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Notes for Prospective Students
- OUR VALUES - SIMPLICITY: The Quaker witness of simplicity
reminds us to live wisely, finding the time and space to appreciate
In our school, uncomplicated routines, uncluttered use
of space, and careful use of resources help us stay focused on the
unfolding development of each person in our school.
PEACE: We learn to resolve conflict through respectful
conversation and peaceful negotiation.
We study peace leaders and
movements of the world. We provide opportunities for students
to take actions on issues they feel strongly about.
INTEGRITY: We seek to integrate our values into how we approach
learning and how we conduct ourselves in the classroom, in the
school, and in the broader community.
COMMUNITY: We create a close and accepting atmosphere as an
essential condition for growth and learning.
Warm welcomes, daily
class meetings, group singing, handling challenges side by side,
and celebrating success contribute to a strong sense of community.
We partner with other organizations to do service projects in the
EQUALITY: We encourage and respect diverse perspectives and
We strive for a dynamic balance between the individual
and the group as we seek consensus in our decision-making process.
Children refer to adults by their first name.
STEWARDSHIP: We use resources carefully and we learn to care
for the world.
We study the ecosystems of Mackworth Island in order
to understand the interconnectedness of all living organisms.
cultivate a community garden and encourage sustainable
TRUTH: Quakers believe in the continual revelation of truth,
and that truth is available to each of us.
We use silence and
reflection as ways to deepen understanding and extend the search
In the classroom, truth is reflected in an open-minded
approach to curriculum and teaching, and in an emphasis on critical
thinking skills and self expression.
CURRICULUM OVERVIEW - Friends School of Portland believes that
education is holistic and seamless.
As much as possible, we take an
interdisciplinary approach to learning.
Within the broad strokes of
the curriculum framework, teachers try to incorporate student
interests as a way of nurturing curious and motivated learners.
design and choose learning experiences and materials that respect
developmental stages; offer a multi-sensory, hands-on,
inquiry-based approach to learning; and create opportunities for
whole group, small group and individual instruction.
We set high
expectations for students and staff, incorporating research-based
practice and integrating Quaker values.
Within our cross-curricular
approach, teachers attend to the core academic skills that are
essential for students to acquire.
These are explained below.
We offer here a snapshot of the Friends School of Portland
We have attempted to capture the essentials that
guide our academic planning.
The faculty considers a range of goals
and principles as we plan for student learning – what to
teach in a changing world, how to foster curiosity and engagement,
how to weave reverence for life and joy of learning into the daily
rhythm of our classes.
Multi-Age Classes - We group children in multi-age classes.
This year we offer Preschool (3 & 4 year olds), K (5+ year
olds), Grade 1-2, Grade 3-4, Grade 5-6, and Grade 7-8.
planning in a multi-age classroom is sometimes puzzling to those
for whom this is new.
Multi-age grouping benefits children by
offering a family-like atmosphere where labeling by grade, age or
skill level becomes irrelevant.
It is natural that each student is
at a different place than others in one or more aspects – as
they are in single grade classes.
What's different and liberating
is that we expect them to be.
Whole group, small group and
individualized instruction all fit into this setting.
The class is treated as a single group as much as possible.
those subjects where skill development requires ability grouping,
teachers divide the class as they see the need.
With the abundance
of wonderful children's literature, it is often easy and more
engaging for students if reading and writing parallel science and
Social studies and science content follows a
Many common starting points of study are
open-ended, allowing students a chance to progress to different
degrees as appropriate.
When feasible, children with similar skill
levels will work together while the particular skills are being
introduced and practiced.
Multi-age classes also offer a range of
leadership opportunities for all children.
Families with preschool children (3 & 4 year olds) have six
options to choose from, depending on the child's readiness for
school and the family needs.
There are full day and morning only
programs: all five days, three days (Monday, Wednesday, &
Friday), or two days (Tuesday & Thursday) .