History of Frankford Friends School
The earliest direct predecessor of Frankford Friends School was the one-room “Spring House School,” built by Oxford Meeting in 1768 at the corner of Waln and Spring Streets. It was attended by both Quaker and non-Quaker children. Frankford, along the King’s Highway between New York and Philadelphia, was a bustling area, frequently visited by members of the Second Continental Congress, including John Adams, Benjamin Rush, and Thomas Jefferson.
Frankford Friends School was established on its present site in 1833. The school originally served students from pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade. In 1868 the Meetinghouse was enlarged and additional classrooms were built above the horse sheds on the property. Sometime during the late 1880s or early 1890s, a new brick schoolhouse was built. Later the porch of the Meetinghouse was enclosed for the use of the kindergarten.
In the early years of the twenty-first century, grades seven and eight were added to the school, and the first eighth grade class graduated in 2004. In 2012, the Margaret Passmore Trickey building was built to house the expanded Middle School program.
The school has continued to expand and in 2016, a half-acre nature-based playscape, The NEST, was added to the campus along with The IDEA Lab (Innovation, Design, Engineering, Art) and administrative offices. In 2017, FFS purchased a former church adjacent to the school, which was renovated to provide space for the Performing Arts and Physical Education programs.
The student body at Frankford Friends School continues to reflect the demographics of the City of Philadelphia and maintains the lowest tuition of any Quaker school in the Delaware Valley.