Small by Design
Virginia Beach Friends School (VBFS) is a Quaker co-educational independent school serving students ranging from Toddler through Grade 8. Located just miles from the Chesapeake Bay yet situated in the heart of the bustling Hampton Roads metropolitan area, our school's unique location allows students to learn by doing. Whether harvesting oysters in local riverbeds for environmental science or creating curated art shows at all levels- VBFS students see their learning come to life. Plus, our balanced student-to-teacher ratio of 7:1 allows instructors to deliver an unprecedented level of attention to each individual learner, ensuring student success no matter the age or academic level.
Founded in 1955, Friends continues a 350-year tradition of Quaker educational principles committed to an inquiry-based curriculum and experiential learning. VBFS is as much of an idea as it is a location. We have progressed from a simple gathering of children to the thriving community that it is today. We not only serve students from the greater Virginia Beach area, but students from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, and even exchange students from Europe to Asia and even South America.
But above all else, VBFS is a community that values diversity and inclusivity, as our student body represents a wide variety of religious faiths, backgrounds and cultures. In keeping with the Quaker philosophy of honoring each individual, students representing different ethnic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds are challenged daily to respect and learn from one another.
Virginia Beach Friends School aims to educate the whole child, developing strong academic intellect and personal character, through recognition of each child’s individual light and living the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, and Stewardship.
Virginia Beach Friends School was started in 1955 by Louise and Bob Wilson, both Quakers from North Carolina who were also instrumental in starting the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting in 1954. In her book, A View from My Window, Louise Wilson outlines the history of the Meeting and school and how she and several fellow young Quakers and friends, notably Jane Waller, did everything, from driving the school bus to making the lunches during the school’s early months.
Today the school has grown into a robust Toddler through 8 school that continues the Quaker tradition of providing an inquiry-based education for all students, regardless of their religion or background.
The school continues to maintain a strong relationship with the Meeting House along with members of the Meeting serving on the School Committee.