Frequently Asked Questions
The only Quaker school in Georgia, the Friends School of Atlanta was founded in 1991. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, emphasizing excellence in a cooperative atmosphere. FSA draws on the Quaker values of peace, equality, simplicity, community and integrity to empower students with conscience, conviction and compassion.
- What is the mission of The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA)? Hide
The Friends School of Atlanta is a community of learners dedicated to nurturing the mind, body and spirit of children in grades pre-kindergarten through eight. The Friends School of Atlanta continues a tradition of education spanning over 320 years and based on the belief that all people have within themselves the spirit of their own goodness. Our mission is to provide challenging academics in a diverse environment, drawing on the Quaker values of truth, simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship to empower our students to go out into the world with conscience, conviction and compassion.
- What are Quaker testimonies? Hide
“Testimonies” are values. While Quakers have many testimonies, FSA emphasizes the following testimonies, which are easy to remember using the acronym SPICES.
FSA does not seek to indoctrinate students with a set of beliefs. Since Friends live more by example than precept, much of what is unique about a Friends school does not appear formally in the curriculum. In fact, all systems of faith and belief are welcome at the Friends School of Atlanta, and many are represented in our faculty, staff, student body and Board of Trustees.
- What is the meaning of FSA’s candle logo? Hide
The image of the candle symbolizes The Friends School in many ways:
- Light: Teaching and learning
- Wick: Values
- Body: Financial strength
- Base: Quaker tradition and thought
Inherent in this image are the following aspects:
- Intensities of light
- Ways light can manifest itself
- Purposes and uses of light (actual and symbolic)
- Ways to ignite, spark, create and nurture
We care about our children by not basing their gifts and abilities solely on their ability to test but by also assessing their strengths and areas of challenge. We identify, build and nurture the strengths brought by each child and use their strengths to address their areas of need and growth. We aim to produce critical thinkers through challenging, developmentally appropriate academics and socially relevant inquiry. In turn, FSA students are:
- Kind in heart
- Thoughtful in deed
- Honest in action
- Peaceful in spirit
- Capable in skill
- Active in decision-making
- Nurtured to inquire
—Taken from FSA Reflective Self-study Report 2002–03, written by Vera L. Stenhouse and submitted March 27, 2003.
- What is FSA's policy on nondiscrimination? Hide
The School will admit students of any color, ethnicity, family structure, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School.
The School will not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability or handicap, ethnicity, family structure, gender identity, race, religion or sexual orientation in the administration of its policies, including hiring, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and athletic and other school-administered programs.
- What is the difference between an independent school and a private school? Hide
While the two terms are usually treated as synonyms, there is a subtle distinction regarding the governing structure of each. Both independent schools and private schools do not receive any public funding. An independent school, however, has an independent governing board and is completely self-funded through tuition, donations and other sources of revenue. A private school is often affiliated and funded at least in part by another entity such as a church, synagogue or mosque or even a for-profit organization.
- What is the educational environment at FSA? Hide
The Friends School of Atlanta is a mainstream educational environment that strives to deliver excellent academics to a diverse classroom community. In addition to economic, religious, racial and cultural diversity, our classrooms contain students with a diversity of learning styles and abilities, including a limited number of students who require additional support for a range of mild learning disabilities as well as students who require additional academic challenge in order to learn at the optimal level of engagement. Students at FSA learn at different paces, have a variety of passions and gifts and enjoy different aspects of the school day from hands-on science to dramatic performance to recess games to reading workshop to art. This diverse learning environment has been successful in helping students develop individual potential in a nurturing, cooperative environment. FSA has a low teacher to student ratio and classroom teachers who understand how to differentiate instruction within a mainstream classroom setting. As a small school, FSA has an excellent but limited part-time support staff, including learning specialists and school counselors, available to provide a small number of students with targeted educational or counseling intervention. Our school does not, however, have occupational therapists or other specialists who are trained to address a broad range of learning needs or particular disabilities and disorders.
- Is FSA accredited? Hide
FSA has a dual accreditation through the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- What is the student/teacher ratio? Hide
Educational research continues to point to smaller student/teacher ratio as a critical factor in the success and quality of a child's education. FSA's maximum student/teacher ratio is 9:1 in classrooms where 4 year olds learn, 11:1 in classrooms where 5 year olds learn, 13:1 in other elementary classrooms. In middle school, where one teacher leads the class, the maximum number of students in class is 16.
- What foreign languages are taught? Hide
Pre-K through second grade students attend Spanish classes once per week. Third through sixth grade students attend Spanish classes twice per week. Seventh graders have a choice between Spanish and Latin; this choice is carried over into their eighth grade year. Seventh and eighth graders attend foreign language classes four times per week as an academic core subject.
- What extra-curricular activities are offered? Hide
Afterschool Clubs offer a wide range of activities such as yoga, drama, sports, strings, piano and art. They run 3:15pm–4:30pm one day per week. Students may sign up for up to five clubs, each on a different day of the week. Middle school students may also sign up to play on a sports team such as basketball or Ultimate Frisbee.
- To which organizations does FSA belong? Hide
- Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools (AAAIS)
- Friends Council on Education (FCE)
- Georgia Independent School Association (GISA)
- Georgia School-Age Care Association (GSACA)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
- Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS)
- How does the multiage class structure work? Hide
Our students are grouped in one-and-a-half to two-year age spans rather than by grade level. Multiage classes make it easier for teachers to create a noncompetitive, supportive learning environment and provide opportunities for children to make new friends each year, keeping old friendships on the playground and in afterschool activities. Lastly, in multiage groups, younger children learn from the older children and older children have an opportunity to take on a leadership role and share their knowledge.
- What is the ethnic background of FSA’s students? Hide
Forty-eight percent of students are of color.
- Does FSA have a dress code or require uniforms? Hide
Two tenets of a Friends education, simplicity and community, should be considered in dressing students for school. Please help students avoid dressing to show off or to compete with others. Slogans and characters on clothing should also avoid what might be offensive, divisive or violent.
- The Friends School of Atlanta (FSA) will not sell or rent to a third party any personal information you submit.
- We may collect and store information for statistical purposes. For example, we may count the number of visitors to the different sections of our site to help us make them more useful to visitors.
- By sending us an electronic email message, you may be sending us personal information (e.g., name, address, email address). We may store the name and address of the requester in order to respond to the request or to otherwise resolve the subject matter of your email.
- Information that may be collected at these sites through questionnaires, feedback or registration forms will be held confidential by FSA and used only internally.
- We may provide links to web pages that are not part of the FSA website. While we provide links that are applicable and for the convenience and educational purposes of the user, these sites are not under our control. The presence of these links on our website is not intended to imply our endorsement of that site, but to provide a convenient link to relevant sites that are managed by other organizations, companies or individuals. Following such a link will NOT carry your personal information to that site.
- FSA uses SSL certificate technology to make your credit card transactions secure.
- Does FSA have any job openings? Hide
The Friends School of Atlanta does not currently have any job openings.
If you are interested in future opportunities, please submit your résumé and area of interest to Waman French, Head of School.