building community at Greene Street Friends School

 Written by: GSFS parent, Debbie Woodward

Over the years, when I have talked to people about Greene Street Friends School, I find myself coming back to one characteristic over and over again: the community. In various ways and at various scales, Greene Street fosters a strong community between students, faculty, staff and parents.

Greene Street is a Quaker school offering a strong academic program to a diverse population in grades Pre-K through 8th in Germantown. It is a small school, and you sense that when you walk onto campus. But what takes a little longer to feel is the bond between the students, teachers, faculty and parents. The older kids will play with the younger kids on the playground, because they want to. There are often games on the playground with a wide range of ages playing together. Because the school is small, the kids learn each other’s names fairly quickly. You get the sense though that they want to get to know the other kids. It reminds me of my neighborhood growing up where we played with kids because we got along and enjoyed each other, not just because we were the same age.



This feeling of community carries through in the teacher/parent relationships as well as the relationships between parents. Maybe this comes easy to Greene Street because many of the faculty and teachers are also parents, but I think that it lies more in the mutual respect between the two groups. Raising our children and guiding over their education feels like collaboration at Greene Street. When I have had concerns, questions and more often, the need for some advice, I have often found it in the teaching staff.

Giving a strong foundation to this feeling of community at Greene Street is the Life Skills curriculum. Established by the teachers and an outside consultant, the Life Skills curriculum is carried through all the grades in age-appropriate lessons. Each year, there is a school-wide theme to guide the lessons. The lessons are geared towards giving the children the tools necessary to become a strong member of the community. A sampling of covered topics includes: conflict resolution, self-awareness, problem solving, and community roles.

Our children are currently in first and third grades, and both of our sons have been at Greene Street since Pre-K. We selected Greene Street Friends School for our family over five years ago because it felt “right” to us. We continue on at Greene Street because we can see our children thriving, growing and learning.

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Editor’s Note: This is GAP’s third school review.  You can find reviews of The Miquon School here and here, and Project P.L.A.Y.  here.  We have several more coming in the next few weeks.  If you’d like to write a review about your child’s childcare, preschool, or school, please email us at

4 thoughts on “building community at Greene Street Friends School

  • Bill Curtis

    Debbie…….Very good summary of the Green Street Experience !

    • Jen

      Bill- I agree, even in touring the school the three times I was there, the sense of community was palpable.

  • ladidah

    great review, debbie! the diversity (which you really don’t see nearly as much at other area private schools) and the community are definite greene st. strengths.

  • Jane

    Nicely said, Debbie. From one GSFS groupie to another–here, here! We chose GSFS because of the diversity, the community, the teachers, the feel of the school, the curriculum (both academic and emotional)…and the brightly sun-lit pre-K rooms. (Oliver’s daycare had been in a church basement so those rooms really won us over.) Anyway, we’ve never regretted our decision and imagine that in four years we’ll be sending little Poppy to GSFS too!


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