This is one parent’s opinion on why they chose Germantown Friends School. Help other parents–take five minutes to complete an anonymous survey to tell PSS and our readers about your school choice!
Date Submitted: 2/3/2011
What school did you decide on? Germantown Friends School
Calendar year your child entered/will enter 2010 and 2011
Grade your child entered/will enter K
What neighborhood are you in? NW Philly
What schools did you consider? and one of several important factors that drove our decision to relocate. In the Fall of 2009, after touring (in fall 2008) a combination of 23 public & private schools in NY (details below), we began our Philadelphia exploration with a tour (at the urging of friends who had also relocated from NY) of Germantown Friends. By that time, as a result of our in-depth school exploration process in NY the prior year, and our firsthand experience of a public “Gifted & Talented” program in NY, we had a well-developed sense of what we wanted in a school. GFS offered everything we wanted and we did not feel the need to look any further.
Details of our NY search (for anyone who might be interested or question our thoroughness):
Our Fall 2008 NY kindergarten exploration of 23 schools included a variety of public kindergarten and private pre-K (due to different cut-off dates) for our older child (for admission in fall 2009): half private, half public, several w/religious or values-based philosophies. The independents we toured included Ethical Culture/Fieldston, Friends Seminary, Calhoun, Marymount, St. Luke’s, Grace Church, Blue Man Creativity Center, Claremont Prep, St. Joseph’s Academy, Little Red and Corlears (we applied to 7 of these; Friends Seminary does not have a pre-K program so we did not tour it until the following spring and never applied). The public schools we toured included both progressive and traditional, a couple of charters, and one immersive Chinese language school. We underwent 4 different application & testing processes: public lottery because we resided in a “non-zoned district option area”; Stanford Binet testing & round-2 classroom evaluation for the free public-private hybrid Hunter College Elementary school (HCES); OLSAT/Bracken testing for public “Gifted & Talented” programs; and ERB testing for the independent schools that required it. It was an exhaustive (and exhausting) process, which resulted in 3 or 4 different and variously appealing options. After much deliberation, we opted to enroll our child in the public G&T program in our district.
What factors were most important to you? Tuition, Location, Reputation, Teaching Philosophy, School Performance (test scores, success of graduates), Teacher Quality, Principal Quality, Diversity, Special Programs (language immersion, music, etc.), campus/physical facilities; sense of community.
What first attracted you to the school? Reputation for academic excellence (and clear evidence of it during our tour), Quaker values, diversity, and the very obvious sense of community.
What were the critical factors that led to your choice? Academic quality & rigor in combination with social & philosophical emphasis on kindness and the community-wide insistence on, and active practice of, respect and appreciation for individuality and difference. It is this notable combination of qualities in GFS students and graduates that compelled us to choose GFS.
Did you relocate in order to choose this school? Yes
On the political spectrum, I consider myself to be socially liberal, fiscally ambivalent
Please share anything else about your experience I would qualify “success of graduates” at GFS as observable poise, self-awareness, self-confidence and the general quality of being grounded & having a well-developed sense of self, in addition to well-developed intellect and thoughtful, considerate open-mindedness.
Help other parents–take five minutes to complete an anonymous survey to tell PSS and our readers about your school choice!