Testimony of Community at MMFS
Mary McDowell Friends School embraces the rich history of Quakerism from which it stems, and incorporates the values into the daily life of the school. At the beginning of each school year, the entire MMFS student body and faculty participate in a mini-unit study of a specific Quaker testimony. The traditional testimonies are simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and service. The focus for the 2013-2014 school year is the testimony of community.
This year, students in every division - elementary, middle and upper - are focusing on the importance of community. In addition to community-building activities that take place every year, they are digging deeper – exploring what it entails to be part of a community. They are strengthening community within their classrooms, their divisions and the whole school by taking part in a wide range of activities, such as “Getting to Know You Interviews,” circle games and Buddy Class visits, that foster cooperation, develop listening skills and make connections among students. As part of the process, students are asked to reflect on their own actions as members of a community in which everyone is treated fairly and with respect.
The testimony of community is practiced every day in our school at morning meeting, in homeroom classes and advisee groups, on sports teams and during the many collaborative learning experiences, as well as in the wider world through service learning projects throughout the year. Our school gathers on a regular basis for Silent Meeting, when students and teachers sit together to reflect and individual voices are heard. Moreover, in fulfillment of its mission, Mary McDowell Friends School is committed to an inclusive community. It is our belief that a diverse student body is a benefit to all students. The testimony of community reminds us that a thriving school is one in which every member’s voice is heard, his/her achievements are celebrated and individual needs are met.