Friday, October 6, 2017 | Volume IV • Issue 6

All-School News

Spread the Word about FCS - Open House This Monday!

Our next open house is coming up on October 9, and we need your help! Word of mouth is the most trusted source of information when learning about schools. Thank you for putting up your Open House lawn signs! Can you post a flyer at your local library, post office, coffee house, or child's sports facility, gym, or music/dance studio? Download a Lower School flyer here, and a Middle & Upper School flyer here! Don't forget to spread the word on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Find out more here. Thanks so much helping to share the FCS story! 


Support FCS Hurricane Relief Efforts by Upper School Service Committee

Upper School Service Committee coordinated an effort for US homerooms to collect and assemble hygiene kits and flood clean-up kits for ​victims of the recent hurricanes. We still need a few more supplies to complete our kits. We are short the following items; if you have any in your household, please consider bringing them in by Friday, Oct. 13:

  • Liquid laundry detergent (50oz)
  • Liquid household cleaner
  • Dish soap (no bigger than 28 oz)
  • Clothesline (up to 100 ft)
  • Clothespins (50 pack)
  • 3 pairs of work gloves
  • Scouring pads!
  • 1 Scrub brush
  • Dust masks


Mark Your Calendar for Coffee with Your Division's Principal

Lower School with Kelly Pierre - Thursday, Oct. 26, 8:15 am in the LS Cafeteria

Middle School with Alexa Quinn - Tuesday, Oct. 17, 8:15 am in MS Room 10

Upper School with Bill Kennedy - Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7 pm in MS Room 10


Save the Date - Diversity Conference - Nov. 11

Save the date for the third annual Diversity Conference on Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 am-5 pm, on the City Avenue Campus! All are welcome to join us for this important conference, which tackles diversity and inclusivity in schools and nationwide. We expect great attendance once again at year's conference, entitled "Different Voices, Same Vision: Truth, Fables, and The Way Forward in the Story of America," 


FCS at the Philadelphia Craft Show on 11/9!
Join FCS parents and alumni/ae at the PMA Craft Show for a special event featuring artist and FCS Alum Liz Wells Oppenheim '98. Since 2008, Liz has been creating organic jewelry in gold and silver using a traditional Japanese hand-sculpting technique in which the masters are created using a sculpting wax called mitsuro - a mixture of organic beeswax and pine resin. Reserve early as space is limited! Register and pay here. Find out more by downloading our flyer.


This morning, Lower Schoolers enjoyed a lively Cuban musical assembly by Conjunto Philadelphia.

Lower School News

Harvest Fest is HERE!

The Harvest Fest, a time to celebrate our students' connection to the natural world, whether it be something they have grown themselves or something that they have observed in nature, starts this Monday! Please have children bring in whatever they have: flowers, fruits, vegetables, photos, crafts, poems, stories of success/failure, with descriptive labels, on Monday morning.

When? Monday, October 9 

Where? End of Hallways on each floor

This year, we are extending the event to last all week, with special harvest-themed activities! Click here for more!


LS Parenting Mini-Workshop "Establishing Routines"
Thursday, Oct. 12, 8:15 am, LS Cafeteria

Good habits start at the beginning of the year. Join us for our LS Parenting Mini-Workshop with LS counselor Jessica Corsaro and Marguerite "Perk" Musacchio from Skills2Soar. We will discuss strategies to help establish routines. Click here to register and to share any questions you'd like addressed at the workshop.


Do You Like Soup? Soup for Sale in the LS Cafeteria!

Containers of Tomato, Kale and White Bean, and Turkey Corn Chowder are available in the LS cafeteria! Vegetarian soup: $11 per quart; soups with meat: $14 per quart. Feel free to contact Chef Wadiya if you have any questions.

Pumpkin Fair is Coming! Sunday, Oct. 22, noon-4 pm  

Wristbands now available!

Buy your child's wristband online - click here to buy now!

Purchase your wristband online for $13 or at the fair for $15. Wristbands can be picked up the day of the Pumpkin Fair at the entrance table. Look forward to seeing you there! (Adults do not need to purchase a wristband.)  


We need you at the Pumpkin Fair!!!

The Lower School Pumpkin Fair is our big community event of the fall. It is planned, organized, and run by parents who donate their time and energy to provide a fun-filled afternoon for families.

  • Like to grill? The food tent needs 1-2 people to cook on the big FCS grills. Please contact Allison Liebman if you are interested.

  • We need volunteers to take a shift at the various booths. Click here for the volunteer sign-up sheet.
  • Questions? Contact Co-chairs Eva Greenberg or Elisha Snedeker


Grade 3 and 4 Parents Needed for the Haunted House

Join us on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 2-5 pm to help construct the house. Parents can use Extended Day for their child at no cost if they are helping with the Haunted House. Please email Erica Seay if you will use this service.


Scarecrow Clothes Collection - Wed., Oct. 11 Morning drop-off clothing drive

We are in need of children's clothes sizes 2T-6 for the Pumpkin Fair Scarecrow booth. If you are cleaning your closet, consider donating the clothes to our Scarecrow booth. Parents will be out at morning drop-off next Wednesday collecting clothes. 

Parent Gatherings
Every year, parent reps plan and organize a social for parents in each grade level. Save the date for your class! Invitations to follow.

N/PK/K - Tonight, Friday, Oct. 6, 7-9 pm in the Light Lab. 

Grade 1 - Saturday, Oct. 14 at the home of Ben & Elisha Snedeker. Click here to sign up to bring something.

Grade 2 - Tuesday, Oct. 17, 6:30 pm, home of Vanita & Jim Treat. Evite here.

Grade 3 - Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Kiss home. Click here for the invitation.

Grade 4 - Saturday, Nov. 18 at The Pig Iron

Grade 5 - Friday, Nov. 3 hosted by the Esposito's



Menu for October 9-13


Monday - Turkey Noodle Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Tuesday - Beef Empanadas, fresh cut raw veggies, & fruit

Wednesday - Baked Ziti, buttered peas, & tossed salad

Thursday - Yaki Soba w/ Veggies, Fresh cut raw veggies, & fruit

Friday - Pizza Day!


Grade 6 students learned about the Middle Ages on their trip to the Renaissance Faire this week.

Middle School News

Message from Alexa Quinn

The horrific violence, lives lost, and lives forever changed in Las Vegas weighed heavily on many in our School and country this week. We offered a special time for quiet reflection and conversation on Monday, and many teachers helped students to process the events in advisory and classes. In Thursday's Meeting for Worship, I paraphrased some words by Brene Brown that resonated with me as I tried to navigate the barrage of terrible images and numbers of dead and injured. She writes, "1. Prayer and civic action are not mutually exclusive. Join me in both. 2. Step away from social media coverage and toward real people for support, action, conversation, and being with each other in collective pain. Keep informed, but don't stay glued. Our secondary trauma will not make us better helpers - it shuts us down and sends us into self-protection and blame finding." As I told students, I believe her advice could apply well beyond this week as we navigate any difficult events in the world in the age of social media and constant news coverage.

On a much happier note, the weather is finally feeling like fall, and we're settling into the rhythms of the school year. With four major trips (Echo Hill, Washington, Renaissance Faire, and Adventure Day) behind us, students have had opportunities to connect with new and returning classmates, to learn about things closely connected to their course curricula, and of course, to have fun.

On Thursday night, a number of parents/guardians attended a showing of the documentary Screenagers. Today we showed the film to our Middle School students, and we certainly encourage you to engage in conversation with your child(ren) about the issues raised, which we will also be doing in advisory and during our digital citizenship lessons. Even if you did not see the film, some related queries include:

  • How does social media affect our relationships?
  • How can we, as adults, model a healthy balance of technology use?
  • How can adults and educators provide young people with appropriate boundaries and oversight while also encouraging independence and personal accountability?


If you would like more resources, the website for the movie and Common Sense Media are helpful places to begin.

On Monday, Oct. 9, we are in session and will be welcoming a number of visitors for our fall Open House. As I did during Curriculum Night, I want to thank you for all that you do to spread the word about the Middle School and Friends' Central. If you have a friend or neighbor you know will be visiting us at any time this year, please let me know. I'd be happy to reach out to them personally or to try to meet them when they are on campus.

I had the pleasure of visiting classes this week. I learned about undefined and defined terms in geometry, the history behind the allegory of George Orwell's Animal Farm, and the primary causes of World War I. I look forward to observing more classes to seeing our teachers and your children in action!


The Phoenix Inquirer Rises!

The MS Newspaper, The Phoenix Inquirer, returned this week, with reporting on the hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico, perspectives on competitive video gaming, logic puzzles, and much more! Check out for continuing coverage of school, local, national, and international events reported by own very own Middle School students!


Are you looking for voice or music lessons for your child?

If so, please contact either Carl Bradley, Director of our Middle & Upper School Music Lessons, or Zachary Zaitlin, our new Accompanist.  


Parent Gatherings - Save the Date!

Grade 6 - Friday, Oct. 13, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room

Grade 7 - Friday, Oct. 6, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room - Click here to RSVP.

Grade 8 - Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-8:30 pm in the OPA Room


Middle School Cast Members Working Hard in Shrek Jr.

Twenty-four Middle Schoolers are working hard to bring you their vibrant production of Shrek, Jr., which takes place on November 17 and 19 - be sure to save the dates!!


The Felsen Common was abuzz with activity at the Club Fair this morning. Check out our list of 2017-2018 clubs here.

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

We enjoyed the chance to showcase our community this week as a team of educators from PAIS (on campus for our 10-year accreditation visit) got to know us. As we had anticipated, our students were stars, as the committee noted in its presentation to us on Wednesday afternoon: our visitors found them confident, friendly, and fully immersed in the life of their school. We are particularly grateful (and pleasantly surprised) to have executed the quickest, quietest fire drill any of us can remember!


The week also brought two exciting Varsity soccer matches to Talen Energy Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Union. It was a heady experience to play under the lights, with Friends' Central's name flashing on the electronic scoreboard, supported by the cheers of the community. The enthusiastic fans, some of whom rode in on the packed fan bus, were treated to some great soccer ending in two hard-fought draws.


On a much more somber note, this week's news of the massacre of concert-goers in Las Vegas has brought us together in another way, with opportunities to sit and reflect with others, advisory and classroom conversations, and helpful resources provided by school psychologist Frederick Pratt. We noted again how fortunate we are in the institution of our weekly Meeting for Worship; as a community, we know how to come together for support and wisdom in painful and bewildering times.


The end of the week brought the much-anticipated annual Club Fair, sponsored by Student Council. Clubs are a highlight of Upper School life, with almost 60 offerings this year, as you can see here. There is truly something for everyone, and nobody can participate in everything that looks good. Students are welcome to add themselves to the email lists of organizations that interest them in order to stay in touch with what's going on and to become active members of the clubs they are most passionate about. We draw your attention particularly to the Science and Humanities Core Teams, which are always highlights. This year, our visitors are James Peterson, Director of Africana Studies and Professor of English at Lehigh University and founder of Hip Hop Scholars, Inc., and Douglas Emlen, evolutionary biologist and professor from the University of Montana and author of Animal Weaponry: the Evolution of Battle. We encourage everyone to become part of the intellectual community of students and faculty who prepare for these visits by studying these scholars' work.


As the week ends, we say a temporary goodbye to math teacher Rebecca Benjamin, who begins her maternity leave on Monday, and we send our best wishes to Rebecca and her wife, Sorelle, as they prepare for the arrival of their baby. We also welcome Steve Emerson, who will fill in for Rebecca while she is away.


Support FCS Hurricane Relief Efforts by US Service Committee

Upper School Service Committee coordinated an effort for Upper School homerooms to collect and assemble hygiene kits and flood clean-up kits for ​victims of the recent hurricanes. We still need a few more supplies to complete our kits; if you have any in your household, please consider bringing them in by Friday, Oct. 13:

  • Liquid laundry detergent (50oz)
  • Liquid household cleaner
  • Dish soap (no bigger than 28 oz)
  • Clothesline (up to 100 ft)
  • Clothespins (50 pack)
  • 3 pairs of work gloves
  • Scouring pads!
  • 1 Scrub brush
  • Dust masks

Upper School Fall Service Days - Oct. 18-20 

On these three days, we pause from our daily routine of classes to go out into the community and volunteer. To find your student's assignment, please look on Veracross under "Future Classes." Permission slips were sent through Chalk this week. Transportation will be provided by FCS via bus or SEPTA and, in a few cases, students will walk with teachers. Students are not permitted to drive themselves to project locations. If you plan to drop off or pick up your child at the volunteer location rather than at school on those days, please notify Service Coordinator Deborah Skapik in advance.


School Portraits Available for Purchase by Oct. 17

We will send you an email shortly with a link to the online gallery, specific instructions for placing orders, and the coupon code you can enter for discounts. In the meantime, click here to visit the school portraits FAQs page and get answers to common questions.


From the College Counseling Office
Late registration for sophomores and juniors to take the Oct. 14 PSAT exam is Today, Oct. 6. Click here to register. The cost is $40 to be paid at the time of registration. For families needing financial assistance, please contact the College Counseling Office. Click here for a list of upcoming local college fairs!


Wednesday, Oct. 11 - National Coming Out Day 

The Upper School GSoA (Gender & Sexual Orientation Alliance) will commemorate this day in two important ways:

1. The rainbow flag (symbol of LGBTQ+ pride) will fly beneath the US Flag on the City Ave. flagpole all day. The flag is the "more color, more pride" design which includes a black and brown stripe to speak deliberately to racial inclusion in the LGBTQ+ community. Find out more about this flag here.

2. The GSoA will offer queries at Meeting for Worship that invite the community to reflect on coming out and its connection to building a more peaceful, inclusive community. Check next week's JTF for more highlights!


Grade 9 Parent Gathering 

Save the Date! Friday, Oct. 20 7-9 pm in the OPA room


Upper School Music Fest - Moved to April

Please note the Upper School Music Fest has been moved from November 4 to April 14. Please make this correction on your print calendar. 



Admission Open House
Oct. 9 (LS - 9 am; MS/US - 12:30 pm)


Visiting Author Kate DiCamillo

Oct. 15 • 1 pm


MS Parent Coffee with Principal

Oct. 17 • 8:15 am


US Parent Coffee with Principal

Oct. 18 • 7 pm


US Service Days

Oct. 18 - Oct. 20



Oct. 19


Senior College Visit Days (no gr. 12 classes)

Oct. 19 - Oct. 20


LS Pumpkin Fair

Oct. 22 • 12-4 pm


US/MS Photo Retake Day

Oct. 23


LS Parent Coffee with Principal

Oct. 26 • 8:15 am


US Play Preview - Our Town

Oct. 26 • 7 pm


US Play - Our Town

Oct. 27 • 7 pm


US Play - Our Town

Oct. 28 • 7 pm


LS Halloween Parade

Oct. 31 • 9 am


Critical Times for Critical Thinkers

As any parent will tell you, teenagers no longer speak on the phone, even with their friends. Instead, they communicate through their fingers with typed words. Text messages, tweets, blogs, posts, and comments may depend on digital technology and the worldwide web, but these vehicles would not operate without written language. Read more


Giving Back – FCS Alums Return to Coach at FCA
Friends' Central enjoys a proud legacy of excellence in the pool. From dominance in both girls' and boys' swimming – 14 consecutive championships for boys' swimming – to a vibrant yearlong aquatics program, swimmers of all ages flock to FCS to learn from outstanding coaches and have the best experience possible in the water. This year, five alumni/ae – Max Bernard '08, Ryan Cassidy '13, Olivia Gillison '10, Victoria Gillison '13, and Mary Stroman '08 – have returned to FCS to continue this legacy of excellence in swimming and to pass along what they learned as swimmers, and as students, at Friends' Central. Read more


Community News


Understanding and Demystifying College Admissions with Cigus Vanni

Want to know more about the college admissions process? Check out Cigus Vanni on Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Belmont Hills Library. Click here to find out more. 



Just the FaCtS is published each Friday by the Friends' Central Communications Office.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to email us at



Lower School Campus | 228 Old Gulph Road | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.642.7575

Middle/Upper School Campus | 1101 City Ave. | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.649.7440

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