Friends' Central Middle School
Friends’ Central provides eager young learners with a dynamic and challenging academic program. In the Middle School, students are encouraged to explore and take risks whether they are in the classroom, on the stage, or on the playing fields. Students in grades 6-8 are ready to think more abstractly and question more critically. Our program encourages students to embrace the joy that comes from intellectual discovery. Middle School students work together to problem-solve more creatively, building both a sense of self and a sense of community. Through a combination of a rich, engaging curriculum and progressive pedagogy, teachers instill a love of learning and provide students with a set of essential skills which will propel them through the Upper School and beyond.
At FCS, we create a nurturing educational environment where students feel comfortable, motivated, and confident as they learn and grow. The Middle School years are crucial, transformative years in students’ academic journey and in their personal development. Our teachers understand and delight in the opportunities and challenges that come with shepherding children into adolescence. It is the individual attention our teachers give to our students that forges meaningful relationships and enables each child to thrive. With a program and schedule tailored to young adolescents, we nurture healthy minds and bodies, self-advocacy, social-emotional intelligence, communication skills, organization and time management, and independence.
The Middle School provides students with an abundance of hands-on learning experiences in and out of the classroom. These opportunities help students to develop their voices and find or follow their interests. In addition to our academic, artistic and athletic programs, students participate in clubs, community service, affinity groups, mini-courses, and field trips. Friends’ Central Middle School plays a critical role in transforming eager, and enthusiastic elementary school students into self-aware, critical thinkers who are engaged and empathetic citizens.
Learning through service and instilling a commitment to serving the community are essential aspects of life at Friends’ Central School. All Middle School students participate in weekly service projects every Wednesday for about an hour and a half.
Friends’ Central’s Middle School curriculum motivates students to think abstractly, question critically, and problem-solve creatively. Students experience exceptional teachers in small classes where learning is both challenging and joyful.
“Friends’ Central Middle School provides students with space to grow and thrive. We have created an intentional program designed for young learners to foster critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration. We also have a lot of fun in the process.”
- Andy White '03, Middle School Principal
Meet Our Middle School Principals
Andy White '03 joined the Friends' Central community as the Middle School Assistant Principal in July 2020 and became Principal during the 2022-2023 school year. Andy earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and holds two master's degrees - one in cinema studies from the University of Southern California and another in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to FCS, he taught English at Hopkins School and St. Bernard’s School before becoming their Head of Upper School (gr. 7-9). At St. Bernard’s, Andy was responsible for hiring, retaining, evaluating, and supporting faculty; he strengthened and led the advisory program and programming for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also reviewed and evaluated curriculum and academic offerings, oversaw admissions efforts, built strong partnerships between families and the school, and was beloved by his students.
Interim Assistant Principal
Jill MacDougall is serving as the Interim Middle School Principal and the Middle and Upper School Learning Specialist at Friends' Central School. She has extensive experience teaching and supporting a wide variety of learners at the middle level. Prior to joining the FCS community in 2018 she served for 15 years as a primary & middle school learning specialist in independent and public schools in Wisconsin. Jill has training in developmental literacy, assistive technology, trauma-informed school practices, education of the gifted, and supporting executive functions in the classroom setting. Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carthage College in elementary/middle education and learning disabilities, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.