We believe the world needs passionate, lifelong learners who act with courage, integrity, and love. Inspired by that need, and the Quaker values of peace, equality, and care for the earth, Friends School of Wilmington is a vigorous academic community committed to educating the whole child.
Friends School of Wilmington continues a three hundred and fifty year Quaker educational tradition of fostering intellectual and spiritual integrity while affirming the value of each individual. We manifest Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship, fostering habits of respect, trust, reflection, and personal responsibility as cornerstones of a healthy educational community. We emphasize academic excellence, consensus-based decision making, exploration of diverse viewpoints, peaceful conflict resolution, and environmental stewardship. We believe that young people who are convinced of their own value will, in turn, seek and speak to the good in others.
Quaker Beliefs and Friends School Practice
Friends (Quakers) believe that there is “that of God,” or an “Inner Light,” within every individual. At a Friends school, respect for each other is rooted in this belief. Students are treated with respect because there is sacred potential within each one of them. Teachers are treated with respect not just because it is polite to do so, but because they are authentically held in high regard by students and the community. Although many who are unfamiliar with Friends' practices believe that our use of first names is informal or casual, it is a very deliberate practice rooted in the deep respect and equality we feel for individuals of all ages.
The Quaker Peace Testimony is rooted in the belief that there is that of God in everyone and Friends schools have led the way for decades in teaching conflict management to students. Friends School of Wilmington begins this process with our youngest students as they learn to use the “peace rose” when tensions between students occur. Students through 8th grade are taught strategies for peaceful resolution and peer mediation is used when appropriate to manage concerns in our Middle School.
Many Quakers worship in silence in order to connect with the Divine. This spiritual practice filters into Friends schools as many student gatherings open with a period of silence during which we center ourselves for the work ahead. Our community gathers weekly for Meeting for Worship during which students are taught to use silence as a tool for active reflection. This spiritual discipline feeds into students’ academic pursuits as they hone their abilities to listen, reflect, and move mindfully through their day.
Quakers have always professed “tolerance” for others. Today, that belief is manifest in Friends’ support of diversity and inclusion. At Friends School of Wilmington, we seek a community that reflects a wide range of religious traditions, ethnicity, and cultural backgrounds. Our philosophy encourages students to understand, respect, and actively learn from differences in order to become compassionate global citizens.