’10 Drexel University Steve Pettit is a junior at Drexel University majoring in digital media with a concentration in animation for video games and ﬁlm. His plan after graduation is to work as an animator and rigger for a video game studio and “get out into the world and do what I love to do – make games.” “AFS gave me everything I needed for college. I am able to write, research, calculate and think. On top of that I am able to easily express myself in class. Going into heavy studio and lab structured classes in college, I can manage how much time each project will take, making sure that it pushes my boundaries without becoming too large to handle. More than all of this, I know AFS made me a strong and kind enough person that it should not be too hard to ﬁnd myself a place in the world.” 25 COLLEGE READY, WORLD READY 26 MARYROSE MYRTETUS ’05 Maryrose Myrtetus has always had a civic-minded orientation. At AFS, she served on the Community Service Council and found herself loving the work. At Vassar College she was class president and interned for U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. Now she is Assistant to the Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Tom Carper in Washington, D.C. She says AFS taught her to think and listen to others before reacting, and that serves her well in a high-stress position when she is trying to do many things at once. “I am so grateful to AFS for giving me the self-conﬁdence to go ahead and apply to Vassar and the White House internship.” WORLD READY MAT JOHNSON ’89 Mat Johnson is the author of the novels Pym, Drop and Hunting in Harlem, the nonﬁction novella The Great Negro Plot and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. He is also a recipient of the United States Artists James Baldwin Fellowship, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and is a faculty member at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. “The thing I got most out of at AFS was the one-on-one relationships with teachers...I came out feeling empowered.” 27 A PLACE for you City families, suburban families. Students from public schools, parochial schools and other independent schools. Single-parent families. Same-sex parent families. Traditional families. Students who are only children. Students with lots of siblings. Every family is different but some things they have in common – parents all want an intellectually exciting education for their sons and daughters. They want their children to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. They want them to be appreciative of the world around them. They want them to feel supported as they go through life. They want them to be the kind of people who bring others along in life’s journey as well. They ﬁnd that education at Abington Friends School. “There are many schools in our area with excellent academic programs. AFS stands out for the depth of the curriculum and the style of teaching.” — AFS parent 29 A PLACE FOR YOU ELIZABETH ’12, TOM (JUNIOR), MATT AND AUDRA GURIN Fort Washington, PA “The greatest advantages my children have as a result of attending AFS are self-conﬁdence and self-awareness. They no doubt could have had academic success anywhere. However, because of AFS they push themselves to develop their strengths and to compensate for their weaknesses. They value diversity in themselves and in others, and they seek out new understandings and new experiences. AFS also nurtures the importance of being a member of society and the world beyond the campus. As our daughter looked at colleges she carried that value for community and caring for the world, and it strongly inﬂuenced her decisions. In the end she chose Brown because it ﬁt her balanced need for academic excellence, passion and community that AFS helped to foster.” 30 AVA (4TH GRADE), BRODERICK AND CHRISTINE PRESIDENT Elkins Park, PA “For us, academics are huge and so is building a good person – a child you can really be proud of. The students here absolutely love to learn. It’s effortless because the learning experience is woven into everything they do. I didn’t even know my daughter knew about watersheds but this weekend, she was weaving them into our dinner table discussion. She reads three or four books a week. I don’t take credit for that. It’s all AFS. Learning is turned on at an early age here and each year it’s ramped up. Add to that the level of maturity these kids have – it impresses us. AFS students have an ability to hold a conversation with an adult. They are conﬁdent without being arrogant, and they are critically constructive thinkers. They don’t accept everything at face value. When I drop Ava off I don’t look back. I have such a feeling that she will be nurtured, happy, engaged and secure.” 31 A PLACE FOR YOU DAVID LASSER (2ND GRADE), BERNIE TELLNER AND ROBERT LASSER Pineville, PA “We live in Bucks County, which speaks to the draw of AFS among the large number and variety of independent schools in the area. For us, AFS had a warmth of spirit and focus on our child’s overall development that was important. We especially love AFS’s focus on the community and weaving parent-led events into the social and seasonal fabric of the educational experience. Education is far more than academic skills; AFS is also focused on equipping children with knowledge of how to navigate social relationships and lead by personal example. These qualities ultimately help develop tomorrow’s leaders to be well-balanced in understanding cultural differences and working through these differences to solve global problems. The great advantage an AFS graduate has is being conﬁdent about embracing the world and not shying away from realizing their independent thinking and spirit.” 32 AT A G L A N C E Serving students age 3 through grade 12. Quaker values include diversity, equality, integrity, simplicity, peacefulness and stewardship, and are at the core of the School’s mission and daily life. 100% of students attend a 4-year college. Students come to AFS from approximately 75 ZIP codes in the greater Philadelphia area. O U R I N V I TAT I O N AFS is easily accessible via many forms of public transportation, van service as well as school district busing. to visit At Abington Friends School, we believe in more than the traditional goal of preparing children for the next step in their schooling. We prepare our students not only for outstanding college careers, we ready them for lives of purpose, meaning DESIGN: CEH Design, Bethel, CT – www.cehdesign.com TEXT: Andrea Jarrell, Metropolitan D.C. – www.andreajarrell.com 50-acre campus with ﬁelds, a creek and a Quaker Meetinghouse Well-equipped arts and accomplishment. To learn more about Abington Friends School, we invite you to visit us and to imagine your son or daughter here – engaged in the excitement of true learning every day. Visit our website at www.abingtonfriends.net or request information by contacting the Admission Oﬃce at 215-576-3984 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a ﬁrsthand look at our campus, and to meet our students, teachers and staﬀ, come visit us. Open houses are oﬀered throughout the year in the fall, winter and spring. wing with digital recording studio, darkroom and ceramics studios and MIDI lab for composing. 35% of students self-identify as students of color. Graduating classes of 60 to 80 students Honors and AP courses are offered in all subjects. 49 athletic teams, 31 Friends League Championships Abington Friends School is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and anti-harassment in all aspects of our members’ actions and relationships on any basis including but not limited to race, religion, ancestry, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, disability, veteran status or national origin. 3 Abington Friends School 575 Washington Lane, Jenkintown, PA 19046 p: 215-886-4350 / f: 215-886-9143 email@example.com www.abingtonfriends.net