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Washington, DC
Students enrolled: 1,109
Before care: No

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3825 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

School website
(202) 537-8100
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Sidwell Friends School address.
Develops empathy: Neutral
June 02, 2015
In a very superficial sort of way. Here again, the school talks a lot about raising kids with a sense of balance between work and play. However, they show their own lack of empathy by ensuring that the kids are over-programmed. There are also definite social cliques among students, and the administrators do not work actively with individuals to set the right tone among students. They speak in general terms, but never address specific social situations as they arise. They seem indifferent.

- submitted by a parent

June 02, 2015
My son is super smart, and always did well at Sidwell. He was there for six years, but we decided to leave the school before he entered the Upper School for several reasons: 1) The school never conveyed any sense of individual care for him despite the low student-teacher ratio. My son did fine academically, but he couldn't get his groove socially, and the teachers were totally oblivious to his difficulty. 2) The academics are strong, but they are also very old-fashioned. For all their attempt to show interest in technology, the school leadership are complete Luddites in their understanding of how technology and learning can work well together. 3) For all the tuition dollars, I would have expected much, much more individualized attention from the teachers and staff. The curriculum and approach to education is very top-down and dogmatic. They talk a lot about diversity, but there is no room for diversity of opinions at this school. There is much more to say, but bottom line: save your money for a great college. When we let the school know we were leaving, there was no follow-up or interest in what motivated the departure. They could not have been more indifferent, which was extremely disappointing after 6 years.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Somewhat effective
June 02, 2015
Some teachers are great. Others make you want to shake your head at the grammar errors in their communication, if you are lucky to get anything from them. For a school with Sidwell's reputation, this just isn't acceptable.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Too much
June 02, 2015
Much homework was assigned that seemed to be make-work. The school talks a lot about allowing students down-time, and yet the administration and teachers do everything to fill the student's after-school time with pointless homework. I did not see the value of two hours of homework after an already 10-hour day at school. My son left the house at 7 am, and only got home at 5 pm. He then had an additional 2-3 hours of homework.

- submitted by a parent

April 20, 2013
Sidwell is a great school for a lot of kids. It is great for very smart kids who want to go on to do great things. But if your child has some learning disabilities or seriously is thinking about being a professional athlete, this is probably not the best school for them. It is an extremely academically challenging school. But the athletics don't do so well and the theater is just okay. It is a great school for a lot of kids but not for everybody.

- submitted by a parent

February 11, 2013
Very challenging academics. Students will have already experienced college level academics by the time they graduate from Sidwell. Lots of high achievers. NO grade inflation here. Not for everyone but a great school.

- submitted by a parent

March 07, 2012
A great school with challenging and engaging academics and a wide choice of athletics, arts, and extracurriculars.

- submitted by a parent

June 16, 2011
This school is a very, very special place. All the lessons learned really do last a lifetime.

- submitted by a community member

June 23, 2010
I'm a highschool student at Sidwell, and I'm here to set things straight. A parent cannot base the school on their own child. Individuals have drastically different experiences from one another, based on personality, courses, and friends. Their class/grade will have a large impact, varying greatly year-by-year. The true basics: - expensive! - very intensive academics (depends on course levels) - liberal - very conscious of its image (Who can blame them? Diplomats'-children galore.) - Quaker-based (with plans currently in progress for furthering Sidwell Quaker values) - a vacuum/bubble (If you take advantage of all academic, artistic, and athletic opportunities given to you, there is little time left over) Sidwell seems quite idealist (google Quaker "S.P.I.C.E.S.") and there's MUCH room for improvement, but students are given the opportunity to have a fantastic education and flourish with dedication. The ride is up to the student, and a good fit.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
April 14, 2010
It provdes students with a liberal, top quality education.

- submitted by a parent

January 26, 2010
Easy to be ' wonderful school ' when you identify and keep those students with the right 'inner light' and the chance to do well no matter where they go. Sidwell's focus is on making sure it keeps it's name rather than the energy required in putting Quakerism truly into practice for all students. Sidwell Teachers are far from being top rated--the school continues to shine because of handful of outstanding students (not because of sidwell Leadership/teachers!). Sidwell outstanding cadre of volunteers who work around the clock to support the system. There are far better school that provides truly diverse environment for students rather than the far from reality bubble that Sidwell provides. Ratings: Lower school--nothing more than glorified day care. middle school--poor leadership; lack of individualized support/loss of critical years. high school---kids survive --school keeps only the self driven outstanding students. PS. kids love the school and we think we could have done better!

- submitted by a parent

January 08, 2010
Wonderful school. The school really does make an effort to ground their students by seeking the 'inner light' within all individuals. Does it magically transform the children? No. Does the process have value? Yes. However, the school does not aspire to exalt or show recognition of individual accomplishments, either in academics or sports, because of that Quaker restraint. Hence if you are looking for your child to get recognition (i.e. the brag factor) this school may not be a good fit for you and truly, there are many other excellent independent schools in the DC area to choose from that do not have this restraint. Re: bullying, it should be noted that there has been a change in Principals for the Upper School- for the 2009-10 term, the interim principal, a veteran teacher and administrator, has been excellent and the incoming Principal looks to be extraordinary as well.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
August 12, 2009
I have had a love/hate relationship with my experience as a Sidwell parent in the lower school. While the academics are challenging and very interesting for my child, the experience coming into the environment in the 3rd grade expansion year was jarring. There was little in the way of true orientation and socially it's difficult for some students to fit in with a group that has been together since PK. The administration turns bullying into a personal problem and is less than stellar when handling complaints. Everyone's in auto-pilot mode assuming that simply by being at Sidwell that all the children will ultimately be 'just fine' which I'm finding is not necessarily the case.

- submitted by a parent

May 01, 2009
Like the last reviewer said no students, nor faculty, or parents respect one another. The school is like a vacuum that is very easy to get lost in. Most of the time I was popular while attending. However, when I tried to speak to other kids or teachers about honor issues such as cheating and bullying people turned a blind eye. I think Sidwell isn't a great place for most kids to develop and feel comfortable.

- submitted by a student

March 18, 2009
The honor code is not respected at all. There is a serious problem with bullying and the students (at least in the high school) are ignorant of both the bubble they live in as well as how their actions can effect others. Do not send your child here.

- submitted by a student

March 26, 2008
Sidwell offers a fantastic educational and fun experience. They offer many different learning experiences, physical activities and opportunities to socialize. In addition to their regular school program, they have a spring break and a summer camp that kids really enjoy. My daughter has attended these programs since before age 3 and has LOVED it. She comes home bursting with stories about her day, full of delightful description of what she has learned and experienced. The staff is very responsive to parents and students and really care about the kids. The campus is lovely.

- submitted by a parent

February 27, 2006
Sidwell offers an outstanding education, both academic and moral. There are few educational institutions that provide a deep focus on ethics and academics in the manner provided by Sidwell. They also push kids to build an internal monitor for excellence and persistence, rather than top-down teaching that typifies so many secondary educational institutions.

- submitted by a student

April 21, 2005
Being a Quaker institution, Sidwell values diversity and the individual voice of each student. Together with an indescribable feeling of community, Sidwell leaves graduates with a perspective unlike any other. Sidwell's intimate and prestigous environment enables students to take part in certain experiences that prepare them for college and the real world.

- submitted by a student

September 21, 2003
All children are gifted, but nurturing their gifts takes resources and special dedicated talent. Sidwell is top of the charts on a global scale in this regard.

- submitted by a parent

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December 15, 2012


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Last modified: June 2, 2015

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Sidwell Friends School
3825 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC  20016
(202) 537-8100
Last modified Sidwell Friends School is a Private school that serves grades PK-12
Sidwell Friends School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 29 reviews. Top