What is Quaker Education?
Members of the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers believe that there is “that of God” in everyone—that goodness and dignity are inherent in all human beings. Sometimes this godliness is referred to as a "divine spark" and a beautiful potential for compassion and truth.
Quakers care deeply about what kind of people, both young and old, are becoming, what goals and motives are effective in their lives, and what their response is to the high calling of being human.
Quaker education does not seek to inculcate a particular set of beliefs or doctrines; it seeks to nurture a particular sort of personhood; a person who has first-hand experience of the reality and importance of the truth in life. A person that can hear all voices, but trust their own. A person who is tolerant and can accept the fundamental differences between us while still finding a constructive path with those they disagree with.
International Friends School emphasizes the development of a caring community, peaceful resolution of conflict, and service to others especially those less fortunate. Friends schools have a long tradition of putting love into action resulting in a unique combination of academic excellence and moral development.
The following Quaker testimonies are studied and practiced everyday at IFS. We believe that what we do, say and feel every day, shapes the person that we are all becoming.
We are proud to be part of a national network of some of the best independent schools today. Click here for a map of other Friends Schools in the USA.
Simplicity: Friends understand that people “less is more” and we strive to focus on fewer ideas and activities, which allows greater depth and joyful engagement. Simplicity can soothe contemporary anxiety of technology, making the way for genuine relationships.
Peace: Peacemaking at home and abroad. Friends oppose violence, but rather endeavor to see the light and the good in every person regardless of nationality, race, gender and social status. We believe in social justice and in helping students shape their abilities to solve conflicts through strategic dialogue.
Integrity: Commitment to word and action. The need to deal honestly with oneself and with others is a foundational Friends behavior.
Community: Living Together. Quakers believe in the power of the gathered community. Our community signifies unity, trust and acceptance in a group with common shared values. At IFS, we continually bring our community of students and families together to explore social, political and environmental change.
Equality: Social Justice. Friends Schools believe that equality is essential, but different from sameness. Equality asks that we give and receive the same respect, kindness and care for one another.
Stewardship: Care for the earth and its people. Friends believe that good stewardship is taking care of what has been given, not just for individual use, but also for future generations. At IFS, students participate in this safe keeping guardianship everyday.
Meeting for Worship
To strengthen the spirit, quiet the mind and allow our inner resources to organize, we meet in silent reflection once a week as a school, and every month as a community. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend. After Meeting for Worship, the IFS community will explore our queries and strengthen our togetherness.
* Thank you to the San Francisco Friends School and Friends Council on Education for helping us inform and shape our writing about the Quaker traditions and testimonies.
Link to the Friends Council on Education with an abundance of resources on Quaker Education:
Links to a few other Friends Schools in the United States: