Friday, October 13, 2017 | Volume IV • Issue 7

All-School News

Ordering Your Child's School Portraits

Early next week, you will receive an email with detailed instructions to view and order your child's school portraits by photographer Mark Tassoni. If you have any questions, please follow the instructions in the email or contact Mark directly at


Mark Your Calendar for Coffee with Your Division's Principal

Join your Principals for their annual Fall Coffees. These coffees are a great opportunity for parents to hear about the exciting things happening in your division this year, to find out what's new, and to ask questions. 

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


Diwali Next Week

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. To celebrate, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, Hindu parents and students will make a welcoming Rangoli in the lobby of the Main Building. Rangolis are colorful and geometric designs made of sand, rice, or flowers. Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Our Rangoli will remain in place for three days through the start of Diwali on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Upper School presents Our Town - Oct. 27-28 - Trailer Available!

Mark your calendar for the Upper School Play Our Town, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. Check out a trailer for the play, created by Miles Meline '18, here


Save the Date - Diversity Conference - Nov. 11

Our 3rd annual Diversity Conference takes place Saturday, Nov. 11, 8 am-5 pm, on the City Ave. 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 had fun working together to make stone soup.

Lower School News

Message from Kelly Pierre

Last week, the Lower School experienced the sounds of a Cuban band named Conjunto Philadelphia. The Lower School gym came alive with Nursery through 5th graders dancing and moving to the beat of the clave, bass, and bongos. Students volunteered to come up front and learn simple salsa steps and then invited their friends and siblings to join them. As I told the students and teachers, "I wish I could start every Friday dancing with you." Our Assembly Committee works hard to identify and connect with so many wonderful performers and presenters, and these experiences add an essential richness to the Lower School program. Check out this short video of our Lower Schoolers showing off their new Salsa moves with Conjunto Philadelphia. 

Today, as a culmination to a weeklong Harvest Fest, the Lower Schoolers will prepare Stone Soup, with vegetables they all helped to peel and cut yesterday. A special addition this year - the seniors who once made the same Stone Soup came back to Old Gulph Road to read students the story and taste Stone Soup once more before they graduate! What a great way to wrap up a fantastic Harvest Fest week!


Kate DiCamillo at FCS This Sunday!

This Sunday, Oct. 15, Friends' Central is thrilled to host Kate DiCamillo, beloved and bestselling author of Newbery Award-winning books Flora & Ulysses and The Tale of Despereaux. Admission includes a copy of Kate's latest picture book, La La La: A Story of Hope. For more information and to register, click here. 


Ordering Your Child's School Portraits

Early next week, you will receive an email with detailed instructions to view and order your child's school portraits by photographer Mark Tassoni. If you have any questions, please follow the instructions in the email or contact Mark directly at


Harvest Fest - a HUGE success!

The Harvest Fest was a success this week! Thank you to all parents who worked with their children on growing, creating, documenting and bringing in their farming/gardening adventures! Your children enjoyed an array of harvest-related activities, from potato and beet tasting to making stone soup and so much more. We look forward to sharing photos and a video of the week's activities with you early next week!

Pumpkin Fair 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 Pumpkin Fair! Click here for the sign-up sheet.

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. We need volunteers to take a shift at the various booths. 

  • Like to grill? We still need another volunteer to cook on the big FCS grills. Please contact Allison Liebman if you are interested.

Haunted House! Grade 3 and 4 Parents Volunteer here! 

This week is decorating week! Stop by for an hour or 2, grab some decorations and tape, and let your creative juices flow!


LS Halloween Parade is Coming! Some reminders ... 

The Lower School Halloween Parade takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 31. The parade begins promptly at 9 am on the car loop (in front of the LS gym and Light Lab) and will finish by 9:30 am. Students should arrive to school in costume. 

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.

Grade 1 - Tomorrow, 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 4 - Saturday, Nov. 18 at The Pig Iron

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



Menu for October 9-13


Monday - Carrot & ginger soup, breadsticks, & salad

Tuesday - Hard shell chicken tacos & fresh cut raw veggies

Wednesday - Spaghetti w/ red sauce or parm cheese & cauliflower

Thursday - Italian baked chicken & sauteed spinach

Friday - Pizza Day!



Middle Schoolers jump for joy!

Middle School News

Ordering Your Child's School Portraits

Early next week, you will receive an email with detailed instructions to view and order your child's school portraits by photographer Mark Tassoni. If you have any questions, please follow the instructions in the email or contact Mark directly at


Parent-Teacher Conference Day Sign-Ups

As many of you know, Parent-Teacher Conference Day is Friday, November 3. Please sign up for your conference using a link that will be emailed to you early next week. If you lose track of that email, simply log into the Veracross parent portal and you will see a button to sign up.

Mid-Semester Reports

Mid-semester reports will be sent on Wednesday, November 1, so you will have this information prior to Conference Day. Advisors will also send a very brief questionnaire prior to conferences so that you can tell your child's advisor what you'd like to focus on during the conference.


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!


Parent Gatherings - Save the Date!

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

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!!


Upper School Service Committee members assembled hurricane relief buckets and hygiene kits this week! Thank you to all who donated cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and more for hurricane victims. 

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

The Upper School GSoA (Gender and Sexual Orientation Alliance) hosted Wednesday's Meeting for Worship on National Coming Out Day. Thoughtful queries offered by the group helped us think about the impact of gender and sexuality diversity on a peaceful community: how do we think about difference in order to connect authentically with one another? We were proud to fly the "More Color More Pride" flag, the same flag that flew over Philadelphia's City Hall during June's LGBTQ Pride festivities, for the first time on the Friends' Central flagpole in honor of the day and are grateful to GSoA for bringing it to our campus, thanks to a partnership with Amber Hikes, Executive Director of the City of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs. 


Following last week's Club Fair, clubs are in full swing, creatively shoehorned into every available time slot: community blocks, before school sessions, and lunchtime meetings. There certainly seems to be something for everyone; we encourage all students, especially those new to our Upper School community, to bring their talent and energy to these many worthwhile activities. We are particularly excited that our Humanities and Scientist Core Teams are forming and beginning their work.


Looking ahead to next week, we remind you of special programming: Seniors will have Senior Day on campus on Wednesday and are free on Thursday and Friday to concentrate on the college process, while younger students will participate in our service program Wednesday through Friday. Students know where they will be going and what they'll be doing; thank you to parents for completing the Chalk forms that will allow them to participate. Questions about service days can be directed to service coordinator Debbie Skapik.  


Later this afternoon, we are excited to welcome our French Exchange visitors from the CSI (Cite Scolaire Internationale) in Lyon. Sixteen FCS students will host their French counterparts until October 27 and complete the exchange with travel to France over spring break. FCS and CSI have participated in this bi-annual program for many years, and you can read about our impressive partner school here. Many thanks to French teacher Clémence Attard for all the careful planning that has gone into this rich experience for our students, and bienvenue to our French visitors and their teachers.


Wellness Programming Kicks Off 

Today, the FCS Wellness program, in collaboration with our Counseling Office, welcomed Michael Blanche, drug and alcohol specialist, to the Upper School. Mike and his presenting partner talked with students in grades 11 & 12 about substance use, stress, and academic pressure. He will return again in late winter for programming with grades 9 & 10. Following each large group presentation, students will have an opportunity to interact and have conversations in small groups with their adviser followed by a return visit from Mike on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. Read more about Michael Blanche here


Ordering Your Child's School Portraits

Early next week, you will receive an email with detailed instructions to view and order your child's school portraits by photographer Mark Tassoni. If you have any questions, please follow the instructions in the email or contact Mark directly at


Important Message for Senior Parents - Senior Days

On October 18, all 12th graders are expected on campus at 8:30 am to hear about Senior Project and to work through a series of rotations. These rotations will be run primarily by alumni/ae and will include work on skills such as resume building and interview etiquette. We hope this will help students find success not only in securing a position for Senior Project, but will also be useful to them in their adult lives. One of the rotations will be with Heather Tomes to learn about Yearbook pages. There will be time in the afternoon for workshops and to get feedback. Pizza lunch will be provided for seniors that day, and alumni/ae will be providing a snack. October 19 & 20 are set aside for college process work and visiting schools. Seniors are not expected on campus those two days.


Distinguished Visiting Scientist and Science Core Team

Our Science Core Team has begun preparing for our 2017 Distinguished Visiting Scientist Doug Emlen, Evolutionary Biologist and Biology Professor at the University of Montana. Science Core Team meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays all year in preparation of Emlen's talk, "Animal Weapons," which will take place on April 9. Check out the Science Core Team's blog for more info.

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.


Multicultural Conference & College Fair - Oct. 21 - Westtown

Students and families from diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds from over 100 independent schools, charter schools, and community based and access organizations are invited to participate in a day-long conference focused on serving the unique needs of underrepresented students in the college search process, taking place at Westtown on Oct. 21.


Featuring a keynote address, panel discussions and speakers on topics ranging from "Paying for College" to "Choosing an Historically Black College or University" to "Diversity and Inclusion: Hot Topics on College Campuses," and ending with a college fair, this event encourages students to explore their questions and hear first hand from current admissions officers. Whether you are starting the college search process in gr. 10 or are a senior preparing to submit your apps very soon, this program can be a great resource.

WHAT: Independent School Multicultural Conference & College Fair
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 21, Registration - 9 am; Conference Sessions, Keynote, Lunch, and College Fair - 9 am-5 pm
WHERE: Westtown School
FEE: $10 and includes lunch. Fee can be paid directly to Westtown School at time of registration on the day of the program.
LEARN MORE: Click here


Grade 9 Parent Gathering 

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



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

Blood Drive

November 10 • 9 am-2 pm


Leading the Maker Movement – Friends' Central Students Shine at World Maker Faire

Friends' Central continues to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge Maker Education. At the World Maker Faire in NY last month, FCS voices and projects were felt in multiple arenas. Lower & Middle School students and faculty gave a riveting demonstration of their State Fair project and their If the World Were a Village projects, and two Upper School students presented their show-stopping project – the RFiClimb, a wireless rock climbing wall with a scoring system that used RFiD and Bluetooth to show the climber's progress – winning Best in Class and multiple Editors' Awards. Read more.


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


Community News


FREE Eye Checks & Glasses - Give Kids Sight Day - Saturday, Oct. 21 for children 17 & under

Please spread the word! This free event takes place from 8:30 am–1 pm at Jefferson Alumni Hall. The event is open to all children from Philadelphia and surrounding counties and is geared towards kids who did not have or did not pass an eye screening this year. No health insurance? No problem! All children are welcome. Walk-ins only; no appointment needed! We suggest families arrive early.


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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