Germantown Friends School

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General Information Germantown Friends School is a long-established Quaker day school in the city of Philadelphia. It is a K-12 coeducational day school and enrolls 860 students. Owned and directed by Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),the school has remained in a rapidly changing urban neighborhood since 1845, rather than move out of the city, and has worked to be a positive and participating strength in the community. The school ‘s mission is to seek truth, challenge the intellect, honor differences, embrace the city, and nurture each student’s mind, body, and spirit.


Middle School (one week program):

Students will take part in a typical middle school schedule, which includes attending Quaker meeting, participating in community outreach projects (see below), and playing with a sports team.  Student may tailor their classes and extracurricular activities to suit individual interests.

Upper School

Students may follow a typical class schedule made up of the courses of their choice, or they may combine a regular schedule with one of the following options:

1. January Term:

Students are invited to join our intersession term during the month of January.  During this time teachers and students are invited to explore their individual passions in a block scheduling format.  Students may elect from a range of courses such as The Chemistry of Cooking, Yoga, Reframing the “Developing World”, and Stand-Up Comedy and to participate in Friday field trips and afternoon studio sessions for open discussion, free reading, and club activities.  This is a new addition to our curriculum and we are excited to open it to Network visitors!

2.  Essentially English Seminar:

A wide choice of seminars is offered to students and adults in the community beginning after spring break and ending at the close of the academic year. Daytime and evening, seminars are taught by GFS teachers and by adults with particular specialties. These seminars provide an opportunity for young people and adults to explore literature together, on an equal footing.  Visiting students can combine participation in a seminar with Community Outreach Internships or Quaker Immersion.

3.  Community Outreach Internships:

Individually arranged at most times except January. April is best.  These could include one of the following most popular: Internships can be combined with classes at GFS.

a: Pennsylvania School For the Deaf: located across the street from GFS, visiting students would be assigned to a class and work as a teacher’s assistant.  You would need some experience with signing to get started.

b: Quaker Immersion/Friends Service Committee: Individually arranged at most times.  Friends (Quakers) believe that there is that of God in every person, and that everyone can communicate with this Spirit directly and without ministers, music or programs; that all conflicts can be solved without violence; that what one believes one should put into action.  For three centuries Friends have put their beliefs into action, and their influence is out of all proportion to their small numbers. Learn how they have done this.  Philadelphia is a major Quaker center.  You will attend a Friends’ school, attend Quaker Meetings for Worship, see how Friends conduct a business meeting, and spend time at the headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee.  Here you can participate in an internship with programs carried out in Philadelphia-with prisons, hospitals, race relations, inner-city rehabilitation, or programs carried out around the world.  You will be encouraged to participate in one or more local community projects.

Living Arrangements and Travel

Network students live with the families of Germantown Friends School students in Philadelphia or nearby communities.  Network students who stay more than three weeks may live with two different families.

Philadelphia offers Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing, the Betsy

Ross House, a world-famous Art Museum and Orchestra, and numerous other historical and cultural opportunities.  The city is rich in beautiful parks, educational institutions, and site-seeing of all kinds.

Because our high school program may combine classes with an internship, we recommend it for mature students with strong initiative, but have found that students in the 9th grade are as successful as 12th.

Students should fly into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) where they will be picked up by their host families.

Application Procedure

Students should fill out the Network Student Information form and return it to the Network Advisor at their home school.


Middle School visits can be individually arranged between January and May. High School students are welcome throughout the year. Please note that during January the Germantown Friends Juniors are away on internships and finding host families can be challenging.  Special Elective English Seminars (evening and daytime) take place in April. See School Calendar for vacation dates.

Download this information in PDF format here: GERMANTOWN.pdf

Kate Hanssen

Advisor Name: Kate Hanssen
Title: Upper School Network
Phone: (215) 951-2300
Advisor Name: Stephen Holt
Title: Upper School Hosting
Phone: (215) 951-2300
Advisor Name: Anne Hess
Title: Middle School Network
Advisor Name: Kate Jones
Title: Middle School Network