About Oakwood Friends School

On a picturesque, coed campus, infused with nature, surrounded in all directions by cultural enrichment and “fun” entertainment and dining venues (make this a link to a list?), Oakwood Friends School prepares students for lives of achievement, accomplishment, compassion and conscience. The Oakwood experience is guided by Quaker principles, symbolized by the acronym SPICES:

Simplicity • Peace • Integrity • Community • Equality • Stewardship

What Oakwood Friends School is not is a place where there is ever any pressure to “convert” to any religion or force any ideas on anyone. In fact, the above six main values are so fundamental that they apply to any and all religions that students may bring with them to Oakwood, and are encouraged to continue practicing here. 

At every level, classes focus on depth over breadth, stressing the development of an individual, learned viewpoint over factual recall. Students typically characterize life at Oakwood as caring, warm, accepting, engaging, nurturing, “family” and “home.” Founded in 1796, Oakwood was the very first college preparatory school in the state of New York.

The 66-acre campus of Oakwood Friends School is located on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York – an integral part of the historic Hudson Valley region – only a 90-minute train ride from New York City’s Grand Central Station via the Hudson Line.

Oakwood actively strives to instill in students an ethic of service while encouraging them to think for themselves. In seeking to fulfill its mission, Oakwood Friends School:

  • Provides rigorous academic preparation based on primary texts and hands-on learning. Respects the mind and imagination of students and focuses on intellectual skills and habits. Encourages powerful thinkers whose abilities are nurtured through artful teaching, thoughtful assessment, and individual attention.
  • Fosters an accepting environment based upon the Quaker principle that each individual is worthy and capable of meaningful insight and truth.
  • Provides an array of opportunities in the arts, athletics, and learning experiences beyond the campus to encourage creativity, self-expression, cooperation, and teamwork.
  • Guides students toward the responsibilities of community life and community involvement, through leadership and service both on the campus and beyond.
  • Creates and sustains a vibrant residential and educational community that embraces students in grades six through twelve as well as faculty and families representing every stage of life and a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds.

In short, Oakwood is firmly committed to its long-standing goal of supporting an inclusive, diversified community of students and staff in an atmosphere of mutual respect and enrichment. Oakwood Friends School provides equal opportunity in the administration of its admissions, educational, and hiring practices.

Quakerism is not a “cult” or religion unto itself and Oakwood Friends School encourages all students to practice whatever faith is endemic to and comfortable for them, on campus and at off-campus houses of worship (churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc.) if they wish. Spirit is alive on campus and is open to the religious beliefs and practices of all. For example, each year trips are offered to Buddhist Monastery, Rhinebeck to see the Sinterklaas Festival, to the Christmas tree cutting with the Head of School, and Jewish students are welcomed at faculty members’ tables during the High Holy Days.


Oakwood students enjoy an extremely high level of available technology to support its studies:

  • High-speed Internet across campus for all students, both wired and wireless connections
  • 18-seat computer lab for student use as well as computers in all dormitories with printers available
  • 5-seat art computer lab with 3D printer, 3D clay printer, and access to Adobe’s full creative Cloud products
  • 1:1 middle school Chromebook program
  • iPad program for advanced language classes
  • Google Apps for education, allowing students to submit assignments online, email their teachers, safely store their files in the Cloud, and have access to all of Google’s applications via their Oakwood Google account
  • Additions?