What is Quaker Education?

The values-centered environment and character of a Friends school comes directly from the faith and practice of Quakerism. Quakers teach tolerance of and respect for all faiths, and Friends schools are open to children of all religious backgrounds. A Quaker education is based on the values of simplicity, integrity, harmony, peace and equality, and a belief in "that of God" in each person. These values guide the actions and decisions of the faculty, students, and Board of Directors at Friends School of Portland. We combine academic excellence with a commitment to developing each person's self-worth, tolerance and respect for others, and a commitment to service to their community and wider world.

Why Friends School of Portland?

We believe that a small learning community dedicated to living positive values openly and consciously is the best educational environment for children. In a consumer society where speed, material wealth and outer appearances seem to matter most, we offer time for reflection, simplicity and careful use of resources, and a continual search for the truth. We look for each child's natural gifts and help the child develop the intellectual, social, and emotional skills to meet life's challenges. We provide a high standard of academic learning, a small student/teacher ratio that allows for appropriate individualization, multi-age groupings, community service, and a chance for parents to be involved in the school community. These values have been hallmarks of Friends schools for over 200 years. As Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world.

The legacy of Friends education

The Religious Society of Friends has a long and distinguished history of exceptional schools. Believing there is that of God in every person, Quakers are committed to truth, peace, equality, and respect for the individual. Education is a natural expression of these values. In the 17th century, Friends were among the first to establish schools for both boys and girls, for poor children and later for minorities. The commitment to serve children of many backgrounds remains strong today, with over 80 Friends schools now thriving in the United States. All are communities that care deeply about what kind of persons their members are becoming. Quaker values call for the respect of all beliefs and honor each individual's search. This approach is one of the clear strengths of a Friends education.

For more on Friends education, visit Friends Council on Education.