Welcome from our Head of School, Kathryn Park Cook

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Frankford Friends School! As a proud member of this vibrant community, I am thrilled to share with you the incredible opportunities and values that make Frankford Friends School such a special place. Over a rich history spanning several centuries, the School has provided a nurturing and inclusive education while instilling Quaker values in its students. A defining characteristic of Frankford Friends School is its commitment to Project-based Learning, grounded in study of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our signature approach to learning emphasizes hands-on experiences, collaboration, and critical thinking. Students actively engage in projects that allow them to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world challenges, developing problem-solving abilities, creativity, and a sense of ownership over their learning. This prepares them for a future where adaptability and the ability to think outside the box are essential.

The Quaker principles that are the foundation of the school are also the values that guide us in our daily interactions. We believe in fostering an inclusive and respectful environment where every student is valued for who they are. Through community service initiatives, they develop a deep sense of social responsibility for our immediate community and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. We embrace diversity and celebrate individuality, as we prepare our students to navigate an interconnected world with empathy, understanding, and appreciation for different perspectives.

I encourage you to explore all that Frankford Friends School has to offer your family and your child. I invite you to attend one of our open houses to meet our passionate and skilled educators and engaged and joyful students. I am confident that you will be impressed by this dedicated community of learners who are shaping the future with wisdom, compassion, and a commitment to building a better future for humankind.

If you have any questions or would like more information about Frankford Friends School, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Admissions Office. Sharon will be delighted to assist you.

In partnership,

Mission & Values

Rooted in the practice of Quaker values, Frankford Friends School nurtures the mind and spirit of every student in our diverse community. Our students and graduates let their lives speak in the pursuit of lifelong learning, commitment to social justice, and service to their communities.

Simplicity. Peace. Integrity. Community. Equality. Stewardship.

The Quaker testimonies and our “Frankford-friendly” values are artfully woven into our day. We care deeply about being a school in which every member of the community makes a personal commitment to joyful learning and the betterment of themselves and the world.

Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking.

Students learn best when they are given opportunities to dig into​ ​challenges and design their own solutions to real-world problems. Our students learn through​ rich experiences that provoke ​their thinking and curiosity ​and enable them to draw connections between academic content and ​the world.

In the City and of the City.

Our students come from all over the City of Philadelphia. Classes use public transportation to travel to exciting destinations across Philadelphia, check out books at the neighborhood’s Free Library, experience nature while exploring in the city’s parks, do service with city leaders and businesses, and partner with local organizations to understand more about the joys and challenges of urban life. Through fostering a love for our city, we help grow proud city dwellers who know how to navigate safely and who are active stewards of their neighborhoods and communities.

Explore FFS

Our Campus

Take a look around our corner of Frankford.



(click to view)

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Frankford Friends School IDEA Lab (Innovation, Design, Engineering, Art) serves as the physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative. Spanning two floors, it has the tools and space that our students need to freely explore, innovate, and create with confidence.

Look inside ⇢


The Nest

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Nest is the award-winning, half-acre green space on campus that provides joyful opportunities for our students to freely explore, investigate, and observe the natural world around them. The space includes three rain and pollinator gardens, vegetable gardens, mud kitchens, spaces for dirt digging, building and climbing, and a waterworks for water play.

Look around ⇢


The Holt

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Holt provides open space where students can work on collaborative projects and for classes to showcase their work. Our front office and space for meetings is also located there. Make sure to stop by and say hi to Miss Liz!

Look around ⇢


Middle School

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The FFS Middle School is home to our 5th through 8th graders who work and learn together during four core classes that meet everyday - Math, Science, Spanish and Humanities. They also explore their interests during classes in technology, performing and visual arts, and physical education. With inquiry and self expression at the root of each class, all students develop strong analytical and problem solving skills that prepare them for the competitive high schools they go on to attend. 

Look around ⇢


School Yard

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our students get fresh air and have joyful interactions with their friends while in the schoolyard at the center of our main campus. Our chickens and bees, which also have their home there, enjoy watching our students play kickball, four square, and other active games or spending quiet time with students who want time for relaxation.

Look around ⇢


The Annex

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our physical education program shares space with a performance space and stage that can seat 400 guests. Beneath, all students in grades PreK to 5 sing, read and write music, play rhythm instruments, do dramatic play, and learn to improvise while participating in our classroom music program. All fourth graders learn a string instrument (violin, viola, or cello), lent to them by the school and learn to play both singly and as an ensemble. The orchestra room is lined with shelves made from the antique wooden pews that previously graced our space. Middle School students can choose from electives that include theater, choir, handbells, orchestra, and jazz band.

Look around ⇢


Carol & Terrence A. Farley Building

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

The Carol & Terrence A. Farley Building, home to the Lower School and Early Childhood Center, began as a one-room schoolhouse in 1833.  On the first floor, first through fourth graders have spacious classrooms each equipped with tables for collaborative work and investigation, large group meeting areas for Morning Meetings and whole class instruction, and classroom libraries with a variety and range of reading selections. Students have many opportunities to work together and independently, with an array of spaces to meet different work needs. 

Look around ⇢


Early Childhood

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Our early childhood classrooms have time to browse through and borrow from a large collection of picture books, sometimes on their own and sometimes with a reading buddy from an older class. On opposite sides of the library, you can find the Prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms which are havens for love, learning through inquiry and play, and opportunities to grow socially and emotionally, guided by two teachers for each group of students.

Look around ⇢


Meeting House

The physical home base for our Project-based Learning initiative.

Quaker values are the heart of everything we do at Frankford Friends School. In keeping with Quaker practice, our community meets to worship together with their fellow teachers and students in our historic Meetinghouse dating from 1833.

Look around ⇢

A Quaker School

Quakers are members of the Religious Society of Friends and place great value on community, continuous inquiry, and belonging. They seek nonviolent solutions to conflict, help others through service, promote social and economic justice, show kindness in their daily lives, and are guided by the belief that every living thing has an inner Light.

Our Core Quaker Values

  • We believe that every member of our community can grow and change in order to reach their potential.
  • We act courageously in alignment with our core moral beliefs and strive to be socially responsible.
  • We value and embrace the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and religions in our communities.
  • We resolve conflicts through respectful discussion and by listening to each other.
  • We welcome the challenge of competing ideas, and know that truth is continuously revealed and accessible to the seeker.

Diversity and Belonging Statement

Quakerism is rooted in the belief that each person has a unique and sacred worth. Frankford Friends School strives to create a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just learning environment. To ensure that Frankford Friends students may realize their full learning potential, everyone in our school community will feel welcome and know that they and all aspects of their identity belong.* The Board of Trustees has the responsibility to be reflective and critical of schoolwide systems and practices and to engage in ongoing purposeful strategic planning. The school administration, faculty, and staff will participate in recurring professional development opportunities; will lead thoughtful curricular review to enhance educational programming and pedagogy; will respond thoughtfully to our community’s evolving needs; and will engage as members of Philadelphia’s diverse citizenry. All members of our school community have a vital role in realizing Frankford Friends School’s vision for Diversity and Belonging.

*Identity includes but is not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, sex (including sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression), age, ability, veteran status, or family structure.  


The history of Frankford Friends School can be traced back to 1768, when members of the Oxford Meeting built the “ Spring House School” at the corner of Waln and Spring Streets.  It was a modest learning environment, consisting of one small room with a fireplace, benches lining the walls and an open space in the middle for students to stand and recite lessons from the blackboard. Students often wrote on birch bark, as paper was unaffordable. 

At the time, Frankford was entering into a period of rapid change and growth, transitioning from a rural farming community to a bustling urban center of commerce.  Throughout the American Revolution, Frankford was a regular stop for the founders of our country including John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson and even George Washington. 

Frankford Monthly Meeting re-established itself at its current location in 1833, setting down roots in the community and building the beginnings of what would become Frankford Friends School.

Throughout its history, Frankford Friends School has nurtured the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, both within and beyond the classroom.