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Sandy Spring Friends School

Private | PK-12 | 531 students

 

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Living in Ashton-Sandy...

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $498,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,550.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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11 reviews of this school


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Posted December 9, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted March 3, 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


Posted December 5, 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted January 25, 2009

Awesome school. I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 62% 42%
Black 19% 35%
Two or more races 11% 4%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 7% 6%
Hispanic 2% 12%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Chinese (Mandarin)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)

Gifted & talented

Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

Gender
  • Coed
Boarding options
  • Some boarding, some day
Affiliation
  • Friends
Associations
  • FCE
  • NAIS

Programs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Religious
Level of special education programming offered
  • None - the school offers no services
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular ESL/ELL needs

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
School leaders can update this information here.

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16923 Norwood Road
Ashton-Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Phone: (301) 774-7455

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