Mission & Philosophy


Guided by Quaker principles since its founding in 1885, Friends School Haverford provides an intellectually rich program to a diverse school community. We promote academic scholarship, creativity, respect, integrity, and self-awareness with a commitment to creating a culture of stewardship and kindness. Friends School Haverford graduates are uniquely prepared to move forward with boldness of intellect and character.


Friends School Haverford was founded as a co-educational, Quaker, elementary school. The School remains under the care of* Haverford Monthly Meeting of Friends (Quakers) and serves nursery school through grade five.

Our program is rooted in academic challenge, intellectual vigor, artistic expression, service, and kindness. We encourage children’s curiosity, creativity, and joy of discovery as they grow intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

We foster an atmosphere in which students learn to work independently and in cooperation with others. They are challenged to question, explore, reflect, reason, and communicate effectively.

Friends School Haverford cultivates a community characterized by diversity in belief, ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic background. We emphasize the Quaker tenets of integrity, service, simplicity, equality, community, peaceful conflict resolution, stewardship, and sustainability.

Students are encouraged to listen inwardly and to learn to recognize that of God** in themselves and others. These shared values are reflected in the daily life of our School and in Meeting for Worship.

We teach our students to be contributing members of the community, to grow and to change with flexibility and courage, and to treat others with care and understanding.

Friends School Haverford graduates possess the intellectual and spiritual skills necessary to envision and create successful and meaningful lives.

Definitions of Quaker terms used in this document are from Faith & Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1997.
*Under the Care of describes the relationship between Friends School Haverford and Haverford Monthly Meeting. The Meeting takes responsibility for, and oversees the School.
** That of God, sometimes called The Light Within or The Inner Light, is Quaker parlance for that which is precious and unique in each person.

Diversity Statement

At Friends School Haverford, diversity is an essential aspect of our lives and education. Diversity exists in the colors of our skin, our genders and ages, our sexual identities, the structures of our families, the traditions we observe, the languages we speak, the financial and educational resources we bring, and our unique gifts and abilities. Faculty, staff, students, parents, and school committee members explore and embrace differences of all kinds with enthusiasm and respect. Friends School Haverford affirms that our heritages and beliefs help to define us as individuals. Our commitment to learning about one another and the larger world unites us as a community. As we learn in a diverse and inclusive community, we come to recognize that of God in ourselves and others. We intend that graduates of Friends School Haverford carry with them a strong sense of their own identity, a high regard for the value of differences, and an eagerness to find and acknowledge the commonalities within the human race.