Simplicity • Peace • Integrity • Community • Equality • Stewardship
The social, ethical, and intellectual values of Oakwood Friends School are directly informed by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. We follow in the Quaker tradition of calling on each member of the community to develop individual interpretations of these testimonies. We actively strive to instill an ethic of service into our students, and encourage them to think for themselves. All students engage in community service throughout the year, culminating in senior year independently-designed service projects.
Meeting for Worship
The Oakwood community takes part in Meeting for Worship each week for 30 minutes on Wednesday morning. This silent time of reflection grounds the community, students and faculty alike, and offers an opportunity for sharing thoughts, if so moved, about the world, daily life, family and friends.
Each year our 10th grade students take part in the Youth Service Opportunities Program (YSOP) at Friends Seminary in NYC. YSOP engages students in meaningful service experiences through an innovative program that combines an orientation to the issues, hands on volunteer work and reflection.
In keeping with the Quaker values of the school, seniors complete an independent service learning program prior to graduation. Self-designed projects range from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or serving the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater to building benches for local community parks and serving meals at soup kitchens. Seniors journal about their experiences and their reflections become a part of the permanent archives of the school.
Quaker Leadership and Friends Education
New York Yearly Meeting
Oakwood Friends School is under the care of New York Yearly Meeting, who has nurtured and supported the school since our founding. New York Yearly Meeting, founded in 1694, is the gathering of Quaker meetings (congregations) in New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut. Members of NYYM serve as stewards of the school, serving as board members, friends and Friends.
NYYM is at the same time:
- a community—an extended fellowship of Friends and their local meetings;
- an organization—composed of the committees, staff, and institutions of the Yearly Meeting; and
- sessions—gatherings of Yearly Meeting members to conduct its business in worship.
Friends Council on Education
Friends Council on Education provides leadership in drawing Friends schools together in unity of spirit and cooperative endeavors.
Friends Council's work nurtures the Quaker life of schools, strengthens the network of support across schools, promotes Friends education through consultations, programs, and publications, and assists in the establishment of new Friends schools. Friends Council helps Friends schools maintain their Quaker identity and ethos, and their relationship with the Religious Society of Friends. Friends Council promotes professional growth for trustees, heads, administrators, and faculty to further the goals of Quaker education, and serves as a voice for Friends schools in the national dialogue on education.
“Friends Schools teach young people, from all walks of life, habits of heart and mind, so that they may go forth to create a more just and peaceful world. This is why former Presidents of the United States have chosen to send their children to Friends schools. This is why Friends school alumnae go on to live lives of public purpose and make a difference in today’s world. This is why, as our country strives to navigate this challenging time in history, Quaker schools and what they have to offer is needed more than ever.” (FCE Website).