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History

Thomas Sidwell started a "Friends' Select School" in 1883 on I Street in downtown Washington, four blocks from the White House.[5][6] It opened with just eleven students.[7]

Beginning in 1911, Sidwell began buying property between Wisconsin Avenue and 37th St. Initially, the new property was used for athletic fields—and, with the central campus' downtown location—meant students had to shuttle between the two sites by streetcar. However, in 1923, Sidwell built a building for school dances and other social gatherings on what came to be known as the Wisconsin Avenue campus.[7]

In 1925, the school added a kindergarten, making it the first K–12 school in Washington.[7] In 1934, the name of the school was changed to "Sidwell Friends School", and began its gradual re-location to the Wisconsin Avenue building.[7][8] By 1938, the transition t

The school's admissions process is merit-based. As documented on the school's website, it gives preference in admissions decisions to members of the Religious Society of Friends, but otherwise does not discriminate on the basis of religion. Sidwell "accepts only 7 percent of its applicants".[2] The school accepts vouchers under the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Described as "the Harvard of Washington’s private schools",[3] the school has educated children of notable politicians, including those of several presidents. President Theodore Roosevelt's son Archibald, President Richard Nixon's daughters Tricia and Julie, President Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea Clinton, President Barack Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, Vice President Joe Biden's grandchildren,[4] and Vice President Al Gore's son, Albert Gore III, graduated from Sidwell Friends.

Thomas Sidwell started a "Friends' Select School" in 1883 on I Street in downtown Washington, four blocks from the White House.[5][6] It opened with just eleven students.[7]

Beginning in 1911, Sidwell began buying property between Wisconsin Avenue and 37th St. Initially, the new property was used for athletic fields—and, with the central campus' downtown location—meant students had to shuttle between the two sites by streetcar. However, in 1923, Sidwell built a building for school dances and other social gatherings on what came to be known as the Wisconsin Avenue campus.[7]

In 1925, the school added a kindergarten, making it the first K–12 school in Washington.[7] In 1934, the name of the school was changed to "Sidwell Friends School", and began its gradual re-location to the Wisconsin Avenue building.[7][8] By 1938, the transition to the new building had been completed, and the I Street property was sold.

At the urging of the students, the school briefly adopted a dress code in 1955, which included a coat and tie for all male high school students. The dress code was later dropped—again at the urging of students—in the 1970s.

Previously all grade levels were in Washington, DC. In 1963 the elementary school moved to the former Longfellow School for Boys, purchased by Sidwell Friends.[9]

Sidwell became racially integrated in 1964.[5] Before 1964 it was a white-only school.[10]

Since 2005, the Wisconsin Avenue campus has seen the completion of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum Middle School; a new indoor athletic facility; underground parking garage; and two turf fields. A new Quaker Meeting House facility is located in the newly renovated Arts Center.

Thomas B. Farquhar was removed from his position as the Head of School after the 2013–2014 school year. He became the Head of School after the retirement of former Head o

Beginning in 1911, Sidwell began buying property between Wisconsin Avenue and 37th St. Initially, the new property was used for athletic fields—and, with the central campus' downtown location—meant students had to shuttle between the two sites by streetcar. However, in 1923, Sidwell built a building for school dances and other social gatherings on what came to be known as the Wisconsin Avenue campus.[7]

In 1925, the school added a kindergarten, making it the first K–12 school in Washington.[7] In 1934, the name of the school was changed to "Sidwell Friends School", and began its gradual re-location to the Wisconsin Avenue building.[7][8] By 1938, the transition to the new building had been completed, and the I Street property was sold.

At the urging of the students, the school briefly adopted a dress code in 1955, which included a coat and tie for all male high school students. The dress code was later dropped—again at the urging of students—in the 1970s.

Previously all grade levels were in Washington, DC. In 1963 the elementary school moved to the former Longfellow School for Boys, purchased by Sidwell Friends.[9]

Sidwell became racially integrated in 1964.[5] Before 1964 it was a white-only school.[10]

Since 2005, the Wisconsin Avenue campus has seen the completion of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum Middle School; a new indoor athletic facility; underground parking garage; and two turf fields. A new Quaker Meeting House facility is located in the newly renovated Arts Center.

Thomas B. Farquhar was removed from his position as the Head of School after the 2013–2014 school year. He became the Head of School after the retirement of former Head of School Bruce Stewart at the end of the 2008–2009 school year.[11] Bryan K. Garman, the current Head of School, took office beginning with the 2014–2015 school year.

In April 2020, the school received $5.2 million in federally backed small business loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. The school received scrutiny over this loan, which meant to protect small and private businesses. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tweeted that the schools should return the money, but the school stated they were keeping it, despite having a $53 million endowment.[12][13]

As of 2020 the school plans to move elementary grades back to the District of Columbia, as it purchased the former Washington Home in 2017 for campus expansion purposes.[9]

In 2005, Sidwell's AP English Exam scores were the highest in the nation for all medium-sized schools (300–799 students in grades 10–12) offering the AP English exam.[14] Sidwell does not offer an AP English course.

All students must acquire at least 20 credits before graduating. Students are required to take four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of history, two years of one foreign language, two years of science, and two years of art. In addition to this, all freshmen must take a full year Ninth Gr

All students must acquire at least 20 credits before graduating. Students are required to take four years of English, three years of mathematics, three years of history, two years of one foreign language, two years of science, and two years of art. In addition to this, all freshmen must take a full year Ninth Grade Studies course that involves a service project. Tenth and eleventh graders must also take courses corresponding to their grade level.[15]

Sidwell is a member school of School Year Abroad.

In 2016, the school revised its policy on sexual misconduct after reports that a teen had been raped by her ex-boyfriend on the school's campus. No charges were filed against the teen, and the school installed more security cameras to deter future assaults.[16] Despite the measures, a year later another student reported sexual assault on the campus grounds. A teenage girl was coerced into vaginal, oral, and anal sex. [17]

Former Sidwell psychologist and sex ed teacher James Huntington was the target of a 2013 lawsuit for his affair with the parent of a student he was counseling.[18] The case exposed teachers that hit on students.[18] The case exposed teachers that hit on students.[19][18]

Sidwell's athletic teams are known as the Quakers; their colors are maroon and gray. The Quakers compete in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAC) for boys' sports (after previously competing in the Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) until 1999) and the Independent School League (ISL) for girls' sports. Sidwell offers teams in Volleyball, Golf, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Football, Field Hockey, Girls and Boys Soccer, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Swimming & Diving, Wrestling, Boys and Girls Tennis, Baseball, Boys and Girls Lacrosse, Boys and Girls Track, Ultimate Frisbee, Crew, Movement Performance and Choreography, and Softball.

Boys' cross country

Over the past decade, the

Over the past decade, the Sidwell Friends Boys' Soccer program has become one of the best programs in the Washington, DC metro area. In fall, 2006, the boys' varsity soccer team compiled a 19–2 record and was recognized as No. 9 in the Washington Post Top Ten soccer schools in the metropolitan area. The 2007 Boys Varsity Soccer team again won the MAAC Boys' Soccer championship and achieved a second consecutive Washington Post Top Ten ranking, reaching No. 3 in the final poll with a 20–2 record. The 2008 team continued their recent success by winning the third consecutive MAAC title, and their 4th in 5 years, with an undefeated 16–0–1 record for the season. Again, the Quakers finished the season ranked No. 3 in the area by the Washington Post and No. 36 nationally by ESPNRise.com. The 2009 squad began the season ranked No. 22 in the country by ESPN. After failing to capture the MAAC tournament trophy in two consecutive seasons, the 2013 team was the first team in Sidwell Friends History to win the MAAC league, tournament, and DC state championships finishing 3rd in the Washington Post Top Ten rankings.[20] In October 2009 the squad achieved a prestigious No. 1 Washington Post ranking. They also ended up ranked No. 47 in the country.

Football

Sidwell Friends has a century-long tradition of

Sidwell Friends has a century-long tradition of playing football, and plays in the MAAC. Players have gone on to play college football at Columbia University,[21] Franklin & Marshall College,[22] Georgetown University,[23] Middlebury College,[24] Kenyon College,[25] Ithaca College,[26] Stanford University,[27] and Wake Forest University.[28] Miles Brown, Sidwell and Wofford College graduate, in 2019 earned a place on the 53 man roster of the NFL Arizona Cardinals.

Current profile

Notable alumni of Sidwell Friends include:

Activism