Quaker Values

The Quaker belief that there is "that of God" in each of us shapes everything we do at Sidwell Friends School. It inspires us to show kindness and respect toward one another. It motivates us to recognize and nurture each person's unique gifts. It teaches us to apply our talents in service to others and to work courageously for peace.

Unlike many other Friends schools, Sidwell Friends School has never been "under the care of a Meeting." Its Quaker character has been the product of vital Quaker leadership—in the beginning from the School's founder Thomas Sidwell, and in recent years from Quaker Heads of School Robert Smith, Earl Harrison, Bruce Stewart, and  Tom Farquhar. This leadership has also come from the Board of Trustees, more than half of whose members are Quakers.

At a good school teachers and students are jointly engaged in a search for truth, in what Quakers call continuing revelation. Students greet the school day with enthusiasm. Teachers and administrators are there to guide, to respond, to teach, and to learn. They hold high expectations for their students, knowing that students work toward expectations. And as good teachers grapple with improving the intellectual abilities of their pupils, they also work to provide a climate of sensitivity to the human condition, to ensure that our most personal gift, the gift of our minds, is used in a generous spirit for worthy goals. A good school’s overriding aim is to help each student respond to the best that is in him or her.

From A Quaker Book of Wisdom: Life Lessons in Simplicity, Service, and Common Sense by former Head of School Robert Lawrence Smith