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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 the Spirit.
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 wider community.
  • EQUALITY: We encourage and respect diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • 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.
    We cultivate a community garden and encourage sustainable practices.
  • 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 for truth.
    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.
    We 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 academic program.
  • 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.
  • Academic 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.
  • In 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.
    Social studies and science content follows a two-year rotation.
    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) .
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