Friends School of Minnesota

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Friends School of Minnesota
Friends School of Minnesota.JPG
Friends School of Minnesota from the southeast
1365 Englewood Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55104
Coordinates 44°57′52″N 93°9′30″W / 44.96444°N 93.15833°W / 44.96444; -93.15833Coordinates: 44°57′52″N 93°9′30″W / 44.96444°N 93.15833°W / 44.96444; -93.15833
School type Independent School
Denomination Quaker
Established 1988
Head of school Elizabeth Herbert
Teaching staff 12.6 (as of 2007-08)[1]
Grades Kindergarten-Eighth Grade
Enrollment 168 (as of January 2011)[1]
Student to teacher ratio 1:12 (as of 2007-08)[1]
School colour(s) Green and White
Athletics Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer
Mascot The Falcon
Accreditation Independent Schools Association of the Central States

The Friends School of Minnesota (FSMN) is a Kindergarten through Eighth Grade (K-8) independent school located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States. Founded in 1988 by area Quakers and peace activists, the goal of the school is to meet "children’s intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs in an environment that nurtures their social consciousness."[2] FSMN is fully accredited through the Independent Schools Association of the Central States[3][4]


Like the many other Quaker schools in the United States, FSMN is "grounded in the practices and values of the Religious Society of Friends" (Quakers). Among these values are "simplicity, equality, non-violence, justice, and silent reflection.".[5] To cultivate these values and to promote and encourage the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical development of the children, the school employs many of the tenets of progressive education—recognizing the need for children to play a part in their own education. This approach also fits with the Quaker belief that each person is granted a measure of "divine light" or wisdom, a center from which we are able to grow into our fullest potential.[5][6]

Quaker Tradition[edit]

In addition to the Quaker underpinning of the school's educational philosophy, FSMN also practices the Quaker method of holding a traditional "unprogrammed" or "silent meeting" for worship once a week.[7] All committee, staff and faculty meetings also start and end with silent contemplation. Decisions are made by consensus "in the manner of Friends". Additionally, FSMN has developed a conflict resolution program to help children work through their conflicts with each other in a non-violent constructive manner.[8]


As of January 2011, the school has 168 students from around the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Only 10 percent of the children at the school and less than 5 percent of the faculty and staff are Quakers or come from Quaker families. The school bylaws do, however, require that a majority of board members be practicing Quakers.[9] Approximately one third of the students are non-caucasian, many students come from non-traditional families, and over a quarter of the students receive financial aid.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "School Detail for Friends School of Minnesota". National Center for Education Statistics. 
  2. ^ a b Friends School of Minnesota Website
  3. ^ ISACS school search for accredited Quaker schools in Minnesota
  4. ^ Letter of accreditation 2009 on file at ISACS
  5. ^ a b FSMN Educational Philosophy
  6. ^ Quaker Information Center: Quaker Beliefs
  7. ^ Quaker Information Center: Quaker Worship
  8. ^ Friends School conflict resolution program
  9. ^ About the FSM School Committee