High Point Friends School, also known locally simply as "Friends School," is a Quaker institution in High Point, North Carolina. High Point Friends School (HPFS) is an independent, secondary Quaker school serving approximately 300 students, ages 12 months through 6th grade.
Founded by members of High Point Monthly Meeting in 1963, HPFS is guided by the ideals of acceptance, compassion, equality and non-violence. It is known for experiential learning methods, the excellence of its academic program, and its community service component.
High Point Friends School is located on the grounds of High Point Friends Meeting, at 800 Quaker Lane in central High Point. HPFS's primary building is the Honbarrier Educational Center, made possible by a generous gift of the Honbarrier family. The brick, Georgian Revival-style building includes an outdoor amphitheater, a large multi-purpose room, a library, and several classrooms. Nearby is the educational wing of High Point Friends Meeting, which houses classrooms for the Kindergarten. Mobile units are stationed on campus to house additional kindergarten classes
The mission of High Point Friends School is to teach cognitive skills, to achieve academic excellence, and to foster a lifetime love of learning within a framework of Quaker understanding of Christian principles.
HPFS was established as a Preschool and Half Day Kindergarten. The school developed a strong reputation and quickly became an educational tradition for many families. In 1998, members of the meeting gathered to discuss the possibility of expanding the school to include grades 1 - 5. With approval from Monthly Meeting, this expansion was approved and funding secured. The First Grade met in August 2001, and subsequent grades have been added. In 2003, the new Honbarrier Educational Center opened to house all functions of the Lower School. In 2006, the school embarked on an expansion that will include a Middle School, with grades 6-8.
Philosophy of EducationEdit
Quakers have always believed in "that of God" in every person and in an "Inner Light", beliefs which express faith in the potential for growth and learning within each individual.
A nurturing environment will be provided that encourages growth, respects individual differences, and fosters the development of moral and ethical values. Student will be challenged to recognize and appreciate their own potential, to respect the potential of others, to value and respect others' opinions, and to feel free to express their inner selves. The school strives to help each child build a strong self-image.
The South Woods adjacent to High Point Friends School is a rare surviving fragment of native forest near downtown High Point. It stands as a reminder of Quaker values of stewardship and respect for the environment, and provides a touchstone to the recent, and distant past.
When the Meeting purchased the property around 1948, the hilltop on which the meetinghouse and lawn stand was a sedge field, possibly left open from use as a pasture during the late nineteenth century. However, the area that is now the South Woods was wooded at that time, being of rugged terrain that may have made timber harvest difficult. A sand rock quarry stood north of the site.
After the meetinghouse was constructed in 1955, the woods were selected as a cool summer gathering place for picnics. A rustic shelter was erected in the woods, and many covered-dish dinners and family cookouts were held under the tall limbs of the woods.
In 2003, 50 years after completion of the meetinghouse, the lower school building of High Point Friends School opened just north of the woods. The proximity of the school to the woods ensured use of the woods by future students of the school for science, ecology, biology, geology and tree identification.
Today, the site harbors indigenous trees that would have been found in the area long before High Point was founded. Soaring canopy trees, understory trees, shrubs and ground cover typically found in the Carolina piedmont, include hardwoods White Oak (Quercus alba), Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata), Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata), Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua); softwoods such as Shortleaf Pine (Pinus echinata), and White Pine (Pinus strobes); understory trees such as Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Redbud (Cercis canadensis) and Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum); and groundcovers such as Wood Ferns (Dryopteris spp.), Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and even Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron toxicarium)!
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