Despite its old-fashioned name, the quaker school could provide a great alternative for parents wary of parochial schools but tired of the city's failing public schools system.
Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that in it’s latest money-saving move, Chicago Public Schools will no longer offer sophomore spring sports – that includes softball, baseball, soccer, basketball. This comes on the heels of Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman recent announced that CPS faces a $975 million dollar deficit for next year.
As if an almost $1 billion deficit isn’t enough, parents also have to face corrupt school officials. Like the case of Whitney Young’s principal Joyce Kenner, accused of allowing public officials to pressure her into admitting unqualified students into her prestigious school
With all that going on in the city, The Chicago Friends School and it’s Quaker curriculum seems like a breath of fresh air, and it could be easier to get into than some of the city's Magnet schools.
The school – slated to open this fall in the West Ridge neighborhood on the North Side will incorporate Quaker values – is religious, but not denominational, per se. They teach values such as peace, equality, simplicity, integrity, community and service and call them testimonies.
Quakers believe the individuals relationship to God is direct. Quakerism, has no unifying creeds, religious sacraments or priests. The testimonies are used to guide behavior.
Mark Robinson, the schools clerk for the board of directors told the
, all religious backgrounds are welcome.
Given the dismal state of education in Chicago it’s no wonder parents are looking for alternatives.
"The Quaker worldview is just appealing to me. Quakers are charitable, and the whole notion of peace and charity and the way that plays in terms of what they are trying to impart to school-age kids resonates with me," said Brian Hurst, a parent trying to enroll his son at the school. "It's the one kind of religious-affiliated school that I don't think my wife or I would have an issue with."
Friends officials say tuition will be about $10,000 dollars and will offer discounts for siblings. They’ll even have financial assistance for qualifying students. The school is only enrolling children in prekindergarten through second grade, but eventually plans to expand up to eighth grade, said Robinson.