Quakers believe in strong encouragement of the individual. Each person has the capacity to be good, the ability to see the Light of God, and the ability to put that truth to good use. Thus, Quakers provide an exceptional and unique learning environment. Students who graduate from a Quaker school walk away with a strong sense of social understanding, skills to deal with adversity, respect for others, and a strong sense of self-worth so that they have the power needed to succeed.
- TRUTH - Quaker Faith and Practice is rooted in a yearning to seek truth in all its forms. Quakers emphasize the ability of every person to contribute to our understanding of truth, and the ability for truth to be revealed from many sources: observation, scholarship, self-awareness, inner inspiration, religion, and even from the mysterious insights we might receive while sitting in silence. We see learning as a dialogue to which students are as welcomed and encouraged to contribute to as teachers. Diversity enhances dialogue, both because it helps us to understand the human element of beliefs we disagree with and because the interaction of different perspectives can lead to new ideas and solutions that are better for all of us. At PFS, we strive to include a variety of perspectives in our curriculum and to help students learn to effectively articulate their thoughts and feelings and understand the heart of what others are saying.
- SIMPLICITY - Simplicity is about putting first things first and not allowing material desires to keep us from our spiritual calling to live the best lives we can. PFS students wear uniforms to help eliminate material distractions and allow our students’ inner characters to shine.
- PEACE – As one of the historic peace churches, Quakers have long stood against war and violence. But Quakers aim to go further than this, by settling their disagreements without using hurtful words and in a manner that takes to heart the concerns of all sides. PFS students learn skills for non-violent conflict resolution, including practice with the Quaker model of consensus decision-making., These principles can be used in solving disagreements one-on-one or in a group and represent a departure from the 51% majority model of decision-making that is so prominent in our society.
- INTEGRITY - Integrity means being truthful and doing our best to move closer to living out our highest principles. At PFS, students are encouraged to think about and speak on their values and are guided by staff and faculty in living them out more coherently and effectively.
- COMMUNITY - Quakers believe that it is important to be a good neighbor and that, like the explanation given by Christ, the call to neighborliness extends beyond our peer groups. The PFS community is one that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and that aims to make all feel valued and included. This cultivates a vibrant campus life and, through engagement off campus, extends to our city and to the rest of the world.
- EQUALITY – A defining element of Quaker life and practice is the belief there is that of God in everyone. We aim to engage with others in a way that is fair and open to all talents and skills one may offer. At PFS, we ask students to keep in mind the Golden Rule, and we expose students to as many relevant perspectives as possible in order to build empathy and understanding. We also believe that students should be treated with the same value as adults, and they are empowered to participate in school decisions that are relevant to student life.
- STEWARDSHIP - Stewardship involves caring for individuals, for the community, for other living beings, and for the planet. At PFS, students have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to service-learning activities outside the classroom. Community partner programs challenge students to think critically about the needs of the local community and environment, to extrapolate to the wider world, and to gain real life experience working to address those needs.