In response to the previous reviewer…of COURSE they don't get paid well! They are here because they LOVE what they do, they are dedicated and passionate educators, unlike many public school teachers who are in it for the tenure, benefits, and retirement packages!
We send our children to SSFS for the strong values-based education. The academics are stellar as well, and they have a rich arts program, as well as the full complement of sports. What underlies all of these programs, however, is the expectation that courtesy, kindness, and service to the greater community are equally important in helping children grow to be excellent human beings. All you have to do is speak with any graduate or Upper Schooler and you will be so impressed with the level of respect and thoughtfulness you see. These older kids are who I want my little guys to turn out to be. I don't honestly care if they go to "Ivy" schools or not (although I think the fact that the Quiz Bowl team at SSFS has consistently won championship games in the last several years speaks pretty well for the rigor of the academics?). My kids are learning to be good people, and I am so thankful they are surrounded by those expectations every day.
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.
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.
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.
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!