History of Frankford Friends School
“Throughout my adulthood, I found myself returning, time and again, to Frankford Friends School, where the teachers are like surrogate parents, and the enthusiasm for learning, contagious. It is a school where children are offered not only a strong education, but a moral compass by which to lead their lives. It is a school where relationships are rooted in the Quaker belief that there is a light in every person and where young seedlings grow into strong and vibrant trees with a shield of values to guide them.
It is a school called Frankford Friends . . .” – William C. Kashatus ‘71
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 meeting house was enlarged and the second story removed. 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. In 1924, a social room was added to the rear of the meeting house, and a few years later the porch 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 continued to expand and in 2016, a half-acre nature-based playscape was added to campus along with a new center for the exploration of science and engineering.
Enrollment at FFS continues to reflect the demographics of the surrounding population, and today nearly half of the students are children of color. The school continues to expand. Strong music, arts, and foreign language programs are offered to all students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight.