Whittier Friends School
A Quaker School
6726 S. Washington Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Whittier Friends School was founded in September 1974 as a non-profit school under the care of Whittier Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (First Friends Church). The School is registered with the State of California Department of Education, and is an active member of the Friends Council on Education. Children of all ethnic backgrounds and religious persuasions are welcome to share in the diverse and rich learning experience offered in a school dedicated to the growth and development of the whole child. Whittier Friends School defines the whole child as a spiritual being, a learner, a responsible citizen and a peacemaker.
Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, emerged from England with a faith that was inward, reflective, and based both on the Bible and the inner spirituality of each person. There is no creed, but underlying principles of belief guide each individual. These beliefs grew into the testimonies of: Simplicity, Peace (Harmony), Integrity, Community, Equality - or SPICE. The Quaker testimonies see persons as children of God/Christ, living simply in moderation, working toward peaceful resolution of conflicts within the community and providing service as needed. Whittier Friends School works with the students using these principles.
Simplicity is a challenging concept in today's material world, and Whittier Friends School approaches the awareness of leading a simple and moderate life through practical examples and projects.
Whittier Friends School attempts to find decisions by coming to unity together, rather than by using majority rule, which often disregards the thought of the minority group. Unity allows each individual viewpoint to be shared and included and creates a decision of informed consent of all involved. This process creates the free sharing of concerns where each person feels a valued part of the school and its program.
The students at Whittier Friends School are encouraged to solve differences in a peaceful manner. Teachers help each child to see the different points of view in any conflict, and, without blaming anyone, to work out a solution acceptable to all parties involved.
Integrity is the one testimony underlying the entire spectrum of all testimonies. Integrity, defined as personal honesty, essentially nourishes and supports all human relationships and action.
Whittier Friends School students learn the testimony of community by developing and carrying out service projects that provide some form of care for others within our locale. The school also joins with the Meeting in worship, holiday celebrations, and in the opening of all school activities to the Meeting family. The spirit of Community is also developed within the world by studying not only the United States, but all countries, creating in all our students, regardless of grade level, a distinct global awareness. A Meeting for Worship is held each week in the Meetinghouse and is attended by all students and staff, as well as any interested friends. Quakers have a strong belief in quiet meditation, taking time to listen to one's Inner Light (the spirit of God within each person) and to share reflections with one another. Each school day begins with a time of gathering together to reflect on the coming activities and to help each student find a comfortable center on which to build the day's experiences successfully. The spiritual purpose of the Whittier Friends School program is to strengthen religious beliefs regardless of denomination and to give each student a comfortable awareness of himself or herself within our society as a whole.
Children and staff alike are encouraged to express concerns, defined in the Quaker sense as an obligation to do something for or to offer sympathetic interest to an individual or situation. The sharing of concerns is encouraged in thoughtful and respectful ways so that each person feels an equal part of the school and its program.