Ever since Brooklyn Friends School was founded in 1867, the standard for excellence has been outstanding. Brooklyn Friends is an independent Quaker institution that has about 600 students enrolled. It adheres to the Quaker principles of "truth, simplicity and peaceful resolution of conflict." Through these principles, children of all ages are exposed to the highly ethical and social values within the school.
It is apparent that Brooklyn Friends has been setting a high bar for both academic and creative excellence for many years.
The tuition for the 2010-2011 school year is $30,700, which includes any and all schoolbooks, as well as class trips taken by the students. Located near the Brooklyn Bridge on Pearl Street, it is a well-managed and focused preparatory school that goes from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.
The school itself is split between two buildings in Brooklyn. The students at Brooklyn Friends (or "BFS," as it's affectionately referred to around campus), partake in numerous subjects including, but not limited to, mathematics, history, science, painting, woodworking and orchestra.
The students are passionate about the arts at Brooklyn Friends. There are classes in everything from ceramics and theater, to dance and photography. While the arts play a major role at Brooklyn Friends, so does the recently implemented International Baccalaureate Program. The program is centered around the course known as "TOK" or "Theory of Knowledge." These TOK class discussions are aimed to present students with the means to have meaningful and thought-provoking conversations.
In addition to the required academic requirements, the Brooklyn Friends School also realizes the importance of sports for a sound body and mind. It offers participation in volleyball, cross-country, basketball, softball, baseball and track at nearby fields in Brooklyn. Students of all ages at the school make full use of the gyms, and partake in team activities.
Brooklyn Friends is a definite springboard for success aimed at the collegiate level. The outgoing seniors were accepted in a wide array of prestigious colleges like Harvard, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, according to Lindsey Berns, the director of college counseling. With the required students' implementation of various kinds of community service throughout their high school years, the students find that they are more able to ease into college life with a realistic awareness of the diverse environment that is college today.
When asked why she even applied to a small Quaker school like Brooklyn Friends, Abbi Straus, 18, stated, "I liked the Quaker religion and how it was gently incorporated into the school. The classes are very open-minded here, they help you try to become a more objective person."
Straus had just recently completed a trip to Guatemala, where she had assisted her aunt in community efforts for her "CAS Project." This project, required for seniors, stands for Creativity, Action and Service, and usually includes at least two of the aforementioned traits.
Brooklyn Friends is a school that prides itself on instilling genuine learning skills at the hands of well-picked, educated and able teachers. According to the students at Brooklyn Friends, they consider their teachers to be the finest they have ever had.
The student-teacher relationship is very open, as a teachers' door is never closed to any student, according to Roxanne Zazzaro, the head of the Upper School.
"The bond between student and teacher is strong," she said. "Students feel a comfort in responsibly asking questions and seeking answers to the unknown. The teacher is a guide and a helpmate."
— By Andrew Phillips