“Phoenix is the first city in the southwest to secure a prestigious, independent Friends school featuring a new model of values education and learning for grades five and six opening Fall 2023 (1875 N. Central Avenue) in midtown Phoenix,” announced Founder and well-known Nonprofit Manager and Consultant, Willard White, Ph.D.
The prestigious and highly renowned Friends schools, like Sidwell in Washington D. C., of which of a number of former U. S. Presidents children (including Malia and Sasha Obama and Chelsea Clinton) are graduates, are independent schools arising from the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends (also called Friends or Quakers) and built upon high standards that have long made Friends schools exceptional. While Phoenix is a new market for the Friends schools, its expansion is years in the making at a time when Arizona parents have a strong appetite to explore different schools and formats for learning.
Quaker education pairs academic rigor in areas including (but not limited to) coding, robotics, and technology with values-based learning while developing capacities in service, meditative reflection, and peaceful problem solving. Students at Phoenix Friends School (PFS) will engage with the arts, take part in service-learning projects, are encouraged toward a healthy and active lifestyle, and develop deep connections with each other and the wider world.
“At every level, we promote a commitment to learning through inquiry, reflection, actions, and discovery — an approach that stems from the Quaker belief that learning should be an ongoing and never-ending process of fresh and joy-filled discovery,” said White.
To spearhead this initiative, White hired Andy Jones-Wilkins as founding head of school. Jones-Wilkins brings nearly 35 years of experience including teaching at Phoenix Country Day School from 1996 – 2001 and leading other schools, Friends and otherwise. Jones-Wilkins is returning to the Valley specifically to lead the launch of Phoenix Friends School.
“Our new school holds the answers to some of the most pressing concerns of parents wanting a fully rounded learning experience for their children,” Jones-Wilkins says. “Children aren’t one-dimensional. They need a school that addresses every aspect of their ever-growing personality. Phoenix Friends School is a Quaker education that takes a whole-student approach that values the academic excellence and spiritual depth.”
Most instruction and discussion will take place within the school. However, PFS is uniquely designed to operate in the greater community, partnering with both the Desert Botanical Garden and AZ Humane Society for weekly off-site learning projects tied to in-school curriculum. Full details on partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks.
Those interested in learning more are invited to attend an upcoming informational Meet & Greet. Dates and times are as follows: 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 18, 4 p.m. on Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 and 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the University Club of Phoenix (39 E. Monte Vista, Phoenix, not at the PFS campus). Parents will hear firsthand why Friends education has earned a reputation for academic excellence and find out how PFS’s community partnerships will enrich their child’s education. RSVP at phoenixfriendsschool.org or call (602) 562-2662.
Opening in fall 2023, Phoenix Friends School is an independent school arising from the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends (also called Friends or Quakers) and built upon high standards that have long made Friends schools exceptional. Quaker education pairs academic rigor with values-based learning while developing capacities in service, meditative reflection, and peaceful problem solving. Students at a Friends school engage with the arts, take part in service-learning projects, are encouraged toward a healthy and active lifestyle, and develop deep connections with each other and the wider world. More info at PhoenixFriendsSchool.org.