Friends Western School
Friends Western School is a vibrant K-6 Parent- Teacher run, Cooperative Elementary School located Pasadena, CA.
Friends Western School rests in the foundation provided by the Quaker belief that there is an inner light in each of us.
This idea inspires the ethos of support, encouragement, respect and kindness that is evident at Friends Western.
- Grades: Kindergarten-5
- Students: 46 students
- Yearly Tuition: $9,800
- Average class size: 13 students
- Application Deadline: Feb. 1
School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 48%
Students by Grade
Academics and Faculty
Total Classroom Teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
Classroom Dress Code
Finances and Admission
Yearly Tuition Cost
FWS offers a sibling discount. The first child enrolls at full tuition; thereafter each sibling receives a 20% discount. There are no sibling discounts for part-time students.
Average Financial Aid Grant
Cassie Lorge & Martin Peoples
- Friends Western School rests in the foundation provided by the Quaker belief that there is an inner light in each of us. This idea inspires the ethos of support, encouragement, respect and kindness that is evident at Friends Western. Friends Western School is committed to a diverse and open environment with families of all faiths and no faith. We foster mutual respect and exploration of our differences in order that our children will evolve and grow into young people with highly developed life skills, able to sustain complex thinking. Quakers value independence, integrity and curiosity and we follow a course that nurtures these traits in our children.
- Quakers have long valued education and we are honored to be part of a heritage that includes Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, Cornell University, Sidwell Friends and many other highly respected schools and universities.
- Friends Western School has an Eclectic Philosophy. We choose to take the best ideas and practices from many schools of thought.
- We meet children where they are and base their education in experience, which is developmental.
- We try to make it meaningful and relevant in the world, and want children to make some of their own educational decisions, which is progressive.
- We teach basic skills in a logical order, require drill and practice, and teach a fairly mainstream body of knowledge (though in our curriculum world history includes more than Europe and North America), which is traditional.
- We think that art, music, sports and games, age-appropriate technology, field trips and nature studies are integral to the development of a whole person, which, today, is really radical.
- Finally, we infuse everything we do with the Quaker values of integrity, equality, harmony, simplicity and community. We require the children to value process as much as product. We believe this sets us apart; and as members of a cooperative school, parents and teachers model this behavior through our actions in the community.
- Friends Western School is an evolution in education.Friends Western School offers its community of parents, teachers, and students an opportunity to create that magical school we all imagine for our children, and to engender the team work, cooperation and mutual respect we hold in such high regard.
- Our students graduate confident and capable self-sufficient learners with the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. They experience community on multiple levels: family, school, neighborhood and the natural world, leaving FWS mindful global citizens.
- Our instruction is designed to balance skills and challenges so that each student experiences success. We give each child personal attention, and adjust our teaching methods to respond to each child’s learning style. We believe in small class sizes, no larger than 14 students, enabling teachers to give individualized instruction to every child. We balance direct instruction and discovery so that learning becomes intrinsically rewarding.While we hold students to high standards of scholarship and classical skill building (spelling, math, grammar), we perceive learning not as a process of memorizing principles, but as a continual process of inquiry.
- Each person in our learning community has important contributions to make. All children have unique talents, and we do our best to discover and nurture your child’s strengths. We cherish differences, visible and invisible. By fostering cooperation rather than competition among students, FWS creates an atmosphere that celebrates individual differences. Working together, the children learn the joys and challenges of building a community while, at the same time, gaining a sense of their individual uniqueness.
- FWS believes that if we are serious about reaching 21st Century educational goals, PBL must be at the center of 21st Century instruction. The project contains and frames the curriculum, which differs from the short “project” or activity added onto traditional instruction. PBL is, “The Main Course, not Dessert.” At FWS, teachers often use PBL extensively as their primary curriculum organizer and instructional method. Projects vary in length, from several days to several weeks or even a semester. Research shows that PBL is effective at all grade levels and subjects.
My daughter has been going to Friends Western School for 4 years. In that time we have seen the school continue to grow and evolve into something so lovely that it makes the work worth every minute of our time. In a place that is training future visionaries, everything about it is unique and subject to shift as the needs of students shift. The school doesn't teach students what to think, but HOW to think. Creativity is nurtured and like the Quaker model we follow everyone is welcome to pick up a plow share and help build the dream school we envision we can have for our kids. The teachers are awesome, the extras like music, art, yoga, park day, clubs, theater arts, field trips, and hikes are all parent driven and add magic to the school week. I enjoy being able to participate in my daughter's education. The time for our youngsters flies by faster than we can catch it. Friends Western allows me to watch her in her process of loving to learn.
My child used to struggle with getting up to get ready for school. We opted out of public education for a year to home school, then we tried FWS, on a part-time basis. He later requested to go full time. He has now been a full time student for two years and he loves being there. His teacher great! We get daily class reports via email. The students go on regular field trips and the kids are more like a family than anything I''ve witnessed at a public school. The co-op structure is a bit challenging because each family must put work into the system to make it run well. The school is growing and we are having a really nice time being a part of the community of Friends Western School.
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