Friends School of MN has been like a school heaven on Earth for our children. After experiencing various other schools- Montessori, public, gifted, and outdoor schools, this school pretty much seems to have it right. A holistic, develop,entally appropriate approach to teaching children where they are, not as adults wish the we're. The school is intellectual, outdoorsy, hands-on, and embodies respect toward children, parents, teachers and all who come through its doors. Quaker values imbue this school with a very conscientious moral approach toward relationships with all people. The teachers and staff are bright and dedicated. Everyone seems pretty happy here. I know my daughters have almost never complained about anything they've encountered in a given school day. And that's saying a lot. We are extremely happy with this school.
I came to appreciate FSM most after my daughter graduated and started high school. She was far better prepared for all of her classes than most others. The individual attention from teachers that she received at Friends helped her to grow in her knowledge, skills, and conceptualization of complex material. More than just the academics, though, FSM promotes healthy relationships between the students and with teachers and staff. This lays a solid foundation for the next steps.
FSM is a wonderful school. It has a very diverse population,i.e. students, parents and staff. My son really enjoys going to school. His academic skills and self confidence have soared. He beleives the staff and students are there to share and help everyone.
Diversity of student body, strong orientation toward peace and teaching peaceful conflict resolution.
Amazing rapport between teachers and students, dedication to creating a welcoming place for all young people, focus on peace and justice. Creating self-confidence and teamwork.
Friends School is a nurturing, positive environment. The entire staff focuses on educating the whole child--academically, socially, and physically. The Friends School provides children with a warm and loving community. FSM's Quaker values impart the values of simplicity and social justice to children of all religious and non-religious backgrounds. All of the teachers know not only my child who attends FSM, but also my preschooler, by name. It is such a warm and loving place, with students who are joyful and motivated learners. FSM teaches children to learn with wonder and develop with a sense of justice and community which will help them grow into wonderful productive adults.
FSMN is a really wonderful school. Kids learn to love learning and to be responsible for their learning. we have found the schools' real strengths to be in writing, speaking, presenting skills, but science and quantitative skills are improving thoughout the school. FSm will get new music and art specialists this year, demonstrating the school's commitment to strengthening these areas as well. One of the biggest strenghts at FSM is that kids learn to be effective advocates for themselves not only with other kids but with the adults, who treat them as people worthy of respect. FSM takes its committment to providing a peaceful environment seriously, and while kids are kids and some teasing remains, the school really works to provide a healthy learning environment. Last note--the Physical education program is terrific! Kids of all ability levels are encouraged to get fit, learn about their bodies, and find activities they enjoy!
I went to FSM 6th to 8th grade. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to go to a place every day where I didn't have to worry about many of the things I worried about at other schools. Class sizes, teacher to student time, and in general feeling comfortable with being myself.
FSM (despite the rather embarrassing name) was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. It's one of the few schools that teach the students how to be good people with fulfilling lives instead of just teaching what they're required to and moving on to the next person standing in line. They taught us to accept people for who they are no matter how quirky and left us with friends we'll have forever. It was my home-away-from-home for almost a decade.
Easily the single most impressive school we looked at when searching for a school for our brilliant yet very shy daughter. Yet it works just as well for our also brilliant, but very outgoing son.
Friends School has been a great fit for my daughter. The school is very respectful of each student's individual learning style, strengths/weaknesses, etc. The teachers and staff foster a strong sense of community, both within the school and as a part of the world at large. Kids are given the freedom to be themselves but also have the responsibility to the school community. Plus: There is no snobby private school attitude here.
Friends School is an amazing school with amazing staff and students that help each individual learn and grow in their own ways. I went to Friends for 9 years, and was so sad to leave last year. Everyone fits in and is welcomed there, and it is such a supportive comfortable learning environment. It is also great because new kids are always brought right in and make lots of friends. All of my friends from there and I have grown so close over the years, so I know we will be friends forever. I have a second home at Friends School. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
We have two children at the school. Very strong community, excellent teachers, wonderful programs, small classes. Has all those things that I used to get in public school but have been cut to ribbons over the years - strong music, art, phys ed/sports. My little kindergartner came home telling me that her metatarsals hurt from running. I had to look it up. She learned this in phys ed, along with balance skills, hand-eye coordination skills, etc. I compare that to phys ed in my day and remember just doing jumping jacks or getting killed in flag football. It's an entirely different world. Very strong writing curriculum. Most amazingly, the theory of progressive education which underlies the entire curriculum develops very healthy and happy children who are independent thinkers with a good level of confidence in themselves, and genuine respect for others. I couldn't be more pleased.
The Friends School is a true jewel. We chose Friends School for our two daughters for several reasons. First, the school is academically excellent. We are true believers in progressive education, and Friends School more than meets our expectations in that regard. There is true respect for the child. Attention is paid to developing the whole child, not just the left brain. Learning is activity based. Kids are not locked down in desks (there are no desks!). The school is a pioneer in conflict resolution. All of this shows in the wonderful children that create a positive energy that you can feel when you visit the school. I could go on. It is a wonderful school!
Small class sizes, highly individualized attention and a dedicated, compassionate, and amazing staff.
I'm not nearly eloquent enough to do justice to the positive impact that FSMN has had on our family. My son would have had a very hard time integrating into a standard classroom where the children are expected to sit and listen without much active participation. The progressive style of education at FSMN is exactly what my son needed to be able to integrate into a school system. The teachers and the staff are gentle, understanding and firm (when needed). At FSMN my son isn't just surviving his school experience, he's thriving. His biggest disappointment this entire year was when summer vacation started. If it were up to him, school would go year round with a few 1 week breaks along the way.
We moved our daughter to Friends School three years ago, after second grade and she has flourished ever since. The schools seems to get better all the time, with a commitment to listening to parents and experts, and adapting what fits for FSM. Unlike so many schools, it lives it's mission every day, in the academic, social and community aspects of the school. Academically it seems to get stronger all the time - the middle school seems much stronger now than when we first arrived three years ago. I can't recommend it enough.
We switched our daughter to Friends School in midyear from a public school where she was so miserable that she had basically shut down. After two weeks at Friends School, she began to flourish academically and socially. Her teachers are wonderful and engaging. They really care about the children and keep them engaged and excited about learning. The conflict resolution program gives students the tools to work peacefully work through conflicts together so that gain confidence and lifelong cooperation skills. The teachers and staff demonstrate respect for the children, and the children learn respect in return--not because they are innundated with rules, but because Friends School educates them as whole people. I feel like Friends School has returned our daughter's love of learning, and her joy to her. I feel like Friends School has given us back our child. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Friends School is deliberate and intentional. As parents, we know that teachers, administrators and staff are committed to their educational philosophy and Quaker values and we trust that all decisions are grounded in that framework. Friends School resists the pressures of test-based accountability and the push to cut things like physical education and the arts to squeeze in more time on the subjects that will be tested. Our children are fortunate to be learning in an environment that respects the needs of the whole child and nurtures, in addition to their academic knowledge and skills, their social, emotional, spiritual, and moral growth and the development of critical executive skills, attitudes and behaviors that will serve them well in their future academic endeavors and relationships. We think the leadership, faculty and staff of the school are extremely strong. We'll miss FSM as our kids move on to high school.
Small classes, high-quality teachers, strong feeling of community. Our daughter loved school from the first minute of kindergarten until now, in 8th grade. Friends School teachers focus on each child as an individual, with excellent support from the administrative side. No grades until 5th grade--detailed written narratives instead. Grades are given starting in 5th, and standardized testing in 6th. Child-directed conflict management and weekly silent meeting, a Quaker tradition. Music is taught by a well-known local musician, who also runs an excellent after-school program. Sports, starting in Middle School, are coed in a league of other small private and charter schools--these complement the wonderful physical education program that starts in kindergarten, emphasizing lifelong fitness and cooperation. Spanish instruction starting in kindergarten. Extracurriculars include drama club and a variety of others that change over time. Parent involvement is generally pretty high, from field trips to special events and potlucks.
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