At the heart of a Friends school education are the Quaker values, or “testimonies,” of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship (SPICES). From the daily interactions in our classrooms, to our long-term partnerships with the neighborhood, to our deep connections among our families, we strive to live out these testimonies as best we can. While there are few members of our families or staff that are practicing Quakers, we collectively commit ourselves to these values, each bringing our own perspective and experience.
- Simplicity – Clearing the way for deeper engagement in ourselves, our community, and our education
- Peace – Creating peace in ourselves and our community
- Integrity – Being true to oneself and one's values and honest with others
- Community – Respecting and valuing every person's place in our lives
- Equality – Respecting every person's right to fairness and respect
- Stewardship – Valuing the gifts we have been given
Educators in Friends Schools often put into practice these core values through “queries”—questions designed to grab our attention, drive our actions, and even shake us out of moments of complacency. Queries are designed to hold us accountable to what we believe is most important.
- How do I honor both my beliefs and those of the larger community?
- How do we nurture and expand the diversity of our communities?
- How am I called to action by my communities, great and small?
Every year we draw on our rich tradition as a Quaker school to explore one of these core values.
For the 2023-2024 school year, our testimony is Simplicity. The queries we're exploring include:
- How might I show that I value people more than things?
- How might we determine what is enough and what is too much?
- How might we continually clear the way for what is true and important?
The Quaker belief that truth is continually revealed calls us to be open to answer the light in others; to be willing to listen and respond to the still small voice within; to understand answers as dynamic, not static; to commit to look beyond and beneath the obvious, searching for truth and identifying falsehood; and to engage in the search for truth because of its inherent value, not simply to find answers.
Explore our testimonies:
Learn more about the Quaker testimonies and how we bring them to life at San Francisco Friends School in this booklet, Introduction to Quaker Testimonies.