Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When was SSFS founded?
A: In 1961 by S. Brook Moore with the vision to create a school to educate the whole person - body, mind, and spirit.
Q: How many students attend SSFS?
A: SSFS has approximately 551 students ranging from Pre-K (age 4) program to the 12th grade. We have 60 boarding students in the 5 day or 7 day boarding program.
Q: How many students are in each division?
A: Our Lower School has 162 students from Pre-K (age 4) to Grade 5. Our Middle School has 121 students in Grades 6-8. Our Upper School, Grades 9-12 with a 5-day & 7-day boarding option, has 268.
Q: What is the student/teacher ratio?
A: The average student to faculty ratio is 8 to 1.
Q: What is the average class size?
A: The average class size is 15.
Q: How many faculty are teaching at SSFS?
A: 66 full-time and 7 part-time teachers
Q: What is the School's retention rate?
A: 90% of last year's students re-enrolled this year, a percentage better than the national average for schools of our type (primarily day school with a boarding component).
Q: Does my child have to be Quaker to attend SSFS? How does Quakerism influence the academic and community life at SSFS?
A: No, students do not need to be Quaker to attend SSFS. Quaker values - peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship/service - are incorporated into the daily academic and social curriculum. (See the About Quaker Education section of our website.)
Q: What is the religious diversity of your student body?
A: Over a dozen different religions and denominations are represented in the student body. Quakers represent about 10% of our student body.
Q: What are the school day hours? What is a typical day?
A: Each division operates on a similar school day schedule. See below for exact times for each division:
The Lower School day begins at 8:10 am and ends at 3:15 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Lower School day on Wednesday starts at 8:10 am and ends at 2:15 pm.
The Middle School day begins at 8:10 am and ends at 3:15 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Middle School day on Wednesday starts at 8:10 am and ends at 2:15 pm.
The Upper School day begins at 8:05 am and ends at 2:55 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The Upper School day on Wednesday starts at 8:05 am and ends at 2:25 pm.
Q: Do you offer bus service?
A: Yes, our buses pick up students from Montgomery, Howard, and Prince George's Counties. Routes are point-to-point, not house-to-house. Collection points are designed to accommodate as many families as possible. Routes and schedules are adjusted each year according to changes in ridership. (See the Bus Schedule.)
Q: Do you have a before and aftercare program?
A: Yes, we offer before and aftercare for our Lower School students, and aftercare (called Homework Club) for Middle School students. Before school care in the Lower School is from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. Aftercare runs until 6 p.m. in both Lower and Middle School. (See Tuition and Fees information.)
Q: What athletic teams does Sandy Spring Friends School offer?
A: SSFS is a member of the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference, and our Middle and Upper School teams compete in the following interscholastic sports: soccer, cross country, volleyball, golf, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis. Students also have non-competitive fitness options such as athletic conditioning, modern dance, yoga, and weight training.
Q: Approximately how many openings do you anticipate for September 2013?
A: While we will accept applications for each grade, we only increase the class size at certain grades. We have the largest number of spaces in our expansion grades: PK, K, 6th, and 9th.
Q: Are any applicants given special consideration?
A: While it is by no means a guarantee of admission, Sandy Spring Friends School does give special consideration to the applicant groups listed below:
- Children of Members of the Religious Society of Friends
- Children of Sandy Spring Friends employees
- Current students' siblings
- Children of Sandy Spring Friends alumni/ae
- Former students in good academic standing
Q: Are campus tours available?
A: Yes, campus tours are available on a weekly basis. We encourage families to visit our campus to learn more about the SSFS community. Please take a look at the how to visit page to schedule a tour.
Q: What is the birthday cut-off date for entering Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st grade in 2013?
A: September 1, 2013. Applicants to Pre-K must be 4 years by this date, Kindergarten applicants must be 5 years, and 1st grade applicants 6 years.
Q: Is your Pre-Kindergarten program a full day program?
A: Yes, the Pre-K program is a full day program.
Q: How are admissions decision made?
A: In keeping with the Quaker process, all admissions decisions are made by Committees within the division. Each student application is reviewed with the whole student in mind. Due to the comprehensive nature of the process, all admission decisions are final.
Q: Is financial assistance available?
A: We offer need-based financial aid. The goal is to make a Sandy Spring Friends School education financially accessible to all families. Grants are made solely on the basis of financial need. (See Financial Aid.)
Q: What is your financial aid deadline?
A: The financial aid deadline for current families is December 15, 2012. The financial aid deadline for new families is February 15, 2013. The financial aid application and all supporting documents, including current year financial documents. (See Financial Aid.)
Q: Will applying for aid affect my child's chances of being accepted?
A: The admissions and financial aid process are two separate processes. SSFS is a need-blind school. A family's ability to pay does not impact the admissions review process.
Q: What percent of your student body receives financial aid?
A: Approximately 32% of our students receive financial assistance.
Q: Do you offer academic or athletic scholarships?
A: SSFS does not offer academic or athletic scholarships.
Q: Are there fees beyond the tuition?
A: Yes, additional fees may include bus transportation, books, aftercare, and trips. (See Tuition and Fees.)
Q: What is the tuition for the 2012-2013 school year?
A: Tuition varies by grade and division. See Tuition and Fees for current rates on our website.
Q: How many students are in your International Student Program and what foreign countries are represented?
A: There are approximately 70 students in our International Student Program (ISP) representing China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, among others.
Q: What is the ethnic diversity of the student body?
A: 50% European American, 19% African American, 17% Asian, 2% Latino, 2% Middle Eastern & 10% Multi Racial.
Q: What percentage of graduates attend college?
A: 99% of our students apply and are accepted to college. Occasionally, a student will defer enrollment or choose to pursue another option following graduation. (See College Counseling.)