Educational Philosophy


We believe that each and every person has an Inner Light.
Greene Street Friends School has a deep commitment to the Society of Friends belief in “that of God in everyone.”  Each of us brings to the community an Inner Light, an individual guide to acting truthfully, responsibly, and kindly.  This Light helps us relate to each other, seek truth, and find good in others.  We help our students recognize and share their own Inner Light as well as appreciate it in all people.

Meeting for Worship, moments of silent reflection, and service to the community provide our students opportunities to cultivate their Light as well as connect to the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality.   We show each of our students the meaning of these values and how living them can positively impact the way we walk over the earth.


We believe in educating the whole child, which includes intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual development.

Greene Street Friends School fosters students' development and competencies in a broad sense.  Building on children’s natural inclination to actively construct, discuss, and experiment, and using an understanding of the unique capabilities of each child, teachers promote intellectual growth by providing challenging learning opportunities within a rich, integrated curriculum.
Recognizing the inherent connectedness of the individual and the community and the benefits of learning through others’ perspectives, teachers nurture students' ability to engage constructively with others.  Spiritually, children grow within our overlying structure of Quaker practices and beliefs.


Because children’s emotional and physical well-being and growth are essential and affect learning capacity in other areas, time is devoted to these needs.  Teachers guide students in identifying, managing, and expressing feelings with confidence and respect and in developing a sense of physical control, coordination, and enjoyment.

We believe that students succeed academically through hard work and continual challenge.
We expect our students to put forth an earnest effort in all areas, so that they can achieve their personal best.  Teachers help students build good study habits, self-discipline, and a positive attitude, which in turn enables them to apply their effort productively.  Our school establishes expected learning outcomes for each grade level to appropriately challenge and prepare each student.  Teachers equip students with the skills, knowledge, and concepts they will need for the next step in their education and continually encourage students to stretch their own unique abilities in lessons, discussions, activities and assignments.


We believe in pursuing a broad range of learning experiences to stimulate enthusiasm, understanding, creativity, and passion for learning.
Our instructional program strengthens both the spirit of critical inquiry and the love of learning.  At Greene Street, students take an active role in their own education: They frame and pursue questions in discussions, they work both independently and in teams to explore and solve problems, and they present their knowledge in a variety of forms.  Individuals bring their own strengths to cooperative learning groups and support each other as they learn new skills.

Teachers vary modes of instruction to reach across multiple learning styles.  By emphasizing active learning and personal responsibility, we empower young people to become lifelong learners.  Our teaching team cultivates its own growth by actively pursuing professional development opportunities and by meeting regularly to reflect on and hone teaching practice.  Faculty and staff work together to integrate skills and disciplines, and to make subject matter meaningful for their students.

We believe that developing positive relationships based on empathy and compassion is essential for an effective learning environment.
We provide an intimate, safe, and supportive setting with clear and reasonable expectations where children learn and grow.  Our faculty and staff seek to build caring relationships with students and to help them create healthy peer relationships through daily interactions, classroom, cross-grade, and whole school activities.  As students work together, teachers actively foster cooperative skills, including listening attentively, contributing thoughtfully, and negotiating disagreements productively, so that students can help each other achieve their academic goals.

Because we believe that positive relationships are integral to our healthy school, we expect all community members to communicate with each other compassionately, truthfully, respectfully, and with the needs of all our students in mind.

We believe that we can solve problems peacefully, thereby building trust, respect, and friendship.
We achieve solutions that strengthen our learning community by approaching conflicts in a spirit of respect, non-violence, and kindness.  We teach our students how to advocate for themselves, listen to others, make healthy decisions, and take responsibility for their actions.  Our faculty and staff guide children through the steps and strategies of conflict resolution until they are able to internalize and apply these skills independently.  Our older students are encouraged to take a leadership role in modeling and mediating successful conflict resolution.


We believe that the diversity of our community -- our ethnic backgrounds, economic resources, family structures, beliefs, and learning styles -- enriches all of us.
We provide a welcoming environment for all people and actively seek to provide a culturally, economically, and intellectually diverse learning environment for our families that reflects our larger society.  As a Quaker school, we are inherently inclusive and respectful of all peoples and faiths.  We expect that all community members will be accepting of individual differences and will make a strong and consistent effort to contribute to the learning environment.  We are committed to teaching our students how to listen to and understand each other.

In addition, we create a culturally balanced curriculum that honors our global society and provides opportunities for meaningful connections for all of our students.  As our students move on to new settings, we are confident that their experience at Greene Street will enable them to communicate with peers and adults of all backgrounds, ask insightful questions, consider multiple viewpoints, and treat others with respect.