A Day with Friends

  • 8:00 AM

    School gates open

    Students arrive by car and on foot, streaming into the school just after 8:00am. Classes begin at 8:20am.

  • 8:35 AM

    Students settle in

    At the core of the Lower School are the dedicated classroom teachers. They commit to building an educational community out of each group of students that pushes them forward while respecting their natural differences in learning.

  • 9:45 AM

    Dance in motion

    Movement and dance are an integral part of a lower school student’s experience. From kindergarten on, students perform dances at school events ranging from contemporary routines to traditional folk dances.

  • 10:33 AM

    Engaging our world

    Asking questions about our world and figuring out how to answer them is central to Friends’ science classes, whether studying mealworms, goat farming, or crayfish behavior.

  • 11:27 AM

    Art room

    Creating art is a seamless part of the lower school curriculum. Whether constructing masks for a play or designing journal covers for their Fort Ross characters, lower school students stretch their art muscles every day.

  • 12:05 PM

    In the front yard

    Twice a day, lower school students stretch their limbs in our outdoor greenspace. Despite its cozy confines, students find ample space for sports, games, and making friends. Lunch is eaten outside every day (weather permitting).

  • 1:00 PM

    Friendships and conflict

    Figuring out social relationships is a key part of growth in the Lower School. Teachers guide students through conflict resolution techniques that empower them to resolve conflicts in their lives.

  • 1:22 PM

    A world of research

    Students visit the library regularly to discover new books, discuss their reading and do research.

  • 1:55 PM

    Math class

    Using manipulatives in math classes gives students the deep understanding they need of how think like a mathematician.

  • 7:00 AM

    Trip departures

    Every grade explores the world beyond our school. Sometimes this involves piling in a van at 7am to begin a week at Yosemite or heading out for three nights in the Redwoods.

  • 8:20 AM

    School day begins

    Students arrive at school around 8am by carpool, on bikes or on foot. When the gates open, the morning quiet is replaced with energetic chatter as students start their day at 8:20.

  • 8:30 AM

    Morning meeting

    Students start every day with 10-20 minutes in their advisory groups. Sometimes this involves getting organized for the day, playing a collaborative game to get present for the day, or discussing social issues in student lives.

  • 9:00 AM

    Meeting for worship

    Every week, students gather together to sit in silent worship for 30-40 minutes. This is a longstanding Quaker tradition that gives students an opportunity to hear the voice within amidst the adventure that is life in middle school.

  • 9:15 AM

    Service field trip

    Each grade partners with a local community organization, learning about their work and providing support where they can.

  • 9:30 AM

    Math class

    “Thinking like a mathematician.” That is the goal in our middle school math classes. Students progressively learn the content and skills of middle school math, but are constantly reminded that understanding math comes from thinking like a mathematician.

  • 10:00 AM

    Science class

    From hands-on explorations of hearts to building bridges to seeing our solar system to identifying viruses, students dive into physical, life and earth sciences every day.

  • 10:30 AM

    Humanities class

    At the core of our humanities classes are these essential questions: Who am I? Who are you? How do we change or stay the same? In middle school, students explore civilizations far and near to answer these questions, culminating in trips to Nicaragua and California’s Central Valley.

  • 11:00 AM

    PE class

    Throw like a girl? You wish! At Friends, every student learns every sport from football to futsal to frisbee golf. Underlying these activities are teachings about competition and respect, teamwork and effort, nutrition and health.

  • 11:30 AM

    Art class

    Students explore a wealth of materials and styles in art classes. While creating pieces, they are constantly asked: What is art? How am I an artist? What is the role of art in the community?

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