Intellectual discomfort is not a bad thing.

— Peter Kalajian, Upper School History teacher      


Engage our Upper School faculty in a discussion about teaching, and you will find yourself in the midst of a spirited and passionate conversation. While the NGFS curriculum is decidedly college-prep, as a Friends school, we have a unique obligation to our students and families: academic excellence and spiritual depth.  

As our Upper School faculty and staff continually evaluate our course content and teaching methods, we consider Tony Wagner’s Key Survival Skills and ask ourselves:

Will this course of study support the development of CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS?

Will these assignments or activities allow our students to COLLABORATE ACROSS NETWORKS and LEAD BY INFLUENCE?

How will these challenges build our students' intellectual AGILITY AND ADAPTABILITY?

Are we allowing our students the opportunity to nourish their creativity, so they will feel comfortable taking INITIATIVE?

Are we actively cultivating ENTREPRENEURSHIP?

Are we providing opportunities for our students to consistently hone their ORAL AND WRITTEN COMMUNICATION skills?

How often are we giving our students the challenge of effectively ACCESSING AND ANALYZING INFORMATION?

Are we staying out of the way often enough to allow students to follow their own CURIOSITY AND IMAGINATION?

Are we supporting student directed PATHS OF INQUIRY?

An NGFS education not only provides the students with skills needed to analyze and consider complex problems in today’s world; we value their questions, we know that real growth is often born out of struggle. We support our students’ initiative and compassion as they devise solutions. When they are suggesting ways to get out, get involved, and get their hands dirty, we know we are growing citizens who are ready to engage with the world.