Who We Are

Mission Statement
Our Approach 
Friends School of Wilmington (FSW) is a progressive Quaker school serving children from preschool through 8th grade. Our history as a Quaker institution informs our vigorous academic program rooted in experiential, inquiry-based learning with special attention to DEI programming, environmental stewardship, and social action. 
Here at FSW, we recognize the importance of fostering an educational environment that facilitates each child's social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Because of this, it is with great intention that we research and recruit passionate, experienced faculty and staff for our school. Our superb student-to-teacher ratio ensures that each child receives individualized attention attuned to their learning needs. In addition, our administrative staff provide active support for faculty and take immense pride in keeping the parent community engaged and informed. Together, we collectively foster a collaborative community that supports whole child education. 
You will find that the Quaker principles of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equity, and stewardship/service set us apart in terms of the values we teach and exemplify. These principles are the foundation our school is built upon, and they exemplify the spirit of lifelong learning.
FSW remains dedicated to the Quaker principle of inclusivity and recognizes that diversity improves the educational and social experience for all. To ensure an FSW education is accessible to families from a range of economic backgrounds, we offer tailored tuition to those who need financial support. The program is available to families of students enrolled in K - 8th grade.
What Sets Us Apart?
Who We Are
Frequently Asked Questions
Our Montessori preschool program includes self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. This approach provides an intentionally planned environment to enhance concentration and encourage independence, exploration, creativity, and curiosity in our preschool students. 
Students choose activities from four areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, and Language. Science, Geography, Art, and Culture are threaded within and across each area. Mixed age-grouping provides older students the opportunity and responsibility to lead their classmates in routines and in learning; younger children can be inspired by observing advanced peers.
To learn more about our preschool curriculum and class offerings, please click here.
Much like preschool, our K-8 academic approach is also inquiry-based and emphasizes independent learning and collaborative group work. Students research, question, and respond to the world around them through experiential learning opportunities that develop critical thinking, problem solving, analytical reflection, and research skills.
We also recognize the value of learning about the world around us and thus employ a place-based approach to education through regular field trips and service learning work. Students are supported in their intellectual, emotional, and social growth by dedicated teachers who understand the joys and challenges that children encounter at each developmental phase. 
To learn more about our Lower School curriculum and educational philosophy, please click here; Middle School found here.
We are dedicated to achieving a small student:teacher ratio in order to facilitate an optimal learning environment that provides individualized attention and student engagement. Our typical ratios are as follows: 
  • Preschool: 6:1
  • K-5th Grade: 7:1
  • 6th-8th Grade: 9:1
We are accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools, who conducts a full accreditation process every five years, as well as midpoint check-ins with recommendations for continued growth. We are also members of the National Association of Independent Schools and the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools.
The Friends Council on Education is the national organization that supports Quaker schools through professional development opportunities, resources for faculty/staff, and networking events to connect with colleagues at Friends institutions across the country. 
All four organizations guide our approach to the transformative power of a Quaker education and ensure we provide a vibrant, vigorous, and adaptive learning environment for all students.
We invest a great deal of time, thought, and care into assessment. Throughout the school day, students are given continual feedback about areas of strength and areas of continued growth. Formal evaluations by teachers are completed and shared with parents on a periodic basis. The timing and format of these evaluations varies based on the age of the student. Either parents or teachers may schedule conferences as needed to address questions or concerns.
To learn more about assessment protocols and standardized testing for Lower and Middle School students, please click here.
We take great pride in how we search, hire, and invest in our teachers by successfully recruiting diverse candidates at both regional and national levels. It is critical to employ outstanding, dedicated educators who work collaboratively by placing the whole child at the center of all programmatic decisions. All faculty and staff complete professional development workshops and training seminars and are encouraged to implement innovative ideas that help to fulfill FSW's educational goals.
To meet our incredible staff, please click here.
We celebrate inclusivity and promote diversity of our students, faculty, and staff. Through curricula and intentional programming that advocates for social justice, we prepare our students to engage in the world with curiosity and respect for all people. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB) Council includes members from all constituent groups within the school community and focuses on identifying and addressing elements of systemic racism and bias that exist in our midst, challenging us to look within ourselves and take stock of our individual roles in repairing the world and creating a community of belonging.
To learn more about our sustained commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging, please click here
Quakers are known for their reverence for the natural world and their deep call to care for the Earth. The unification of our campus and the purchase of adjoining green space in Spring 2021 inspired us to reimagine our existing environmental education initiatives. As part of an ongoing collaboration with faculty, parents, students, and community partners, we are building a comprehensive program with an integrated curriculum across grade levels at the newly established Longleaf Center for Environmental Education. 
Depending upon grade level and subject area, teachers focus on lessons related to ecological systems and biodiversity; air and water quality; energy and climate change; stewardship of land and water; recycling and composting; individual and organizational sustainability; and environmental justice. 
For a more detailed look at Longleaf and our approach to environmental education, please click here.  
 We provide students with a variety of activities and learning opportunities that supplement our academic curriculum. For example: 
  • Our Spanish classes stimulate second language acquisition, an appreciation for cultural diversity, and an interest in international language. 
  • Our Art and Music classes help students develop skills for creative expression. 
  • Our Physical Education classes and fitness activities provide opportunities for bodily movement, skill development, and cooperative teamwork.
  • Our Environmental Education program broadens students’ knowledge of relevant environmental topics and cultivates an ethos of stewardship for the natural world.
  • Our commitment to DEIJB concepts and social issues are presented in the classroom with a variety of age-appropriate materials and activities. 
To meet our enrichment specialists and learn about their integrative approach to education, please click here
Most of our graduates from 8th grade seek out advanced placement and honors classes, as well as magnet programs. Recent school placements include North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Isaac M. Bear High School, and Wilmington Early College High School. Both during and after high school, it is our hope and intention that FSW graduates continue to live out our guiding principles and remain life-long learners, respected citizens, and leaders in their community.
Exciting alumni updates can be found here
We remain dedicated to the Quaker principle of inclusivity and recognizes that diversity improves the educational and social experience for all. In order to make an FSW education accessible to families from a range of economic backgrounds, we offer tailored tuition to those who need financial support to attend. This is available to families of students enrolled in Kindergarten through 8th grade. 
Our community includes many who can comfortably afford full tuition but only by making sacrifices; and there are others who can afford minimal tuition. Many families fall somewhere along the spectrum, so we encourage you to ask questions and inquire about what offerings we have.
For more information, please click here.
We encourage active parent involvement! Research shows that increased parent involvement leads to higher performance outcomes and increased social experiences. There are multiple opportunities for engagement, such as: 
  • Parent Association/Class Parent 
  • Annual Fund Ambassador 
  • Volunteering in classrooms or chaperoning field trips  
  • Assisting with special events such as Night of Peace, GrandFriends Day, and Graduation
To find ways to connect with our parent community, please click here
No, a student does not need to be a Quaker to attend FSW. We respect all cultural values, and every student from a variety of religious backgrounds--or none at all--will feel welcomed, honored, and respected here.
In line with our school's Quaker history and guiding priniciples, all FSW students, faculty, and staff are expected to uphold the core values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship/service--known within Friends circles as the SPICES.
For more about what a Friends School education can mean for your child, please click here