Welcome from Dr. Larry Weiss
Welcome to Our Community
Brooklyn Friends School opens its 149th academic year in 2016-17 with a record enrollment of 860 students from Pre-School 3s-12th grade and an additional 52 students in our newly expanded Family Center for 2 year-olds.
From its beginnings just after the Civil War in 1867, Brooklyn Friends has offered its students and their families a challenging, supportive, and humane education informed by the testimonies and values of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
As we pursue the continuous improvement and planned expansion of our programs and facilities, six distinguishing elements of BFS guide our path.
BFS is One School
With three separate buildings in the vibrant urban neighborhood of downtown Brooklyn, including our new 40,000 square foot Upper School building on the MetroTech campus, we provide a coherent, intellectually ambitious, values-based program for children and young adults from the age of 2 through 18. The talented, dedicated faculty, staff and administrative team that brings this program to life each day represents the school’s most important asset.
BFS is a Friends School
The practices, values, and collective consciousness of the Religious Society of Friends will always remain central to BFS. Our recently completed membership renewal accreditation process with the Friends Council on Education confirmed the ongoing strength of our Quaker identity. Current students, as well as many alumni, frequently reiterate the powerful meaning that they derived from our weekly meetings for worship. The learning community’s continuous and intentional search for paths to simplicity, peace, integrity, community, social justice, equality, and stewardship creates a framework for many of the most important student-faculty learning experiences at BFS.
BFS Is an Intellectually Challenging School
The life of the mind thrives in every part of our school. Our teachers are passionate life-long learners as well as skilled communicators of their own mastery of fact, theory and method. We create the opportunities, symbolized by our upper school International Baccalaureate program, for students to explore with depth, breadth and engagement the areas of their own intellectual interest while also meeting high standards in their required humanities, mathematics, and sciences coursework.
At BFS, Students Explore the Arts in Depth
Experiential immersion in the arts provides uniquely stimulating opportunities for students across the age spectrum to connect with the life of the heart and spirit as well as the mind. For a significant number of BFS alumni, the artistic work that they began at Brooklyn Friends provided a foundation for careers of great accomplishment and social significance. Such a legacy informs our deep commitment to keep the arts lively and growing at BFS.
BFS is a Diverse, Loving, Learning Community
BFS students, faculty and staff confront, learn from, and celebrate individual differences as they embrace the challenge of creating a unified community in which all members can thrive. In our admissions, financial aid, and faculty recruitment work, we seek to reflect the diversity of the New York neighborhoods that is the wellspring of our school’s energy and continuous renewal. Approximately 40% of our students and faculty are persons of color, and they join students from a panoply of cultural and class backgrounds who all love learning at BFS and wait in anticipation for its doors to open each day. Such love fuels the highest aspirations of any educational institution.
BFS is a School that Prepares Students for Lives of Leadership and Service
In a society that increasingly glorifies the pursuit of individual satisfaction and achievement, it is difficult for any school to nurture an active and change-oriented awareness of the world beyond the self. At BFS, students–including our youngest toddlers and most exuberant adolescents–take advantage of opportunities to consider and serve the needs of others as an important part of their lives at BFS. Our Service Learning program encourages students to learn experientially about the problems that face our local, national and global communities. We encourage them to take leadership in and responsibility for learning more about such issues and to address the problems through direct participatory action as well as study. We ask our students to seek understanding and unity with other solution seekers, and to share the burdens of difficult, seemingly unrewarding labor. Such active learning provides invaluable experiential knowledge for students and ideal teachable moments for faculty.
Welcome to Brooklyn Friends!
Dr. Larry Weiss
Head of School