Friday, December 15, 2017 | Volume IV • Issue 16

All-School News

Weather-related Cancellations for Today, December 15
Due to the inclement weather, the following programs have been postponed or cancelled:

  • Upper School Choral Concert scheduled for tonight at 7 pm has been postponed to Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 pm.
  • All athletic activities are cancelled for today.
  • Lower School Extended Day Program and the City Avenue campus will remain open until 6 pm, but parents are encouraged to pick up their children as early as they can.


Reminder about Weather Alerts/School Closing Information
As we enter the winter season, please be aware that if the School is closed or if there's a delayed opening due to inclement weather, you will be alerted via text and email. (This is a good moment to ensure that we have your correct contact information in Veracross!) The homepage of the FCS website will also have up-to-date information. In addition, the School's closing number is 345 on the CBS Philly website.


Still Time for Year-End Gifts to the Friends' Central Fund!
As 2017 winds down and you consider year-end charitable donations, please support the wonderful work of Friends' Central School. You can make a gift at or on Venmo. If you would like to make a gift of securities, please contact Kim Emmons-Benjet. Every gift counts on our way to 100% parent participation! Thank you to our phonathon volunteers who will be making calls next week, and thank you to our FCS community for your generosity!


Check Out The New FCS Middle School Video
We're thrilled to share with you a fantastic new video highlighting what sets our Middle School apart. Please share it around and spread the word about our outstanding Middle School!


Q&A About Philanthropy Through State Tax Credit Programs
Please join us to learn more about obtaining 2018 Pennsylvania tax credits and supporting financial aid by investing in the Friends Education Equity Collaborative (FEEC). On the morning of Jan. 8, from 8-9 am, Kim Emmons-Benjet and Bob Cotter, along with representatives from FEEC, will answer questions about new opportunities with State Tax Credit programs as well as the established EITC and OSTC programs. Questions and to RSVP, contact Kim Emmons-Benjet (610-645-4499) by Friday, Jan. 5.


Visit the FCS Online School Store!
Still looking for gift ideas? Check out the online School Store for all of your last minute holiday shopping needs!


Friends' Central School Arboretum on ArbNet
We are proud and honored to see the Friends' Central Arboretum and its history featured on ArbNet, "an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta and tree-focused professionals." Click here to see the page.


Third grade students in Ms. Clough's class held their Charleston Market this week - inviting other grades to come and sample their wares.

Lower School News

Message from Kelly Pierre

Bravo to Dawn Ovalle and Stephanie Storm on designing and organizing an absolutely magical K-2 Winter Showcase in honor of our Fall Theme The Arts. It was clear how much the students have learned about singing, listening, and responding to music as they sang and moved in response to what they were hearing. The integration with Spanish, art, music, science and social studies was evident from the singing of De Colores and Paz y Libertad and A Wish for Peace to the movements displays that accompanied "Aquarium" from Carnival of the Animals and the movements and masks that were used to animate the "Intro" of Peter and the Wolf. Another highlight was when Rainbow Ensemble began to play March from the Nutcracker, and smiles spread across the students' faces as they remembered the performance the Philadelphia Studio Ballet put on for us a couple of weeks ago. It is inspiring to think of the variety of artforms and artists to which our students have been exposed during this Fall Project. Where else does a Lower Schooler get exposed to the first paintings in the Caves of Lascaux, the quilting of Faith Ringgold, have a chance to make a stop-motion film based on Edward Hicks' The Peaceable Kingdom, visit the Phila. Museum of Art three times to explore "Masters and Masterpieces," and learn about drums and drumming from a multitude of cultures? The at Friends' Central Lower School, where each year the teachers come together to design a theme and choose identities that will excite, engage, and motivate our youngest learners, exposing them to rich and intellectually stimulating topics! A huge thank you to Kim Parris and Heather Exley for the beautiful artwork that they created with the students to create the program and the magnificent scenery. And one last special thank you to Brie Daley, our Light Lab Director, for accompanying the students on the piano!

Just moments after the Winter Showcase was finished, our 5th graders, the leaders of our Lower School, hosted an Ancient Civilizations Feast, where they taught us about different civilizations from around the world using the non-fiction books they have created, and that now have official barcodes as they will enter circulation in our library collection! The 5th graders also shared jewelry, clay coins, paper, and mosaic tiles they have made as part of their work to understand the jobs of men and women, the foods, the government, and the religions of civilizations from long ago. A huge thank you to our 5th grade students and their teachers Brandi Lawrence and Tina Lee for all of their hard work.

Art Supply Donations Requested

In support of our Arts thematic fall project, we will continue collecting art supplies for The Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership through Tuesday, Dec. 19. Through the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, we will contribute to the after-school programs at two schools. These programs are in need of the following art supplies: crayons, colored pencils, washable markers, sharpies, construction paper, scissors, tape, school glue, and pencils. We have set up our "giving tree" in the Lower School lobby. If you are able to donate any of these items, please add them to one of the gift bins under the tree. Art supplies do not need to be wrapped. All students will sign a community greeting card – made by talented Art teacher Kim Parris – that will accompany our donations to PAEP. Any questions, feel free to contact either of the clerks of the LS Service Committee, Sue Borrero or Janet Bowker.


Saturday AM Basketball/Field Hockey, Saturday PM Swimming

Jan. 6 & 20, Feb. 3, 10, & 17 - Registration now open!

The Saturday Morning Basketball/Field Hockey and Saturday Afternoon Swimming Programs for Friends' Central students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will begin on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. We look forward to having your children join us for these free programs this winter for the morning, the afternoon, or both! Find out more and register online here. This is the 44th year for our Basketball program and the 18th year for our Swimming program!


This is the first year for Winter Field Hockey Clinics, led by Varsity Field Hockey coach Rachael Bloemker, open to girls in grades 3-8 on Saturdays in January and February in conjunction with Sat. AM Basketball and take place in the FCS Linton gym from 9:30-10:30 am for girls in grades 3-5. 


Registration Now Open for Winter After-School Clubs
Online registration is now open for the winter 2018 session of Lower School After-School Clubs! The winter session runs from the week of Jan. 22 through the week of Mar. 5. Click here to see the full listing of winter club offerings and registration information or visit the After-School Clubs page of the website.


Lower School Winter Break Camp: Registration Now Open!

Children age 3 to gr. 5: join us on the LS campus! Our Break programs offer full- and half-day schedules that feature games, sports activities, arts & crafts, and more. For working parents, this program offers a fun, safe environment for your child to spend part of the school vacation! Half- and full-day options available for: Wed., Dec. 20 to Fri., Dec. 22. Find out more here. Register online here


MLK Day of Service - Monday, Jan. 15, 9:30-11:30 am 

LS families: join us for a day on! We will once again be partnering with Families Forward Philadelphia to help families in need. Our collection will focus on cleaning supplies, which are particularly needed as families transition into permanent housing. The collection will begin once we return from Winter Break. Bring donations to collections boxes in the main lobby and the gym lobby.


Items needed: Used Baby Gear (Pack n plays, Strollers) and Cleaning Supplies, like Buckets, Brooms/mops, Laundry detergent, Dish detergent, Bleach, Cleanser/disinfectant, Storage bins, Other cleaning supplies)

Questions? Contact Julie Shapiro and Chandra Thorne.



Menu for Dec. 18 & 19


Soup, Salad, Sandwich Monday - White bean soup, mixed grilled cheese sandwiches, tossed salad

Taco Tuesday - Ground turkey tacos w/all the trimmings, veggies


Have a wonderful Winter Break!



Check out the new MS video! Share it with friends, and spread the word about our fabulous Middle School. 

Middle School News

Message from Alexa Quinn

Today, we experienced our second Meeting for Worship of the year that was planned by 8th grade leaders. Many thanks to our 8th grade group and to teacher Galen Guindon for supporting them in their planning.

At Advisory today, we had a conversation about respect and consent. We have been seeing so much in the news about sexual harassment and misconduct, but the MS Diversity Team wanted to begin a related conversation that would be appropriate for our students and relevant to our everyday interactions. Our conversation focused on common Middle School situations that involve respect and consent. Here's an example of a scenario we discussed: "Jim and Gabbi are friends who joke around a lot. Jim is constantly joking with Gabbi about her grades, and Gabbi usually laughs along; however, she finally gets tired of it and tells Jim to stop. Jim doesn't stop, because he's been joking with Gabbi about it for months, and doesn't think he should have to, when Gabbi thought it was funny too, just a day ago." The queries included: "How does this situation relate to consent? If this situation happened to you, what could you do? If you witnessed this situation happening to anyone else, what could you do?" I am grateful to the Diversity Team and to all of our advisors for facilitating these conversations, helping us to be an even stronger, more respectful community.


This week, we hosted 20(!) prospective Middle School students, as today is the first application deadline for the 2017-2019 school year. We are seeing fantastic Middle School candidates, many of whom first heard about FCS from current students and parents. On Tuesday, we will have some special holiday activities at the end of the day to celebrate with each other and have some fun. Students will complete one of two activities: a gingerbread house challenge or making holiday cards. We'll end the day with an assembly and reading a holiday classic or two.

I hope you read Craig's exciting announcement about Beth Johnson becoming Upper School Principal starting in the 2018-2019 school year. I've had the great privilege of working with Beth at FCS in the past, as well as in the University of Pennsylvania School Leadership program. I look forward to us all benefitting from what she will bring to the FCS community.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with joy and peace. And a Merry Christmas to all those who will be celebrating in just a little over a week!

Winter Field Hockey Clinics

FCS is offering field hockey clinics free for FCS students. Led by Varsity Field Hockey Coach Rachael Bloemker Winter Field Hockey Clinics are open to girls in grades 3-8 on Saturdays in January (Jan. 6 and Jan. 20) and February (Feb. 3, Feb. 10, and Feb. 17) in conjunction with Sat. AM Basketball, in the FCS Linton gym from 10:30-11:30 am for girls in grades 6-8. Register online here.


Grade 8 Families - Middle School Yearbook Ads Available Online
Grade 8 families - create ads in honor of your 8th grader's last year in Middle School. Create your ad online using Jostens' online ad creation tool: choose which ad size, how many photos you want to include, customize, and pay for the ad online. Entries due in February. Download the flyer here. We look forward to capturing all the important moments for your child's special book.


Did You Know That We Livestream Our Concerts?
Check out the Middle School Winter Concert video here. 

MLK Day of Service - Monday, Jan. 15, 10 am-noon

The HSA MS Service Committee welcomes all MS parent and student volunteers on MLK Day to make and pack lunches for the Bethesda Project, a shelter for the chronically homeless. As part of MLK Day of Service, the Middle School will collect toiletries to be counted and delivered to the Bethesda Project. A collection box is located in the MS Lobby and will begin after break.

We need drivers to deliver lunches and toiletries! Please consider volunteering to deliver the lunches after we complete the project.

Questions? Please contact Catherine Corson and Anjali Thapar.

We are thrilled to welcome Beth Johnson as our new Upper School Principal, effective July 2018. Read more about Beth from Interim Principal Bill Kennedy in US news.

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

The weather has definitely turned "seasonal," and coats have come out of everyone's closets. We were reminded at Wednesday's Meeting for Worship that it's almost time for the choral concert, with risers in place and the stage set for final rehearsals. We hope you will be able to join us for a cheerful, energizing choral concert, which will now take place on Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 pm in Shallcross Hall. Many thanks to Michele Zuckman and our Upper School singers for this gift of music to the community.  

Wednesday was also the 80th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, brought to our attention by the Asian Students Association; some of our students from China are personally connected through their families to this trauma, and it was meaningful to hear the thoughtful messages shared at Meeting for Worship.

Indoor track and basketball are on the road over the weekend, but you can see the Varsity girls in action on campus tomorrow at 1 pm in Shimada.


By now, you should have heard the news about our new Upper School Principal, Beth Johnson, who will begin in July. Having worked closely with Beth during her previous tenure at FCS, I am delighted to welcome her back. A compassionate, student-centered leader, she has a remarkable talent for anticipating and seeing to the needs of all constituencies in the community. I know I am not the only one among the Upper School faculty who is energized and inspired by this terrific news!

Next week ushers in the start of winter break on Wednesday. Tuesday, our last day together in 2017, will include both a special holiday performance by some of our talented Upper School musicians and, a few hours later, a special Meeting for Worship to close out the year as a community. All of us here in the Upper School wish you and your family a safe and relaxing holiday!

Choral Concert Postponed and Athletics Cancelled for Today

Due to the inclement weather, tonight's Choral Concert has been postponed to Monday, Dec. 18 at 7 pm, and all athletic activities are cancelled for today.


Did You Know That We Livestream Our Concerts?
Check out our YouTube channel for a livestream of Monday's Choral Concert.


US Comedy Night Coming Up - Jan. 13
Comedy Night for Upper School students is Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 pm.
The night includes two professional comedians and student sketch comedy. Tickets are $7 if purchased in advance and can be bought with cash on campus or with a credit or debit card online here


Senior Parents - Send in Your Yearbook ads!

Yearbook recognition ads are a great way for parents, families, and friends to commemorate student achievements and important milestones. Revenues from recognition ads also help us to create a better yearbook. To purchase your ad online, follow the instructions on this form. Jostens is managing our yearbook ad sales, so please do not contact or send materials to the School. Please read the ad guidelines on the bottom of this form during the creation of your ad online. All ad orders must be placed online by the end of December. Please remember to order your yearbook for your senior at the discounted price of $65. 


Want to Order a Yearbook?
To get a discounted price on the yearbook please use this link to order now. The low price will be available until mid February. After that date, the price of the yearbook will go up to $70. No need to sign in - just click on yearbook, then add to cart. The yearbook will be delivered to Friends' Central's campus. Senior Parents: In the past, the yearbook has been added to your account whether you were interested in a yearbook for your child or not. This year, you are given the option to order a yearbook. All parents: Please be aware, the deadline to order is June 1. if you have not ordered a yearbook, there will not be extra copies to be able to purchase after the deadline date.


US MLK Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 15, 1-3 pm, Har Zion 

Upper School students and parents are invited to join Har Zion Temple to participate in a number of activities, such as sorting donated items and making crafts for senior citizens. After break, we will be collecting the following items for the Pajama Project and Maternity Care Coalition. A box will be in the Main Building Lobby: New pajamas for infants thru size 16 must be labelled flame retardant, Baby items: diapers, wipes, formula, infant first aid items, receiving blankets, pacifiers, baby books.


A bus will be provided for students who are attending without their parents.  It will leave Friends' Central for Har Zion at 12:30 pm and return at 4 pm. Questions? Please contact Paula Yudenfriend Green.


Grade 10 Parent Gathering with Student Acappella Performance!

Save the Date Friday, Jan. 26, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room

Grade 12 Parent Gathering

Save the Date Saturday, Jan. 20, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room of the Main Building. (Snow Date Jan. 27, location to be determined.)



US Choral Concert
Dec. 18 • 7 pm


Winter Break
Dec. 20-Jan 2
(No Classes)


Classes Resume
Jan. 3


Young Alumni/ae Open House
Jan. 5 • 12 noon

Sat. Morning Basketball/Field Hockey - grades 3, 4, 5

Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 10, 17 • 9:30 am


Sat. Afternoon Swimming - grades 3, 4, 5

Jan. 6, 20; Feb. 10, 17 • 12:30 pm


US Comedy Night
Jan. 13 • 7 pm


MLK Day of Service
(No Classes)


Spirit Night
Jan. 19 • 7 pm


US Shakespeare Showcase
Jan. 21 • 2 pm


One FCS Parent Meeting
Jan. 24 • 7:30 pm


US Coffee House
Jan. 27 • 7 pm



Merion Friends Meeting invites you to our annual Candlelight Vigil. Please join us for Christmas carols in the Meetinghouse, followed by refreshments and fellowship in the Activities building. All are welcome! Sunday, Dec. 17 at 7 pm


Friends' Central Gives Back - During the Holidays and Year-round
At Friends' Central School, opportunities abound for students and families to give back – to seek out someone who needs a hand and to do what they can, even with the smallest gesture of kindness, to lift that person up. From the youngest Nursery student to graduating seniors, every individual in the Friends' Central community understands the importance of being stewards of their school, local, and global communities. Read more.


Grade Eight Students Get a Firsthand Account of the Holocaust
On December 1, eighth grade students had the extraordinary opportunity to meet and speak with Michael Herskovitz, a Holocaust survivor. Read more.


Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives

Friends' Central School is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, these savings are the equivalent of eliminating the carbon emissions of 3,000,000 miles driven by passenger cars or the carbon absorption of 30,000 trees for 10 years. Read 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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