Quakers believe in strong encouragement of the individual. Each person has the capacity to be good, the ability to see the Light of God, and the ability to put that truth to good use.
Thus, Quakers provide an exceptional and unique learning environment. Students who graduate from a Quaker school walk away with a strong sense of social understanding, skills to deal with adversity, tolerance and respect for others, and a strong sense of self-worth so that they have the power needed to succeed.
-Graduate of a Friends school, 1994
Friends schools hope to create an environment within which students and staff alike can continue to mature as companions in a wide range of experiences. These experiences, both outward and inward in nature, may bring forth in each a deepening awareness of the presence of God.
The Quaker Testimonies
The testimony of simplicity is about arranging one’s life so that the inner light is unobstructed. At Friends School, children learn the habit of examining their lives so as to clear the way for what is real and what is important.
The testimony of peace focuses on the importance of creating harmony within oneself and within one’s community. Quaker educators understand that nothing fortifies children and helps them achieve excellence as does the ability to find peace and actively share it with others amidst the natural noise and conflicts of life.
The testimony of integrity calls for truth and honesty in all of one’s dealings. At Friends School, we know that when children are educated in a community where the ultimate measure is integrity, they develop a strong moral compass, a powerful sense of self worth, and the imperative to do what it right.
The testimony of community speaks to the power that emerges when individuals are united in purpose. Friends School, above everything else is a nurturing, dynamic and stable community. It is the belonging to such a community that allows children the freedom to flourish and develop their individual talents while learning compassion
The testimony of equality stems from the Quaker belief that there is that of God in everyone. Beginning in the classroom and extending to the world at large, Friends School students are taught to respect themselves and others and to reject discrimination and injustice. Individual differences are honored while bullying of any kind is not tolerated.
Implicit in all the Quaker testimonies is the importance of caring for what has been given us by God including our possessions, our talents and our natural environment. At Friends School, children routinely analyze the ways in which their actions and talents can be used to benefit, rather than harm, each other and the environment. By doing so, students optimize their talents and develop into responsible citizens and trustees of the environment.
Students from the Virginia Beach Friends School working and having fun with the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club to cleanup First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Students learned as much about themselves as they do about stewardship, conservation and appreciation for nature.
Mindfulness - a continuing practice at Friends School
Much has been written recently about the practice of Mindfulness. Anderson Cooper featured the subject on his program recently and NBC News broadcast a piece on the positive impact of meditation on students. This concept is not new to Friends and is integral to our School Culture.
Teacher Charisse Spencer currently guides Mindfulness activities at Friends School. for the past seven years. Among others, she works with iBme (Inward Bound Mindfulness Education) based out of western Virginia which works with teens throughout the U.S. She specializes in the .b Curriculum Program (stop, breath, be) based out of the UK, which trains teachers and professionals internationally. She specializes in Mindfulness and the Arts and carries a BS MCV/VCU and an MA from NYC Tsich School of the Arts.
We seek a community diverse in religion, race, gender, nationality, age and economic background on every level. We believe bringing individuals of diverse backgrounds together in an atmosphere of loving appreciation and open communication encourages understanding.
At Friends, we cherish differences as essential for teaching and learning. The potential of each person and of classes and groups is realized in settings that strengthen knowledge of and sensitivity to the full spectrum of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, income, age, sexual orientation, and physical disabilities and learning differences. Understanding broad historical and cultural patterns and developing a world view are integral to the school’s curriculum. Faculty use an array of teaching practices that capitalize on resources for exploring diversity. In support of the classroom education, the school encourages students and faculty to travel near and far during the year and in the summer – at times, together.
Respect for diversity and celebration of differences are at the very foundation of Friends School. Committed to the belief that there is that of the divine in everyone, our search for knowledge resides in a community enlightened for more than two hundred years by its care for, and contact with, the whole human race.
Virginia Association of Independent Schools
Member: National Association of Independent Schools
Member: Friends Council on Education
1537 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach VA 23451
757-428-7534 - Phone
757-428-7511 - Fax
Summer Office Hours: 9:00am-3:00pm