Friday, February 16, 2018 | Volume IV • Issue 25

All-School News

Important Message About Campus Safety

In light of the tragic events in Florida on Wednesday occupying our thoughts and hearts, I've asked our Director of Facilities and Campus Safety, Tom McDaniel, to provide an update on our school's approach to keeping our community safe. We all benefit from Tom's leadership and expertise. Rarely will you ever meet a kinder person who combines decades of experience on the Pennsylvania State Police force and as Director of Public Safety at Albright College, a degree from the FBI National Academy, and traveling around the country to teach police leadership, in addition to a passion for coaching Middle School wrestlers. Click here for a message on Friends' Central's safety measures from Tom McDaniel, Director of Facilities and Campus Safety.


Chill Moody, Hardwork Movement, and Hip Hop Fundamentals - This Thursday, Feb. 22!

You don't want to miss this vibrant, fun evening of hip hop, dance, energy, and excitement highlighting Philly's strong hip-hop scene with Chill Moody, named "Best Rapper" by Philadelphia Magazine; Hip Hop Fundamentals, a diverse team of Phila. B-Boys who use Hip Hop and Breaking as inspirational tools to teach academic content, youth empowerment, and social issues; and Hardwork Movement, a 9-piece hip hop collaborative featuring four talented Friends' Central alum musicians - MCs Sterling Duns (Dwight Dunston '06), RB Ricks (Rob Ricketts '06), and Rick Banks (Keenan Willis '03), and Dani Gershkoff '06 on flute and vocals. The event takes place in Shallcross Hall at 7:30 pm.

Register online here!  This event was rescheduled from Feb. 8.


Coffee and Conversation with Athletics and Wellness this Tuesday, Feb. 20

Join members of the Athletics and Wellness Office on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 7-8 pm in MS Room 10 and hear from Michelle Crowley, Director of Athletics and Wellness; Kevin Bolton, FCS Athletic Trainer; and Vic Szwanki, FCS Strength and Conditioning Coach.

FCS Blood Drive Coming Up - March 1

Friends' Central's second Blood Drive is coming up very soon! The date is set for Thursday, March 1. The drive will begin around 8:30 am and last until 1:30 pm. Please sign up to donate here! More info in Upper School section below.


Don't Miss Upper School Play Comedy of Errors (3/2 and 3/3) - Check Out New Trailer!

The Upper School will present Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3. Check out a trailer for the upcoming production here!


Third graders showing their love for FCS on Valentine's Day 2018 

Lower School News

Message from Kelly Pierre

Thank you to those families who joined me for the Principal's Coffee Talks this past Tuesday and last Tuesday. On Tuesday, I invited faculty representatives from Lower, Middle, and Upper School to talk about the arc of math instruction at Friends' Central, and last week, we had representatives from each division to talk about the arc of science instruction at FCS. Links to both slideshows are included below (see link to Kelly's full message below). I welcome all of you to look through both slideshows and contact me or the faculty members present directly to ask any follow-up questions that you may have.

The clear and common thread through my remarks and those of my colleagues was that our Mission and Vision statements inspire everything we do with the students. Preparing our students to be leaders that peacefully transform the world is a tall order and one we take seriously. Read Kelly's full message, with links to her Principal's Coffee presentations, here.


Phoenix Press Issue #4 is Out!
Click here to read the February 9 issue of Phoenix Press. Great job by the grade 5 Phoenix Press student team!


Share Your Thoughts on Nursery/Pre-K at FCS!

Nursery/Pre-K parents or any parent whose child who went through our Nursery and/or Pre-K classrooms: click here to fill out Hipster Henry's preschool survey. Your thoughts will help parents around the region get a glimpse into the vibrant, nurturing educational experience our early childhood program provides. 


Lower School Book Fair - Feb. 26-28, Family Night on Feb. 27

  • Volunteers Needed! We need help for all parts of the book fair please consider volunteering for an hour or two. Click here to see the available volunteer shifts.
  • Each child will have the opportunity to visit the Book Fair with their class for 30 minutes to select books to buy. Parents are strongly encouraged to visit with their children to help guide them through the Fair. Click here for the visiting schedule. If you are unable to visit the fair with your child, your child will bring home a list of books they are interested in purchasing.  

Book Fair Family Night - Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6:30-8:15 pm

  • New this year! N/PK/K Storytime with Teacher Melody! Our youngest students are invited to Family Night from 6:30-7 pm to hear some stories from Teacher Melody, do a craft, and have a little snack.
  • For our older students join us to hear some music being shared by Dwight Dunston and his group City Love starting at 7:15 pm.

Used Book Drive

  • It's that time of year again to look through your old books for possible donations to the Used Book Drive. Collection boxes are located outside the gym or the front reception lobby. We only accept books for babies, children, and teens. Please no adult books. The Used Book Drive will continue through Monday, March 5.

Questions? Contact Book Fair Chairs Julie Ragatz-Norton or Emma Staton


Save the Date - Kindergarten Movie Night! Friday, March 9, 6 pm

Children can come dressed in PJs and drop off their sleeping bags, blankies, favorite stuffed animals, etc. in the Meeting Room and then come up to the cafeteria for pizza dinner. Siblings are welcome. Parent dinner is a potluck. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)

Save the Date for Lower School Parenting Workshop - March 15

"Supporting Executive Function Skills In Children" Thursday, March 15 at 7 pm


Exciting Author Visit Coming Up - Chelsea Clinton!

We are excited to have Chelsea Clinton on the Lower School campus on Monday, March 12 to talk to K-5 students about her new book She Persisted - Around the World. Book order form will follow next week!


Save the Date: LS Spring Fling Parents' Party, Friday, May 4 (adults only!)
Spring really is just around the corner. Mark your calendar for Friday, May 4 for the Lower School Spring Fling Parents' Party, and watch JTF for information about our first planning meeting!



Monday, 2/19: School Closed

Tuesday, 2/20: Taco Tuesday: roasted veggie tacos, trimmings galore

Wednesday, 2/21: Baked Ziti, garlic bread, tossed salad
Thursday, 2/22: Chicken pot pies, tossed salad

Friday, 2/23: Pizza day!


Middle and Upper School dancers took the stage on Wednesday for the 2018 Dance Performance, held this year at the Performance Garage in Philadelphia. More photos.

Middle School News

Message from Alexa Quinn

I'm sure many of our hearts and minds as parents and caring adults have been occupied with the tragic news of another school shooting, this time in Florida. In Meeting for Worship on Thursday, I paraphrased some words from writer Brene Brown that included the following, "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." In terms of moving "toward real people," I shared the many adults in the FCS community and in their lives who are ready to support them. In our next assembly, I will be reminding students of the many security measures we have in place on the City Avenue campus to keep all members safe in case of emergency. Click here to read Alexa's full message, including information about an upcoming event next month.


Middle School Book Fair a Success! Thank You Volunteers!

Thank you to all our wonderful Middle School Book Fair volunteers. We appreciate your flexibility during a week with an ice storm and a Super Bowl parade. Your energy and dedication are what make it possible.

Save the Date: MS/US Mindfulness Workshop with Julie Coopersmith - Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm


Used Book Drive 

Please bring all used books to the MS Lobby. Drive ends on Tuesday, Feb. 20. We are accepting books for grades 5-8 - no adult books please. The books will be going to Anderson Elementary School in West Philadelphia.


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.



The 7th Annual Laurie Fox Bake Sale took place on Valentine's day. Click here for a Valentine's Day message from FCS

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

Like all of you, we were deeply troubled to learn of the senseless violence perpetrated this week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We would like to hold in the Light the victims, their families and friends -- all members of the community. As our students here have been processing the terrible news we have learned that a few of them knew students and teachers at the school, including one who lost his life. Students in need of support are invited to talk with Frederick Pratt, our school counselor, or any other adult -- advisor, teacher, administrator -- with whom they feel a connection. We will be addressing the student body about safety and security on campus in the upcoming week.

We have packed a lot into this four-day week in the Upper School (maybe we're getting good at handling shorter school weeks?), including two exciting days of visitors in classrooms on Monday and Thursday, as newly-admitted students and FCS 8th graders got a taste of Upper School life. For real Upper School flavor (music, love and plenty of sugar) they should have been here on Valentine's Day for the 7th annual Laurie Fox Scholarship bake sale, serenaded by our two a capella groups, the Spicetones and the Foxtones, who dashed around campus in a race against time to sing for everyone who was expecting them. The sale expanded to a second location this year, and we're grateful to the Admissions Office for their support in the Main Building. You can read all about Laurie Fox (as well as other aspects of campus life) in this Focus article. Thanks to all who baked, bought, and otherwise supported this community effort, most especially to Heather Tomes, who took care of every detail and held it all together. We especially appreciate Kalila Jones '19 and Michael Darfler of the Makerspace for the one-of-a-kind Valentine stickers! It was fitting that Beth Johnson, incoming Upper School principal and founder of the Laurie Fox bake sale in 2011, was on campus for the event; during her visit, Beth was also able to spend some time with 9th and 10th grade students. Read the full Upper School message here.

FCS is this year's partner school for the Philabundance "Spread the Love" campaign! 

From now until Friday, Feb. 23, Upper School homerooms are collecting jars of peanut and other nut butters, plus non-nut protein packed spreads such as SunButter (made from sunflower seeds). Homerooms that collect the most will receive a special treat! If you wish to donate jars of nut/non-nut spreads not with a particular homeroom, please bring them to the donation drop in FCC 101. The student Service Committee will also be raising money for Philabundance at a bake sale to be held at the 2/10 Coffee House. Students who bring a jar to Coffee House will receive a free snack from us there! Help us spread the love!


FCS Blood Drive - March 1

Friends' Central's second blood drive is coming up very soon! The date is set for Thursday, March 1. The drive will begin around 8:30 am and last until 1:30 pm. Click here to sign up to donate! Last time we did a fantastic job, collecting over 30 pints! This time we are trying to go for more. We are hopeful that you will all come and donate. If you want to do rapid pass, make sure you fill it out the same day you plan to donate. *Please feel free to forward this email to family and friends, and like always, walk-ins are welcome.* Email Katie Leone, Emma Malone, or Benna Berger with any questions.


Save the Date: MS/US Mindfulness Workshop with Julie Coopersmith - Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm


Senior 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 thread content 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 next week (2/16).


Last Call for Latin Trip!

Last call for present and former Latin students to sign up for the trip to Rome and Sorrento: the absolute deadline is Monday, Feb. 19. To enroll online go to the EF Tours website ( or call customer service at 1-800-665-5364.


Grade 11 Parent Gathering - POSTPONED

Please stay tuned for the new date.



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

Feb. 17 • 9:30 am

Sat. Afternoon Swimming - grades 3, 4, 5

Feb. 17 • 12:30 pm


Presidents' Day (No Classes)

Feb. 19


LS Book Fair

Feb. 26-28


LS Book Fair Family Night

Feb. 27


US Musical Preview The Comedy of Errors

Mar. 1 • 7 pm


US Musical The Comedy of Errors

Mar. 2 • 7 pm


US Musical The Comedy of Errors

Mar. 3 • 7 pm


US Winter Varsity Athletic Awards Evening
Mar. 9 • 7 pm

US Semi Formal Dance
Mar. 10 • 7 pm

Daylight Savings Begins
Mar. 11

MS Play The Phantom Tollbooth 

Mar. 16 • 7 pm

MS Play The Phantom Tollbooth

Mar. 18 • 2 pm

followed by ice cream social


Friends' Central community members are invited to Friends Select's inaugural Wellness Program speaker Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, on Feb. 26. Dr. Ginsburg will give a talk on his latest book Raising Kids to Thrive, Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust, and parents will walk away with the tools to raise healthy and resilient kids. Download a flyer here.

Director of Development Bob Cotter presented a seminar on February 13 at the annual Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) Development Retreat. He spoke to a group of development professionals about faculty and staff giving to the Annual Fund. ADVIS represents 130 independent schools in PA, NJ, and DE, providing professional development, networking, and advocacy for its member schools.

Adath Israel Presents Beauty and the Beast 
Feb. 24 & 25, Mar. 3 & 4
If not a member and to purchase online: click here to purchase online, and then once in the "chavaware portal" create a guest account and then go to "event sign up."


Friends' Central Swimmers Win 2017-2018 FSL Championships!

Congrats to FCS Varsity Boys' and Girls' Swimming, who took home Friends Schools League Championships again this year! Read more.


Sikh Captain America Inspires Middle School Students on Diversity Day

Artist, speaker, and activist Vishavjit Singh, aka Sikh Captain America, visited Friends' Central School in Januaryto host a storytelling talk and workshops for the entire Middle School. Taking place on Middle School Diversity Day, Singh's talk focused on issues of identity, stereotypes, adversity, bullying, the power of our life narratives, and using art as a tool for social change. Read more.


Shaping 21st Century Leaders at Friends' Central

From the youngest 3-year-old Nursery student to graduating seniors and every grade in between, FCS students are eager to participate, to learn, and to lead. In every division at Friends' Central, classrooms promote independent thought, the courage to voice individual opinions, and the faith that students will listen to and value one another's viewpoints. Students are given many opportunities to solve problems in innovative ways, both in the classroom and in the world. In short, Friends' Central students are prepared to be cutting-edge, civically conscious 21st century leaders. 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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