Is it hard to get involved in clubs and leadership roles at Friends?
Actually, it’s hard not to, especially in upper school. The student government is a Quaker Business Meeting, and every student and teacher participates. Most of the work is done by committees—lots of them, and anyone interested can join a committee. Students can also start clubs based on their interests; some clubs are service oriented, like the group that works to bring attention to and raise money to help child soldiers in Uganda, and others are just fun, like a horror movie club. Between clubs, committees, sports, arts and music groups, every student at Friends is encouraged and able to take a leadership role. And again, it’s not just the kids who have been here a long time who get those roles; a lot of students who come in high school have been officers of the Business Meeting, have started clubs and clerked committees, have been captains of teams, members of Link Crew, and have taken lead roles in performances. It happens all the time.
What’s the dress code?
The dress code is casual. You can wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, etc. But the school is very strict about the rules that it has. So it’s good to understand the dress code—things like shorts and skirts have to be a certain length; you can’t wear athletic clothes or hats; you can’t have certain sayings on your clothes. As long as you know the rules, you’ll be fine, and you’ll have a lot of choice about what you can wear.
What about the food?
The cafeteria serves a hot main dish every day at lunch, and also sandwiches, salads, soup, sides, and snacks (at morning break and after school). There is always a vegetarian option, and the school follows “healthy food” guidelines in terms of fat and sugar. If you buy lunch and snacks at school, you can use an account number (they don’t want you to carry cash at school, but they will take cash); the charge goes on the monthly school bill your parents/guardians get. Your parents can set a limit on how much you can spend each month, but it’s better just to talk about it and keep track, so you don’t actually have to put food back if you go over the limit. The food changes often enough, and there are enough different things offered, that almost everyone can find something they like. Of course, you can also bring your lunch from home.