Others should know that this school has declined in its moral and educational mission since a new head took over 3 years ago. Enrollments have declined as families have been asked to leave who don't agree with a new corporate philosophy. The new head has no educational training, his MA is from Wharton and he is still running an investment bank, Emerging Capital Partners. This school is a business first, place of education second and will never allow you to forget it. There are so many excellent teacher there, but many are fearful of the aggressive corporate environment where they cannot speak freely without severe reprisal. The school needs to revisit its original Quaker values and ask what it is gaining. The school all but ignores the Monthly Meeting, which sits by its campus--which could be providing some much needed ethical guidance. All schools go through ups and downs, This school is at a low point. It may rebound, check back in a few years.
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.
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!
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.
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!.
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.
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.
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?
Sandy Spring Friends School builds community in every aspect of their education; scholastics, sports, social, and service 'let your lives speak'
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.
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.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of Sandy Spring Friends School on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for Sandy Spring Friends School, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.