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Lower School

Jennifer Arnest, Lower School Head

The first years of elementary school are filled with joy and discovery, hopes and fears, adventure, challenge, skinned knee stories, and loads of fun. And that's just for the parents!

We are committed to shepherding parents through these tremendous years of growth, to knowing the children, and to building partnerships with parents that benefit children academically and socially.

Mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration are at the core of who we are, how we treat each other and how we work together.

The best of Quaker education asks children to learn to know their own minds, to learn from one another, and stretch each other's thinking in a rigorous and collaborative spirit. Children in our school work independently, alongside each other, and in responsive group work together. All of this challenging work is vital to the growth of the mind and spirit. We are committed to developing tenacity and resilience in our children, teaching them to take on perspective, to listen, build patience and strategies for solving academic challenges that don’t come easily on the first try.

The Friends School develops programs in social and emotional health that have foundations in our Quaker roots, and are reflected in our service learning programs as well. An excerpt from the book “Habits of Goodness” by Ruth Charney, helps to frame the thinking about our program:

“When I think about habits of goodness, I do not think about a life without conflict, without mistakes and problems, but I do think about a collaboration that brings together children, teachers, parents and custodians as stakeholders in a common cause. The cause is to envision goodness — a goodness founded on mutual respect, on assertions of kindness and responsibility for the real work that needs to be done.”

Mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration are at the core of who we are, how we treat each other and how we work together. One of the things that makes this school so special is the culture of depth and reflection in our work as a faculty. Faced with difficult choices in all aspects of children’s school work, we want to continue to create a setting in which children can easily turn to the knowledge and skills they have gained for support and guidance.

Jennifer Arnest
Lower School Head