Virginia Beach Friends School Returns to its Roots as a Pre-Kindergarten to 8th Grade Institution
Announces Retirement of Upper School and Re-Opening of The Cottage
Virginia Beach, Virginia: Today, after previously sharing the news with its community of parents, students, faculty, and alumni, Virginia Beach Friends School (VBFS) publicly announces the retirement of its Upper School 9-12th Grade Division. This announcement, which comes collectively from its Head of School, Michael Barclay and governing body, Virginia Beach Friends School Committee, marks a strategic move to re-position the School to its former state as a Pre- Kindergarten through 8th Grade school.
At the same time, the School also announces the re-opening of The Cottage, a learning environment that will serve its youngest students from 2.5-3.5 years old. Featuring a curriculum that is Montessori and Reggio Emilia inspired; The Cottage program will teach world through experiential and project-based learning. The School is currently undergoing nurturing, and safe independence and practical life skills as well as provide toddlers the opportunity to explore their renovations and restoration to its original Cottage building, one that is a treasured part of Friends’ history, with it on track to be ready for the 2019-2020 school year. The School is currently in the process of enrolling its first Cottage class for Fall of 2019.
For over sixty years, Friends School has been a place that provides young children with a magical environment for their first learning experience. This special experience led the School to extend its offering to 12th grade over recent decades with a mission to provide a first-class experiential learning solution in Hampton Roads. And during this time, the School has been honored to teach and graduate a wonderful group of outstanding students. With neighboring high schools continuing to increase their offerings and resources, VBFS felt it was best to return to its original mission of providing a hands-on learning education through 8th grade. With that, Virginia Beach Friends School will graduate its last senior class, the class of 2021 in June of 2021.
Michael Barclay, Head of School said, “With any strategic decision of this nature, it was difficult. Difficult as it impacts all members of our community. But with change comes growth, for all of us, and this change poises Friends to continue to be a wonderful educational option for our Toddler-8th Grade families. It allows us to focus on what a Quaker education does best; providing a strong academic and character foundation for our students that will benefit them long into their next chapters of high school, college, and beyond.” School Committee Clerk Joanne Young added, “The School Committee governing body is united with Head of School, Michael Barclay, in this decision. We agree that this allows us to continue to deliver on our mission of educating 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.”