The Lunar New Year festivities continued at the Middle School with dragon dancing and dumpling-making. And, stay tuned later this month for the All-School Celebration & Potluck on February 25. RSVP here ➡️ signupgenius.com/go/LNY2024RSVP #/
Sidwell Friends School
Sidwell Friends School is a PK-12, co-educational Quaker day school with campuses in Washington, DC,
Sidwell Friends School is an educational community inspired by the values of the Religious Society of Friends and guided by the Quaker belief in "That of God" in each person. We seek academically talented students of diverse cultural, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. We offer these students a rich and rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum designed to stimulate creative inquiry, intelle
Happy Valentine's Day! Volunteers from across Sidwell Friends made some seriously impressive bouquets for locals in need of a little cheer and romance on this day of love.
Enter the Dragon! The Lower School celebrates the Lunar New Year (and the year of the dragon) with music, poetry, and lots of lucky red.
We are excited to welcome Eboo Patel back to our community for a talk about his most recent book, We Need to Build: Field Notes for Diverse Democracy. The goal of social change is not revolution; it is order. But the list of institutions and structures that need to be efficiently and effectively run in a large-scale, diverse democracy are legion. We Need to Build is a call to create those institutions and a guide for how to run them well. Eboo Patel is the founder and president of Interfaith America. He spoke with Upper School students during the day today, and all parents/guardians, students, and friends are invited to join the evening talk tonight at 6:30 p.m.
It wasn’t the usual holiday excursion for one group of Sidwell Friends students. Due to the early start of this year’s break and thanks to the creativity of the Auxiliary Programs team, 14 Sidwell 10th graders traveled to Costa Rica in December as part of an unusual service trip that had them monitoring the local turtle population, cleaning a beach of harmful plastics, and helping paint a local school. Read more >> sidwell.edu/about/news/news-detail/~board/homepage-news-panel/post/counting-turtles
Last week two all-female a ca****la groups from Yale University, Proof of the Pudding and The New Blue, held performances at Sidwell Friends, covering everything from jazz standards like "Cry Me a River" to new R&B hits like "Bust Ya Windows." It was a welcome treat for Upper School students, who attended in between exams and could ask the groups about singing, college, and singing in college!
It's rare these days, but every so often the snow gods favor us with excellent conditions for snowballs, sledding, snow angels, and snowmen--including a few snowmen donning Sidwellian fashions! Here's a few snaps from Tuesday's snow day.
At Sidwell Friends, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a special holiday—a chance to put Quaker values into action through service. Dr. King’s message of racial justice, caring for the poor, and making connections across cultures overlaps with Sidwell Friends’ message of stewardship, service, and community. We kicked things off on Friday with our Lower School Dream Choir assembly, and will continue to honor Dr. King with 30 Days of Service—extending our commitment to service on MLK Day through to Presidents Day weekend. Visit https://linktr.ee/sidwellfriends to sign up for tomorrow's Peace Walk, find a service opportunity, and celebrate civil rights.
Let's Get Historic! Every year, the 3rd grade travels to the DC campus to learn about Sidwell Friends history. School Archivist Lori Ito Hardenburgh talks to the kids about the history of Zartman House and then asks the students to decide whether it meets the criteria to be on the National Register of Historic Places (spoiler: It does). The students also learn what archives are, how archives differ from libraries, what primary versus secondary sources are, and what qualifies something as historic. Then the kids get to peruse old yearbooks (especially fun for children of alumni), use a diploma embosser, look through 1930s stereoscopes, and discover Hardenburgh's favorite piece in the archive: the diploma of Setsuko Matsudaira ’28, who became Princess Chichibu of Japan. The diploma was damaged in the Tokyo fire bombings of World War II and was later gifted to the School.
As 2023 comes to a close, we invite you to support The Sidwell Friends Fund. Your generosity enables us to extend and enrich learning beyond what tuition alone can provide, creating opportunities for exceptional learning and fostering an environment of empathy and understanding. Wishing you peace, love, and light in the new year! sidwell.edu/support-us/make-a-gift
Midnight, all the kitties are sleeping…Or are they? There’s a cat-tastrophe afoot at Sidwell Friends. Can Star Fox save the day and be the cats’ pajamas or will Star end up all alone in the moonlight? The holidays may never be the same!
We have immense gratitude for this wonderful community. Please watch our merry (and meowy) holiday video, written entirely by Lower Schoolers, and see you in 2024!
We invite you to support The Sidwell Friends Fund as you make your year-end charitable contributions. Every gift supports the School’s highest priorities yearly, including financial aid, faculty professional development, and engaging student experiences. Your generosity enables us to extend and enrich learning beyond what tuition alone can provide and helps light the way forward for the next generation of ethical leaders. We are grateful for your support! sidwell.edu/support-us/make-a-gift
It doesn't snow often in DC, but when it does, we take full advantage of the moment! Here, a hearty little snowman stands vigil over the football field at Sidwell Friends.
Tis the Season—for Applications! Getting to know the families interested in attending Sidwell Friends was a true highlight of the fall. We hope you'll take the next step and submit an application by January 5. Visit sidwell.edu/admissions to learn more.
Sidwell Friends School students are no strangers to the work of Washington DC artist Nekisha Durrett. Scores of them have studied her work since the installation of her public commission, Air Shaft, at the Phillips Collection in 2021. But even that experience couldn’t compare to hearing her discuss her work in person when she came to campus in late November as the 2023 Daryl Reich Rubenstein Guest Artist. Read more >> sidwell.pub/nekisha-durrett
Throughout Sidwell Friends School this month, students, families, and staff have had hearts full of joy and service as the Thanksgiving holiday approached. The annual 9th Grade Pie Bake imbued the DC campus with the smell of apples and sugar, while the industrious 10th Grade Service Project reminded everyone of how fortunate we all are to be able to give back. We’re also so fortunate to attend this School and to be surrounded by such an incredible community. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
This year, the Latin American Society, student government, and Middle School teamed up to prepare 100 turkey meal kits for Mary's Center! Sidwell Friends quadrupled its impact (last year, the School made 25 kits), and contributed fully one-third of the kits Mary’s Center will hand out this year—all with seasonably delectable foods for the perfect Thanksgiving. We are grateful to all who donated and bagged: Your enthusiasm and effort have touched Mary’s Center and will shine a light of joy and gratitude to many families this holiday season.
Modern Art: The Upper School’s fall performance, MUSEUM, takes a swing at the nature of art. Set on the final day of a group exhibit of three fictional contemporary American artists, MUSEUM explores the characters who walk through the show: art lovers, skeptics, foreigners, students, lost souls, fellow artists, and of course, museum guards.
The School’s second annual Diwali celebration was bigger than ever. ✨ Read more >> sidwell.edu/about/news/news-detail/~board/homepage-news-panel/post/triumphant-light
Triumphant Light The all-School Diwali celebration was bigger than ever.
The Human Element: This weekend, Middle Schoolers are performing VOICES OF FREEDOM, a vivid theatrical experience featuring the stories of immigrants from yesterday and today. The voices reflect the challenges and risks that immigrants and refugees face in coming to America. The common thread is the search for a better life.
This year, instead of the Lower School’s traditional Día de los Mu***os offrenda, an altar built to honor lost loved ones, art teacher Kristen Campbell had the kids look at the same ritual through a Guatemalan lens. Every November, the Festival de Barriletes Gigantes—also called the Day of the Dead Giant Kite Festival—marks one of the oldest and most colorful holidays in Guatemala. The Guatemalans create massive, multi-story, vibrant kites out of paper, cloth, and bamboo to represent an ancient belief that flying enormous kites connects one to their ancestors. So, instead of an altar, the Lower School students created a stunning barrilete using tissue-paper and ribbons. The tradition is not about mourning loved ones so much as allowing people—especially children—to celebrate them.
It wouldn’t be autumn without apples, and Michael Ackerson, the director of dining services at Sidwell Friends for Meriwether Godsey, is a big fan of the region’s rich diversity in the classic fruit. This week, after a trip to Catoctin Mountain Orchard in Maryland, Ackerson brought hundreds of apples—10 varieties in all—back with him to share with students on both the DC and Bethesda campuses. “This is one of my favorite things I do each year,” Ackerson says. “I love exposing kids to the diversity of our local horticulture.” And, despite their academic reputation, these apples weren’t meant to be left on teachers’ desks; they were meant to be eaten—and judged. At every school Ackerson has worked at since 1994, he has hosted an Apple Palooza, offering students a “tasting menu” of apple slices—both so they can decide which variety to choose for themselves and to determine the most popular variety for that year. The favorite this year was Crimson Crisp, known for its firm, deep red-purple color and sweet-tart flavor. Still to be determined is whether they do in fact keep the doctor away. 🍎
Darkness falls across the land
Halloween night is close at hand.
Tiny creatures will be on the prowl
“Trick or treat,” they’ll howl and yowl.
And whosoever shall be coy
And deny these Friends a sweet or ploy,
Must sit in silence alone and dreary
Without the benefit of query.
And though you may grapple with the fright,
Your body is like a shaker.
For the moral now is in the Light:
Never underestimate a Quaker.
🍁 Awesome Autumn! From the 4th grade car wash to reptile visitors, a petting zoo, service and craft projects, and a Halloween costume exchange, there was something for everyone at the Lower School Fall Festival last week.
Even when it pours, Sidwell Friends still shines. ✨ Read up on Homecoming Weekend (including more photos) here >> sidwell.edu/about/news/news-detail/~board/homepage-news-panel/post/homecoming-made-a-splash
Homecoming Made a Splash Not even a rainy day could damper the Quaker spirit this year.
What do faculty and staff learn on a day dedicated to professional development? The answers vary by school and by program, but on Friday, Oct. 6, Sidwell Friends faculty and staff gathered on a student day off to hear from noted neuroscientist and educator Jared Horvath, who sought to make the point that "learning is a choice." Read more >> sidwell.edu/about/news/news-detail/~board/homepage-news-panel/post/the-importance-of-memory
The Importance of Memory A neuroscientist explains what brain science tells us about how students learn.
Lower School students learned about the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot at an assembly last week. Sukkot, a celebration of the fall harvest, is one of the most joyful festivals in Judaism, meant to bring families, friends, and communities together. Sukkot provides an opportunity to reflect and be grateful for the harvest and the support and protection of our community. It is traditional for families to build a three-walled hut-like structure and share snacks and meals inside. Check out the one the 3rd grade constructed here!
This past summer, Sidwell Friends kindergarten teacher Denise Coffin took her third Quaker pilgrimage with the Friends Council on Education. For seven days, 19 Friends and Quaker educators joined together in northwestern England to explore Quakerism’s past—and how it relates to the present. Read more >> sidwell.edu/about/news/news-detail/~board/homepage-news-panel/post/the-pilgrim
The Pilgrim Kindergarten teacher Denise Coffin travels to England—and back in time—to bring Quakerism alive in the classroom.
This month, Sidwell Friends students repped their passions at the annual activities fair, which showcased student clubs like Brothers and Sisters of Africa, Creative Writing Club, Astrophysics, Table Top Games, Mixed Students of Sidwell, Model UN, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, and literally dozens more.
Wisdom is not reserved exclusively for the elders among us. This year's kindergarteners posed a profound query: "Even though we can do it on our own, what might happen if we do it together?" The possibilities, of course, are endless.
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