« Back to compare
Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD
Students enrolled: 531

Contact this school

16923 Norwood Road
Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD 20860

(301) 774-7455
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Sandy Spring Friends School address.

September 02, 2015
I don't like the current administration. In my opinion, the place has always been clicky to the point of being inbred. Too much parent involvement in sports. Yet, the athletic dept does not appear to have any coherent aim. Some teams appear run for the benefit of a few. Other teams purport to be run for the benefit of all. End result, many teams are uncompetitive and appear run to lose. Academically, the language program is quite good. English is mediocre. Math and science fall somewhere in between. Not what I would call a stepping stone to the Ivy League. The campus is nice. Unfortunately, capital projects have forced the school to continually raise tuition, while preventing any upgrade to administrators or teachers. In my experience, you pay quite a bit of money, and they don't seem to care if you see any issues.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Ineffective
September 02, 2015
To me, many appear to coast and complain. I also believe that some should not be there. The school just seems to want bodies in the classroom. I doubt that they pay much, especially given all the capital projects in need of money.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Not enough
September 02, 2015
Too many group projects used to prop up underperformers. No consequence to late asignments. Hand it in three days late and get the same grade as those who bother to do work on time. Not a great lesson for kids to learn.

- submitted by a parent
Develops grit: Disagree
September 02, 2015
To develop these characteristics, there must be some realistic opportunity for more than a select few to do well and grow.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Disagree
September 02, 2015
I believe that to teach and develop respect, you must create an atmosphere where administrators, coaches, and teachers show respect.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Disagree
September 02, 2015
I don't think that the school is run like a community. Some teachers, administrators and school materials, may claim that community is important. I believe that they mean community is important so long as no one expresses any issues. For example, the school's program called "Coffee and Conversation" offers parents the opportunity to sit and listen to school administrators speak. That's it. No conversation, just you listening to them. I believe that's the way they like it.

- submitted by a parent
Develops honesty: Disagree
September 02, 2015
I believe that the school teaches the students that life is not always fair. That's too bad. Kids can learn that for free.

- submitted by a parent

August 18, 2015
They are very nice and plus I like the the idea about the iPad an say go to this school it awesome

- submitted by a student

August 17, 2015
I love SSFS!! We have a fabulous community of students, parents, faculty and staff!! The campus is awesome.

- submitted by a parent

May 13, 2015
I didn't want to go to Sandy Spring Friends when my parent first suggested it. I didn't want to leave my other school, but my parents didn't think I was getting a very good education there. I am happy to say that my parents were right to enroll me at Sandy Spring. I learned more than I had dreamed- so much more than I think I would have anywhere else. The knowledge I obtained goes far beyond academics. Although I was able to take AP classes and was always challenged by the curriculum, it's the ancillary benefits of attending SSFS that have made me the person I am. I was able to travel to interesting places, immersing myself in other cultures. I had classes with students from other countries everyday. I was able to participate in sports that I would have been cut from at a larg school. I learned the beauty of silence. The teachers genuinely cared about the person I was becoming, offering advice along with academics. They also appreciated the things that made me unique in a way I hadn't experienced at my old school. If you're looking for a school that provides more than just AP classes and high-pressure testing, but engages students in a variety of activities, look to SSFS!

- submitted by a student

February 28, 2015
I don't know what that other student is talking about. Sounds like a pretty unhappy person, I'm really sorry they have had this experience. But all I can say is I've been here for 5 years, started in the lower school, went through middle school, now in upper school. I used to go to a good public school in MoCo, did fine there and had friends, got good grades, etc. But the academics weren't that interesting and when kids were bullied, nobody really did anything. At SSFS, the teachers make all of the subjects really interesting, they totally involve us students in the learning, and they definitely expect us to be kind to each other, I have NEVER seen anyone here be "bullied." Kids are mean sometimes, sure, but the difference here is that the teachers work with us CONSTANTLY (honestly sometimes it's a little annoying how much!) on how to be kind to each other and take care of our community and the world around us. I love it here, it is like my second family.

- submitted by a student

December 18, 2014
We have had four children at SSFS in each of the three divisions for the past 5 years. I am a teacher at another area school, and I researched SSFS very thoroughly before sending my kids there. In the past five years, I have watched each if my children grow exponentially as kind and thoughtful friends, engaged and creative thinkers, and committed, caring members of society. I am 100% thrilled with this school and it's consistently excellent teachers, exacting yet creative and developmentally appropriate curriculum, and commitment to service learning and social justice.

- submitted by a parent

December 09, 2013
Teachers have been there for years and are not current in professional development. The school has a tendency to hire alumni or family of alumni, who teach the way they were taught . Rather than according to standards and practice. There is little oversight and/or guidance for the faculty because there is a shell of administrative support staff. Suddenly this year, the school has linked some of their upper school curricular content directly to the Common Core outcomes, but few of the faculty have the skills to teach the Common Core because they are not required to learn it or keep current in learning theory. I have heard it is because they are trying to get reaccredited. The school has never functioned as a school with an integrated and implemented curriculum at least for the years our kids were there.

- submitted by a parent

September 20, 2013
Two of our children attended the Lower School at SSFS. We had an inconsistent experience at the school. The pros: the art and music programs, the beautiful campus, the interaction between the divisions (Lower School, Middle School, Upper School), the focus on service to community and the environment and the time spent engaging with nature. The cons: lack of accountability from the teachers, persistent behavior problems in the classes, lack of differentiation in very small classes, weak math and science instruction. The new head of the Lower School has addressed many of these issues and has made changes to the math curriculum and discipline policies, but some of the veteran teachers pay lip service to those changes at best. K and 2nd grade have outstanding faculty and solid teaching and classroom management; other classes are less positive experiences both socially and academically. The parent group is not particularly involved with a small group of parents who contribute a lot of time and energy and a large group who do very little. Classes are small which seems great on the surface but makes it hard for kids to be part of meaningful academic and social groups.

- submitted by a parent

April 26, 2013
Sandy Spring Friends Middle School. There are many things to love about SSFS, but the middle school has some challenges. The academic quality ranges from outstanding to poor so it can be hit or miss. After years of complaints, nothing has been done about it; the same teachers are kept for whatever reason although many, many parents have complained. ALL of the teachers are good human beings, but some for some, teaching is a challenge! Unfortunately, the head of the middle school prefers appeasing the teachers to addressing concerns of the parents, so the previous feeling of community that was a strong point of the entire school has been diluted. It is a beautiful campus, with many wonderful people who care deeply for the school and its students, but the Middle School program definitely needs some work!

- submitted by a parent

March 03, 2013
What a Wonderful place for young minds to develop and thrive. My son loves to go to school! All children should be able to experience this.

- submitted by a parent

December 05, 2011
How exciting to have two new Heads in the Lower and Upper School at Sandy Spring Friends School. Their energy and enthusiasm for their new roles is evident every day!.

- submitted by a parent

May 29, 2011
My years at Sandy Spring were a gift that continues to enrich my life. My teachers cared deeply about my success and were also deeply committed to creating a vibrant, nurturing school community. As at any school, there are challenges, but these are offset by the wealth of strong, creative, committed, teachers the school attracts and retains. I got a strong academic grounding that prepared me for college, as well as a lifelong love of the arts and creative expression.

- submitted by a community member

May 06, 2011
Surprising but - Curriculum not defined and not up to date. A few good teachers, most not, some mean. Website shows sports, activities offered - waste of time. Staff coasting. Too many students for individual attention. Kids with behavior problems. Administration is nonresponsive. Food is good. Campus is beautiful. Behind the smiles, staff and quaker preference - getting theirs into a few good colleges. The outsiders land wherever even though you pay full price.

- submitted by a parent

August 18, 2010
There are many things about Sandy Spring that I love. But there are just as many that I don't. While there are some fabulous teachers in the upper school, there are several that only teach to one style of learning. While the Head o School for the last 12 years WAS fantastic, he retired at the end of last school year. The Head of the Upper School, on the other hand does not follow through with resolving concerns. I guess with any school there will be a hit or miss with getting a good educators, but when you are paying 26 thousand dollars a year, I think more of an effort could be made. My child has been at SSFS for three years and will graduate this year. I can't say it has been worth it.

- submitted by a parent

June 25, 2010
My son just completed 7th grade at Sandy Spring. We have had a rough ride as far as schools go and have dealt with several schools with financial problems, so he needed a stable, happy place to grow. They blew me away. Teaching is a MISSION at Sandy Spring. Teachers publish home numbers for help at night. Communication is open and teachers want to help your child succeed. Students are open and welcoming. Kids with learning differences are accepted. Why couldn't more schools be this way?

- submitted by a parent
no rating
April 24, 2010
Sandy Spring Friends School builds community in every aspect of their education; scholastics, sports, social, and service 'let your lives speak'

- submitted by a parent

December 19, 2009
I came to Sandy Spring Friends last year, and the community and the kids were extremely accepting and friendly. The academics are challenging, and if you like sports, this is the school for you. Also, there are great arts. However, if you don't like walking across campus in all weather to get to your classes, and you aren't an outdoor person, you might consider another school.

- submitted by a student
no rating
January 25, 2009
Awesome school. I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent

Profile Completeness


Want to improve this school's profile?

All schools on GreatSchools begin with BASIC completeness, which includes important information like contact details and test scores. It’s up to the school community to take the next steps. As a parent or community member, you can share what you know with other families by writing a review or answering a few questions about what the school offers. As a school leader, you can upload photos, describe school programs, and more with an Official school profile.

The completeness meter moves to INTERMEDIATE, then ADVANCED, and finally HONOR ROLL as you complete the following: 10 or more reviews, at least 1 photo, and 9 program questions parents find helpful.

Want to improve this school’s profile? You can!
for Parents
for Schools
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »


Find out what parents are saying about Sandy Spring Friends School


Nearby homes for sale


Last modified: September 2, 2015

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to help millions of parents get a great education for their kids. GreatSchools.org is an independent nonprofit and the leading national source of school information for families.

GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2015 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

Sandy Spring Friends School
16923 Norwood Road, Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD  20860
(301) 774-7455
Last modified Sandy Spring Friends School is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
Sandy Spring Friends School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 33 reviews. Top