Established in 1845 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Co-educational, college preparatory day school for nursery school through grade 12
- 164-year history of academic excellence
- Values-based education that encourages integrity
- 9:1 student/teacher ratio
- 978 students in 2009-2010
- 285 Lower School students on the 18-acre Wynnewood Campus
- 299 Middle School students and 394 Upper School students share the 23-acre City Avenue campus
- Individualized college counseling with exceptional placement into the nation's finest colleges and universities
- Over the past five years, 20% of the Friends' Central School graduates were National Merit Scholar finalists, semifinalists, or commended students
- Mean scores on the SAT for the class of 2009: Critical Reading 669; Math 649; Writing 666; Total 1318 out of 1600
- 100% of graduates attend post-secondary schools
- 29% of the students receive need-based financial aid totaling over $4.8 million
- Exciting offerings in the arts including ceramics, drama, drawing, instrumental music, music history, music theory, painting, photography, vocal music, and woodworking
- State-of-the-art athletic facility on the City Avenue campus including 3 gyms, 7 tennis courts, indoor, competition-size swimming pool, wrestling room, fitness center, and all-weather track
- Fannie Cox Center for Science, Math and Technology: 7 laboratory classrooms, 2 computer labs with 48 work stations, 6 math classrooms with "smart" technology
Since its establishment in 1845 by the Religious Society of Friends, Friends' Central School, a coeducational, college preparatory day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grades, has been guided by Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality. Underlying all facets of School life is the belief that "there is that of God in everyone." Meeting for Worship is central, providing time for connections among members of the community and between individuals and their spiritual sources. Peaceful resolution of conflicts, seeking truth, and collaborative process are key aspects of a Friends' Central education.
Friends' Central offers rigorous and varied educational experiences in academics, the arts, and athletics, helping our students realize their potentials and achieve on the highest levels possible. We encourage trial and error, critical thinking and questioning, and intellectual courage in all areas of our curriculum. We strive to balance competence in using sophisticated technology with the richness of a humanistic education. Students' individual interests are encouraged and supported while essential skills are carefully honed.
We intentionally seek a wide spectrum of diversity in our School community. We respect unreservedly that diversity and strive to enhance and support it. Diversity influences how we teach, learn and communicate. It enriches the community and furthers understanding that each human life is intrinsically valuable and interrelated, one with another.
We realize that our students have instant access to world events, and we help them generate a social conscience in their actions within the community as well as in the wider world. We want them to develop compassion for fellow human beings across national boundaries and to value the environment. Accordingly, there are many opportunities for service, where experiential learning provides us with the awareness that we, to whom much has been given, can make a difference both locally and globally.
We believe that a friendly, nurturing, and kind school environment fosters true scholarship and helps students develop strong ethical values. In a well-ordered community, adults model behavior for students and encourage inner discipline. In such an environment, it is our strong belief that students will grow into contributing, optimistic members of society who will have a positive impact on human life.
Throughout Friends' Central's history, the pursuit of excellence has driven change. The School, formed by the Joint Committee on Education of the Cherry Street, Green Street, and Spruce Street Meetings, opened its doors in 1845 with an enrollment of approximately 200 students. Affiliated with the School were three elementary Friends Schools. After completing 6th grade, the students came to the "Central" school for their secondary education; hence, the name "Friends' Central."
The School functioned in its original location at Fourth and Cherry Streets until 1857, when the Cherry Street Monthly Meeting disposed of its holdings and a new building was erected adjacent to the new Meeting House at Fifteenth and Race Streets. In 1925, recognizing the benefits of a larger, greener campus, the School moved from Center City to the 23-acre Wister-Morris estate on City Avenue. Once again, in 1988, the Board of Trustees recognized the need for growth and expansion and purchased the former Montgomery School property in Wynnewood. The Lower School moved to its own spacious 18-acre campus in 1990.
In the years since the addition of the second campus, the School has continued on its path for growth and change responding to the needs of the faculty as they provide the best learning opportunities for the students.
- Buildings on both campuses have been renovated
- A new classroom building for foreign language classes was added to the City Avenue campus in 1996
- The Shimada Athletic Center, housing three gyms, an indoor pool, a fitness room, and a wrestling room, was dedicated in September 2000
- In 2003, the Fannie Cox Center for Science, Math and Technology was opened with 13 classrooms, two computer labs, a lecture hall, and a landscaped campus green connecting it with the rest of campus
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Friends' Central or if you would like to schedule an appointment to visit the School.
Lower School Campus (Nursery school to Grade 4)
Friends' Central School
228 Old Gulph Road
Wynnewood, PA 19096-1098
City Avenue Campus (Grades 5-12)
Friends' Central School
1101 City Avenue
Wynnewood, PA 19096-3490