Friends School of Minnesota Blog

A Quaker school blog about progressive education.

What Makes a Community?

First and second graders have been examining what makes a community. Beginning last fall, parents and other community members came and spoke to Friends School of Minnesota’s first and second grade classrooms about their jobs and roles within our communities. After learning and writing about these jobs, students examined the community around FSM through walks focused on transportation, architecture, and green spaces. Through this process, students chose a committee that.. Read More

Skipping Stones Summer Program Turns 10!

Skipping Stones, FSM’s summer camping trips for our middle schoolers, turns ten years old this year! Each summer since 2006, groups of FSM students have gone camping in one of Minnesota’s state parks for five days and four nights. Trips include outdoor adventures such as inner-tubing down the Root River through Lanesboro, exploring caves in southeastern Minnesota, hiking to the top of Barn Bluff in Red Wing, cycling through the pine forests surrounding.. Read More

Environmental Education at FSM: Walking in our Purpose

Environmental education at Friends School of Minnesota seeks to prepare students to become citizens and stewards of the earth. Whether on a week-long trip to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, a nature walk in the park, or collecting the school compost, environmental education is woven throughout FSM’s K-8 experience. Here is some great news that demonstrates our community’s commitment to environmental education. Presenting FSM Environmental Education Work Last month, members of.. Read More

Our Work on Race and Racism in 5th and 6th Grade Humanities

Over the past month, fellow middle school humanities teacher Melissa Andersen and I have been engaged with the 5th and 6th graders in some challenging, thoughtful work around race and racism in our society. It began with our field trip to the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota, something I recommend that everyone go and see. Before the field trip, we did some preview.. Read More

People of Color Conference 2015

I attended the 2015 NAIS People of Color Conference in Tampa, Florida from December 2nd – 5th. I returned rejuvenated, honored, empowered, and inspired. It was great to be surrounded by the over 4300 faculty, administrators, and students of color from independent schools across the country. It was like one big family reunion with people giving hugs upon meeting you for the first time. Most of the sessions focused on addressing.. Read More

Leaf Raking for Elders Service Project 2015

Last Saturday morning, Friends School community members gathered for a community day of service.  About 40 students, staff, parents, and alumni helped seniors living in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood by raking leaves.  We were able to take care of five different lawns and plan to take care of several more this week as classroom groups go out again. This annual service work is a great way to connect with our neighborhood!

Wolf Ridge Trip 2015

Each autumn, Friends School of Minnesota 7th and 8th graders head north to spend a week at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota. We do this trip to learn about the natural environment of the area and to build community. Students challenge themselves on the rock wall and outdoor ropes course. They take classes and study streams, wetlands, and geology. At night, they do astronomy and a night hike, led by science.. Read More

Sharing Our Differences

I had the joy of introducing my extraordinary friend Tiffany Busone to the Bayou third and fourth grade class last week following their reading of Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. The book chronicles the unique childhood of Melody. “Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. She is a brilliant fifth grader trapped in an uncontrollable body. Her world is enhanced by insight and intellect, but.. Read More