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Lansdowne Friends

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September 1910

Enrollment = 64

The Whittier Library Society held their usual meetings during the year. The
various officers of the club are held by the pupils, thus giving them self-
possession and acquainting them with rules of procedure in their frequent
public meetings.

September 1911

Gertrude Roberts Scherer, Principal
Enrollment 47 (19 of whom are Friends)
In addition to the usual studies pursued, interesting work has been
done in drawing, tapestry, sewing and stenciling, with much time
given to nature studies both indoors and out, and special care for
the vegetable and flower gardens in the schoolyard. […]

At an entertainment given by the children, a sum of money was
raised through the sale of fruits and household articles to start a
school library.


Gertrude Roberts Scherer, Principal, also teaches the more
advanced classes in school, the subjects taught in our higher
department are English grammar with literature and composition,
arithmetic and physics, with some Latin and algebra.

Special effort has been made to teach children to think and work for
themselves, and we believe that the most valuable lessons of the past
year have been in self reliance.

Your committee would call your attention to the fact that we have in
our school ample equipment for 75 pupils. Our school property is
beautifully located with large playgrounds and light, airy
classrooms. […] It is our belief that if each member of our Meeting
would feel a personal responsibility for the growth of our School, we
could have one of the most successful schools in Philadelphia Yearly

September 1916

Enrollment 70

There have been some interesting lectures and talks in the course of
the year. “The Development of the Home,” “The Process of Making
Hats,” “some Interesting Facts about Electricity,” are among the list
of subjects presented.

We felt it most suitable to place our schoolroom at the service of the
Peace Committee; and we hope at all times to emphasize peace
principles in our school.

September 1917

Enrollment = 82, one third of whom are Friends

Owing to the wide-spread concern over Infantile Paralysis last
summer, our school did not open until the 9 th day of 10 th month.
This delay was overcome by holding school an hour longer each day
for some weeks, and though this meant much extra work for all, our
strong corps of teachers responded to their share of responsibility
with gratifying earnestness and goodwill.

We endeavor to combine in the daily program, Industrial work,
Physical training, and nature study so as to maintain that even
balance which develops body and mind of each child within the

September 1918

Enrollment = 85

Our school suffered some interruption in the autumn on account of
the prevalence of diphtheria in the Borough.
Emily Olive gave a very interesting lecture to the school about
Armenian and Syrian children. This touching story of poor
unfortunate ones in foreign lands made much impression on the
young minds, and each child was glad to contribute a little gift of
money of their own earning to be sent to the little sufferers.

September 1919

Margaret S. James, Principal

In the 4 th month of 1919, enrollment reached 100.
Owing to the epidemic of Influenza, our school suffered an enforced
vacation of four weeks.

In first month it seemed best to lay down the Seventh Grade for the
remainder of this year owing to our crowded curriculum and this
grade being very small.

September 1920

Enrollment = 90

A room was leased in the Wilson home adjoining the Meeting House
property on the south, in which the seventh grade was cared for.
The Spring entertainment was a great success. It was held on the
lawn on the evening of sixth month 5 th . The exercises given by the
children represented many phases of the work accomplished during
the year. The work of the pupils was on exhibition in the School
House, and was a most creditable display. About 300 patrons and
friends of the school enjoyed the evenings entertainment.

September 1921

A Fair was held the day before Thanksgiving, the net proceeds,
amounting to $70.00, were used for books for the library, pictures
for the schoolrooms, and the purchase of tools.


September 1922

The 20th Annual Report of Lansdowne Friends

Enrollment = 80 Principal – Anna E. Mendenhall

Seventy-five percent of our pupils are non-friends, a significant fact,
as we realize that in our school we have a great opportunity to
spread our Quaker gospel. And this opportunity is confined to no
one hour, but extends to every school day in the week.

Much attention has been given to establishing in the minds of our
boys and girls, attitudes of good will and friendliness toward
children of other lands, as well as those of our own. The ideas of
world-brotherhood, of co-operation, of sharing responsibility, of
unselfish service, have been emphasized by lectures and talks from
workers in China and Japan, Germany and France.


At the time of the Washington Conference [students] wrote letters to
President Harding, assuring him that they were his co-workers in
Peace, and signing themselves “From 77 of your loyal citizens.” […]

The Conference at Washington, Armistice Day, the Thanksgiving
and Christmas seasons, the birthdays of our great Americans, Peace
Day, as well as our own graduating exercises for our 6 th grade, have
all been used as occasions to work out with our children some of the
ideals for which our school stands.

A Parent-Teacher Association was formed. Many of our parents
who are not Friends are eager to help in the work of our School.
Our teachers feel the need of strong cooperation with all parents.

September 1923

Doubtless the half-hour on fifth day mornings, when children sit
with Friends and teachers in our Meeting House, with always a
chance to think of the Highest, and often an audible leading to it,
has helped to foster the spirit we desire.
Effective public speech is hard to acquire, but our pupils are making
a good beginning along those lines, as was evidenced in the annual
Elocutionary Contest.

In the spring, Friends Select School kindly invited our school to take
place in the Field Day Exercises, which they did with enthusiasm,
winning second prize in sports and spelling-bee.

The Peace Pageant seemed to be, perhaps it really was, the crowning
effort of the year. Its content was an outgrowth of the work of sixth
Grade in history and geography and its aim to prove the possibility
and beauty of relationships without war.

September 1925

The outstanding attainment of the Parent-Teacher Association was
the new equipment for the playground.

In connection with the playground we feel here, even for the little
ones, begins the training for the real business world. Here the child
comes face to face with the problem of working fairly and squarely
with his fellow man. Here are decisions to be made that call for
honesty, self-control, consideration of others.

September 1926

Enrollment = 93

Principal, D. Esther Swain

Today finds us in the center of a rapidly increasing population.
Methods of education and standards for school equipment have
changed rapidly during these years. […] With the splendid public
school system of today, we must be in advance of our time
educationally, and give more emphasis to the development of
character, which is possible through smaller groups, if our school is
to prove the right to its existence.

The Sara E. Garrett property adjoining the school was purchased.
With little alteration, very sunny, attractive rooms were made ready
for kindergartners.

September 1927

It seems imperative to provide a room for each grade this year. To
do so, the first grade has moved to the second floor of the
kindergarten building.

September 1928

Enrollment = 110

After a quarter of a century’s progress, the school faced the
problem of an ever-growing clientele on one hand, and a plant that
seemed taxed to the limit of its facilities on the other.

The pupils raised $153.00 for the purchase of a moving picture
machine, which was later protected against theft by a burglary
policy also ordered and paid for by the children – thus proving that
modern business methods are not lacking in Friends Schools. The
Celebration of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary takes place. Four
hundred are in attendance.

September 1929

Fay Fluck, Acting Principal

"For the first time, French has been taught through sixth grade for
one period a week.

The Progressive Model of teaching through individual experience,
has been used many times during the year. Trips have been taken to
various farms, to the zoo, to the docks to go over a freighter being
loaded, to one of the large dairies to see ice cream making, to the
Lansdowne Library, and to a Lansdowne Bank."

September 1930

Enrollment 135

Edna B. Fogg, Principal

September 1931

Louise D. Hart, Principal

The transportation problem for children living outside of
Lansdowne was solved through the installation of a service by the
Yellow Cab Company, which was paid for by the patrons using it.
F. Leon Herron, one of the patrons of the School, gave generously of
his time in the fall in coaching the boys in football. This was
enthusiastically received by the boys, who held a cake sale to raise
money for uniforms. A class in rhythmics, conducted outside of
schoolhouse for those of the girls who wished to join it, also proved
very successful.

One of the problems facing the School is the danger to the children
during playtime caused by the heavy traffic on Lansdowne Avenue.
Suggestions for the planting of a hedge, or the building of a fence or
wall have been discussed during the year, but due to lack of funds,
has not been acted upon.

Perhaps the most serious matter is the financial situation. […] The
business depression continues and the prospect is that the
enrollment during the coming year will suffer still further.

September 1932

Through the generosity of two of our Meeting members, […] the
Property Committee was able to safe-guard the street side of the

October 1933

Louisa Hart, Principal

Outside activities that developed initiative and thoroughness were 1)
publishing a school newspaper 2) indexing and cross-indexing the
school library 3) carrying on clubs such as the Daubers Club, Poetry
and Prose Club and Nature Club, Pottery Club.

September 1934

Enrollment 77

Thanks to the devoted work of the teaching staff and its willingness
to work with reduced compensation, the School Committee can
report that, at the end of the school year in June, its bank loan had
been paid off.

Those fortunate enough to attend the Christmas exercises, the
Musical Festival at the Lewars’ home, and the pageant on the
White’s lawn will not soon forget them. For the last of these, the
children acted the fairy and yokel scenes from “A Mid-Summer
Night’s Dream.”

September 1936

Enrollment 84

Leah Megilligan, Acting Principal during illnesses

September 1935

Enrollment = 98

Our goal should be to make the school a place where children
practice as well as learn Quaker principles, in other words the
simple teachings of Jesus’, simplicity of living, service to others, the
brotherhood of man.

September 1937

The first year of the school under new management – […]
our institution as a purely primary school.

Enrollment = 45 (Kindergarten through 4th grade)

Louisa Hart, Principal

The final pageant, “Robin Hood,” given on the beautiful grounds of
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Mustin, will live long in the memory of those


Enrollment = 43

No Principal

September 1940

Enrollment = 50

No Principal

September 1941

No Principal

Enrollment = 54

5th Grade added

Special mention should be made of the linoleum covering of the first
floor of the schoolhouse.

September 1942

Enrollment 56 6 th Grade Added

For the first time in several years we are able to report a definite
reduction in the indebtedness of the school. This reduction was
made possible by the increased income resulting from the expansion
this year of the school to the full six grades toward which we had
been leaning for several years. … The subsequent unexpected
increase in applications for the kindergarten and the availability of
an experienced kindergarten teacher residing in Lansdowne, Gladys
Bowen Chilton, has enabled us to continue our kindergarten program.


The departure of two of our teachers of long experience made the
continuance of the cooperative plan of school administration by the
teachers impossible.

Mazie Hamil Hancock assumes the responsibilities of Principal


We ended the school year in June with an enrollment of 62 pupils,
12 in Kindergarten and 50 in the six grades above. Of this number
18 were the children of Friends. Having opened the school year with
a total of 47 pupils we felt a definite gain had been made in these
uncertain times.

As the year progressed several children were withdrawn, their
parents having been moved to other localities or cities due to war
jobs, but also people who came to Lansdowne entered their children
with us.

The attendance of the second grade at mid-week Meeting was
another addition to the school schedule. Even though they were
there for only fifteen minutes, to be taking part in that side of the
school life with the older children seemed to mean a good deal to


We opened the school year with an enrollment of 75 children and
closed in June with 93 children; of these were 22 who were the
children of Friends. Some of the grades had to be closed to new
applicants during the year because one teacher, even with an
assistant, couldn’t properly manage the combined large classes. The
Committee did not feel justified in purchasing equipment or
enlarging the staff too hurriedly in these uncertain times.

September 1945

Enrollment = 105 (23 of these are Friends)


Enrollment = 111 (21 of these are Friends)

Perhaps of all the personalities who have meant much in the lives of
our children during the past year, there was none so outstanding as
our friend, John D. Carter. His nature walks on which he talked so
simply of his bird friends and other wonders of nature; his constant
and felt presence at Fifth Day Meeting and his friendship with the
individual child made him a real source of inspiration to the


130 pupils

The Summer Kindergarten conducted by teachers Betty Lyster and
Beth Abel averaged 13-15 children and provided an income of
$131.66 for the school.

The annual report to the Meeting was read by Thelma How and
corrected to include thanking the Meeting for providing at least
$500.00 per year as a scholarship fund.

April 3rd, 1948

The Committee is happy to report that Gladys B. Chilton will
assume the responsibilities of Principal of the School effective
April 19, 1948.

May 1948

The principal’s report was read and the First Grade given
permission to send used books to a small Negro school in Virginia.
Our school is now affiliated with a home and school for children in
Poland, and our children are collecting good toys and clothing to be
sent to this institution.

October 1949

The chairman introduced two members of the Parent Teacher
Association who told us about the plans that organization proposes
in raising funds for a fence for the play yard back of the
Meetinghouse and school building.

November 1949

The need for a fence along the Lansdowne Avenue front of our
property, both for the protection of the children on the playground
and as an improvement in the appearance of the property was
discussed. […] Jane Watt reported for the Property Committee that
the cafeteria walls were being paneled with knotty pine.

December 1949

The pageant in the Meetinghouse, which presented the Bible
account of the Christmas story, with chorus a singing carols old and
new, was, as always, a beautiful and moving religious experience.


There have been ten scholarship requests for the school year of
1949-50, a greater number than we have had for some time.

March 1950

The problem of where to put our expanding student body was
discussed at length, and the Teachers Committee was asked to
consider the following possibilities.
1) Drop one kindergarten, leaving a vacant room in the Garrett
2) Put one class in the basement of the main building
3) Have an afternoon session of the kindergarten
4) Build an additional room.

June 1950

Edith Banham attended a meeting of the Joint Planning Committee
and brought back a beautiful set of architect drawings for a possible
addition to the school, costing about $26,000.


The School is given initial accreditation by the Pennsylvania
Association of Private Academic School.


The new kindergarten room is now in the Owen Avenue Meeting
House basement.


It seems appropriate at this time to pay a very special tribute to the
Principal and Teachers for the excellence of their performance in
the face of many and unusual difficulties. In addition to the usual
concerns and problems which our teachers encounter as they
endeavor to meet the needs of the children, the difficulties of
conducting a school in the middle of a building program has
presented a unique situation which, at times, seemed almost
insurmountable. Curtailment of play space, cutting the number of
available bathrooms to a bare minimum, the necessity of using
windows for exit and entrance instead of the accepted method, the
necessary but often unannounced turning off of heat and water,
building trucks suddenly driving on the playground area while
children were at play.

September 1950

As the school enters its 50th year the Committee is confident that
there is as great or even greater need for its services than ever

Our obligation and privilege to help our children meet these days
which are filled with hysteria, unrest and emphasis on material
values, is great if we are aware and ready to continue to conduct the
school under the guidance of Friends’ principles.


The teachers see the influence and over-stimulation that comes to
many of our children from time spent with television. The teachers
feel this is a challenge to try to do all in their power to counteract
this influence. […]

There was general approval of George Loft’s suggestion that the
Lansdowne Borough Council be asked to erect SCHOOL SLOW

May 1952

[part of a letter from Albert B. Maris to Gladys Chilton]

I am not sure whether you and the other members of the Friends
School family are aware of the fact that the shrubbery which was
planted some months ago in front of the meetinghouse porch was the
gift of our late member, Lydia C. Moore, whose concern it was to
beautify the meetinghouse in that way and that the necessary
replacements of some of the plants which have died have been made by
her children, Raymond and Anna Moore.


Joyfully, gratefully, the children, faculty and School Committee
opened the school year 1952-53, the year of our Fiftieth
Anniversary, in the new, beautiful, and now adequate school
quarters. … The work, energy and sacrifices that have made this
possible will be projected a long time into the future through the
lives of the children who are now attending the school, and others
who will attend in the days to come.

The School is happy to report the admission of a Negro child to the
first grade. It is our hope that this first step will encourage other
Negro families in the community to send their children to us, in
order that we might have an integrated school in reality, not only in


The spirit and guiding purpose of the Lansdowne Friends School
during the school year can best be described in the words of one of
its teachers who said, “It should be our aim to take each child and
start him on his way to become the personality God intended him to
be. We cannot send a child’s mind to school, his body to the
gymnasium, and his soul to church. The classroom must be the
integrating influence in the child’s preparation to face the world.
The parents, individually and as an association, continue to support
the school wholeheartedly. They are an active, vital, integral part of
our school. Through square dances, bazaars and other efforts, they
have made many important gifts to the school, but even greater than
this is the fine spirit of cooperation of parents and teachers working
together for the future of children.

Meeting for Worship seems to have a cumulative impact on the
students during their years in the school, and at times the messages
from the children have been quite moving for their spiritual
sensitivity and perception.

November 1955

The proposal to introduce the teaching of a modern foreign
language into the curriulum was examined at length and in some

November 1956

146 students
23 receiving scholarship
11 Negro students

The children in the school represent many different backgrounds
and income groups. There are children of Catholic and Jewish
faiths, as well as those of Protestant denominations. Many parents
make a real sacrifice to send their children to the school. In no way
does the school cater to an upper income group, of one particular set
of people.


Undoubtedly, the greatest asset of the school is the excellence and
dedication of its teachers. The warm relationship between the
teachers and their pupils, and the delight both find in teaching and
learning, provide the basis for a superior educational program.

November 1958

The Fourth Grade presented the play, “The Proud Princess.” Not
only did they have the fun of the dramatics, but they took real
responsibility for all those back-stage actions and jobs which make a
play a success. The income from this play will be sent to the Piney
Woods School in Mississippi.


Purchase of the property by the Meeting at the corner of Lansdowne
and Stewart Avenues was announced – the house will be removed.
Play area will be increased without intruding on the Meeting House.

January 1960

After the acquisition of the Slagle property, the Property Committee
of the Meeting, in consultation with the School Committee, is
requested to make plans to put the property in good order and to
remove the kitchen facilities from the first to the second floor so as
to complete the Secretary’s apartment. The property Committee
may also provide convenient doorways though the party wall
between the Garrett and Slagle Houses. Thereafter the entire
building […] shall be designated as the Lansdowne Friends School


Our Annual Spring Fair was held on Saturday, May 14 th , and it
seemed to be very successful.


Education is a process that, both for the individual and for the
institution, extends over many years. It is interesting to look at
Lansdowne Friends School enrollments and budgets from the
perspective of a dozen years. The budget for the period from 1948
–1960 was $420,000. Scholarship aid to students totaled $40,000.
The School received approximately $14,000 in gifts from the PTA,
parents and friends.

May 16th, 1961

The very best PTA Fair we have ever had was held on Saturday,
May 13, when approximately $1000.00 was raised. […] An addition
this year was the operetta, Johnny Appleseed, which brought to the
Fair some parents who otherwise might not have come.

It was agreed to extend First Grade to a full day, running from 9:00
AM to 2:50 PM.

Is the “new mathematics” only for the fast learning pupil? A better
understanding of basic mathematical principles will help all pupils
learn. A child who has found traditional mathematics difficult will
probably find our present mathematics difficult too, but he will
remember more of what he is taught in today’s classes.


Gladys B. Chilton, Principal

August 1962

Jean B. Leathem, Principal
Enrollment 136

November 20th, 1962

Edith Banham and Stevenson Garrett [members of Lansdowne
Monthly Meeting] graciously spent much time in the school solving
property problems, which range from water in the auditorium to
kitchen remodeling. The latter was made possible by the generous
sink unit and dishwasher gift from our PTA, in the amount of
$1300.00. This group of parents is proving their interest and loyalty
again this year by the gift of safety swing seats and another
profitable fair.

May 19th, 1964

Gerda Hargrave [a member of Lansdowne Monthly Meeting] spoke
to the fifth and sixth grade children about the United Nations. She
presented an excellent lecture, accompanied by beautiful colored

May 4th, 1964

6th Grade trip to the World’s Fair

May 1965

The annual LFS Fair was held May 15 th . The chairman, Anne
Gillen, has contributed unmeasured time and labors to make it
successful and can feel rewarded more by the children’s delight than
by the impressive help to the PTA.


Elizabeth White [a member of Lansdowne Monthly Meeting] spent
a day in our school, under the auspices of the Committee on
Education. She is an American Indian (Hopi), who gave our
children an opportunity to meet and question a representative of an
ancient culture. Elizabeth White was impressed by our School and
our children’s thoughtful questions.

October 1966

Several possibilities have been brought forward by the Committee in
an attempt to maintain an integrated school community. Perhaps an
area survey should be made to give an insight into the socio-
economic changes taking place in this area. The feasibility and
worth of such a survey are questioned because of the distant homes
of many of our children. The problem seems to center on the small
number of Friends’ children in LFS.

September 1966

Kindergarten tuition - $350.00
Grades 1 to 6 tuition - $525.00
Enrollment – 137

The Tine test for tuberculosis is now state mandated.
The Committee in charge of Friends Elementary Schools has been
particularly concerned that Friends should make a distinct and
unique contribution to education within their community.


Louisa Stratton attended Friends School Day at Westtown on
October 14. Louisa described ‘the Integrated Day,” a new teaching
methods used with four to eleven year olds in Leicestershire,

November 1969

James Sweeting, vice-president of the PTA, appeared before the
Committee with a concern for developing means to attract and keep
capable, well-trained teachers. Members agreed that the problem is
a financial one. An Annual Giving fund might be instituted.


We now have a central school library and a part-time trained
librarian. Formerly each classroom maintained its own library,
but with increasing numbers of books of general research, books
about American Negroes, African history and Africa and a need
to familiarize our students with using a library, it was felt this
step should be taken.

October 1969

School Motto “Service Above Self”

January 1969

On Sunday, December 22 nd , the Principal attended the dedication
service for the new Meeting House and described the children’s
first service in the new building.

September 1970

Joan Feldman is appointed full-time secretary.

June 1971

The pink dogwood is added to the front lawn of the meeting to
remind us all of the beauty of Jean Leathem’s life of service.

September 1971

Nancy Wilkerson, Principal

September 1973

Enrollment – 92

“Mini gym” is now installed in the Auditorium.
Currently the PTA is investigating the purchase of a new, flame-
resistant curtain for the auditorium. […]

The principal reports that a letter has been received from Tom
Brown describing the excellent reaction to the film on the
Underground Railroad produced by Grade 6 and recently shown at
Friends General Conference at Ithaca.

September 1974

To further community involvement and to meet an expressed need,
consideration will be given to the establishment of a childcare
program which would include three and four year olds, as well as
post-school care of regularly enrolled students.

March 1975

At an Open Meeting of the School Committee, parents, staff and
committee members spoke to the question of what makes
Lansdowne Friends School a very special place. With warmth the
school was described as a place to learn in an atmosphere of loving
and caring, where each child was treasured as a distinct person and
allowed to develop a sense of independence and importance.
Parents felt that the school’s community and compassion filtered
into the family group and increased the peace and harmony found

April 1975

A realignment of the School Committee to number fifteen, with six
members of the larger community joining nine members of the
LMM charged with oversight of the school.

May 1975

The Search Committee announced the appointment of Marian
Binford Sanders as Principal of LFS for the 1975-76 school year.

April 1976

Estella Kinsella suggested a folding door across the auditorium to
subdivide the room so that this room could be utilized to a greater

July 1976

The Playground Committee is exploring a number of ideas for
improving equipment and space.

September 1976

Enrollment – 120

October 1976

Murry Engle suggested that a loft might be constructed in one of the
classrooms to provide space for separating and for privacy in the

January 1977

Mini-courses on Fridays offer dramatics, puppetry, cooking,
carpentry, bowling, and crafts in small, mixed-age groups.

September 1978

Rosemary Hewitt, Principal

May 1977

The PTA financed the mini-theater construction on the back
playground, which was readied by Fair time.

May 1977

The Meeting and School have had another opportunity to cooperate
this year in the celebration of the 150 th anniversary of the Meeting
and the 75 th anniversary of the school. John Brumbaugh edited a
history of the Meeting and the School.

September 1977

Several striking physical changes can be seen around the School.
New offices, new ceilings on the lower floor, a new roof on the “new”
section of the building and the first steps toward our “Friendly
Playground” have made the total area more attractive and usable.

November 1977

The Playground Committee set priorities for further development:
basketball backboards and hoops, more telephone poles and three
more big tires should be installed. It was considered a priority to
keep plenty of playground open space for play.

May 18th, 1978

Parent and Grandparents Day is held.

September 1978

The mixing of grades in the classroom has been received with
support and encouragement from the parents. We work to meet the
needs of the children as to social and physical maturity while really
living up to our boast of individualized instruction.

March 1979

Monthly Meeting approved incorporating the school. By-laws will
have to be written.


Four year olds (Pre-K students) are now accepted.

February 1980

The Movement Therapy program will start this month.


Susan Isard, Principal

November 1981

The partition we had been waiting for is now installed. It works
well, blocking sound so that two classes can meet simultaneously in
the auditorium.

September 1981

Enrollment 89

November 1982

Giving the LFS Report during our 80th Anniversary Celebration
Weekend seems most supportive. One reason that we have
maintained a small school of high quality with a friendly
atmosphere in a continually changing world is the consistent loving
support of this Meeting.

Perhaps you have noticed the new, cantilevered swing in the front
yard. Besides being great fun, it encourages children to play
cooperatively. Other creative play equipment has been built behind
#120. Forty-five parents, students, teachers and Meeting members
joined Paul Hogan, playground expert, and created these on one
beautiful Saturday.

September 1984

Over the summer an opening was made between the north room on
the first floor and the room adjoining, forming a large, attractive
space for our Pre-Primary Unit. A flexible three-year-old and four-
year-old group begins.

November 1984

This week’s News of Delaware County should carry an article about
the dinners, which are being prepared by Teacher Peggy’s and
Teacher Lucia’s classes for distribution to Aid to Friends [for
elderly shut-ins].

April 1985

Discussions about proposed Spanish program for 5 th and 6 th graders

May 1985

#118 is renovated to create Pre-K classroom space.

May 1986

Staff requests that the Spanish language program be expanded to
include grades 1 through 6.

September 1987

Enrollment 108

“Our faculty workshop before school opened this year was on the
‘writing process’. The workshop was informative and dealt with
practical issues, providing us with new ideas and renewed

The meeting has given the school permission for music classes to be
held in the Meeting House.

October 1987

We have decided to embark on an international school-to-school
exchange program that would involve our fifth graders visiting a
school abroad (Mexico this year), and our school hosting students
from the same school. The fifth grade class will have the
opportunity to travel with Tr. Marjorie to Toluca, Mexico and
attend classes at Colegio Argos. The individual families will pay for
travel expenses and the host families will pay for other expenses.
Then in April, 10 Mexican students will visit LFS with their teacher.

November 1987

Students are involved in collecting school supplies for Nicaragua.
Tr. Jeff shared with the school slides and impressions from his trip
to El Salvador and Nicaragua. Students are in the process of
putting together a book, “If I Were in Charge of the World,” which
we will send to a school in Nicaragua this Christmas time. It is
important but not easy to talk to children about and listen to their
concerns about war. We want to give children opportunities to
make a difference through projects such as these, to help them feel
more empowered in our complex and confusing world.

January 1988

Our winter performance has been scheduled for February 9 th . It
will be a musical/drama presentation of The Hill of Fire, the true
story of the eruption of a volcano not far from Toluca, Mexico in
1943. We are meeting the challenge of having a volcano erupt on
stage – and have found a wonderful volcano song.

March 1988

Our 5th grade students and Tr. Marjorie have returned from a most
successful trip to Mexico. Highlights of the trip included visits to:
Teotehuacan, the oldest pyramids in Mexico; Tamoayan rug
factories where high quality hand tied rugs are produced; Metapec
pottery making, and the market.

April 1988

A generous anonymous donor has given us $20,000.00 toward the
purchase of the new property at 128 N. Lansdowne Avenue, with an
additional $80.000.00 to come before settlement, and a final
$20,000.00 to be given by January 1989.

June 1988

Expansion of classroom space in #120 to occupy space formerly
occupied by the Monthly Meeting office is planned.

September 1988

Enrollment 110

February 1989

Kathy Daly, 1 st /2 nd grade teacher, has arranged for our school to host
a day long workshop on recycling, presented by the Pennsylvania
Resource Council, Inc. We are inviting faculty from both
independent and public schools in the area. As a school we recycle
glass and aluminum (thanks to Kathy Daly’s 1 st /2 nd class) and each
class recycles newspapers weekly. Teachers left the workshop eager
to look for more ways to integrate recycling into their classroom and
home lives.

April 1989

Susan Isard and Kathy Schultz, to serve as Co-Principals

June 1989

School is winding down as we approach the final day of school and a
Meeting for Graduation with our eight sixth grade graduates this
year. As usual the entire school will actively participate in the
graduation. Classes have written verses for one of the songs which
we will sing and each class will present a gift – a song, a picture, a
memory or a poem – to each of the graduating students.

September 1988

We began a year long, school-wide, thematic study of the
environment and recycling with a focused Meeting for Worship
during which older children talked and thought about the fragility
of the Earth and our responsibility for taking care of it. Following
Meeting each class began a project related to this theme. These
projects included going on walks to observe the environment we live
in and to collect trash, planting bulbs, washing windows with home-
made non-toxic cleanser, building bird feeders, planning a compost
pile and crushing aluminum cans. Our music teacher has already
composed and taught two songs about the environment to the

June 1989

Lansdowne Friend School is presented the “Hug the Earth” award


All-School Theme – Fantasy

The Parent Group sponsored an informative meeting with Miriam
Feyerherm, who was formerly the librarian at Moorestown Friends School.
She brought many books with her and talked about children’s literature and
the important of reading to children.


Paul Seaton, Head of School

Enrollment 107

All School Theme – Water

[Paul’s letter to the School Committee during the Gulf War]
I summarized what I believe to be our current approach to the war
in the following four principals: 1. Our responses to children will
be developmentally appropriate. 2. We will continue to assert that
we must solve our own problems in school in non-violent ways 3.
We will continue to share the tradition of the Quaker peace
testimony 4. We will seek to encourage our students to think
critically about ways to show sensitivity to the needs of others
whether Coalition forces, Iraqi soldiers, local homeless, or
classmates on the playground.

Summer 1991

Summer Days Program begins

1991 Magnolia Tree is planted in honor of Susan Isard


We are presently immersed in a two-week thematic unit on the
Middle East. Teachers have been planning and studying and
sharing ideas so that our students can experience he history,
cultures, languages, scenery, food, and science of Middle Eastern

January 26th, 1993

The entire school assembled around a collage of birthday cakes,
sang songs which called to mind the Quaker testimonies, and lit and
extinguished 90 candles on a huge birthday cake prepared in honor
of Lansdowne Friends School’s 90th birthday.

There is little written material that speaks more highly of the
dedication of the teachers than the narrative descriptive reports on
their students. The reports are thoughtful, positive, supportive and
detailed. The teachers at LFS get to know the students, and labor
intensely to communicate about the pupils’ growth with clear
information and sincere affection. Here at LFS the teachers are
some of the kindest, gentlest people our students will ever have the
good fortune to meet.

March 1993

All-School Theme – The Human Body -- We have celebrated with
body songs, body drawings, (discussing) bodily functions, a parent
“Body Open House,” good nutrition, guest lecturers, exercise, and a
few events which included all the human bodies in the school.


All-School Theme -- Walls and Bridges
Some activities -- Building walls and bridges, studying physical
properties and various kinds of walls and bridges, painting walls
and bridges, eating building materials from edible walls and
bridges, taking a ferry trip under the Ben Franklin Bridge, taking
a hike over the Ben Franklin Bridge

May 1995

The School Committee approved the selection of Norma L. Vogel as
Interim Head of School to begin the third week of July 1995.

December 1995

The Shoemaker Trustees responded to our appeal for funds. These
are restricted funds to be used to publish the update of the Pre-
Primary Brochure, and the Curriculum at a Glance. In addition to
these grants, the response to our Annual giving campaign has been
strong enough to raise our hopes that we will exceed our goal.


All-School Theme -- Latino Studies
January 1996 Norma L. Vogel is invited to be the permanent Head
of Lansdowne Friend School

February 1997

Some of you know that we hold a weekly gathering in the gym where
songs, plays and other activities that children have prepared are
shared with the whole school, but you probably would have been as
surprised as I was by a Valentine gathering.
It was the 5 th /6 th graders’ turn to plan gathering. With the minimum
of teacher support they planned and ran a Valentine Craft
workshop complete with five or six stations, materials and helpers.
For almost an hour, all 94 of our students were busy making
valentines in the gym!
I am taking the time to tell you about it because I think that this
gathering demonstrates the spirit of LFS. Students were challenged
in the planning and presenting of the gathering. Students were
sharing creative skills and learning new ones. And, they were
having fun as a community. I was impressed by all of them, from
the three year old to the 6 th grader.


All-School Theme - - Paper, Printing and Publishing

May 1998

On the first of May I heard bells and accordion music. There were
Morris dancers on the playground. The children were delighted
and began imitating the vigorous movements. Soon one of the
dancers invited them to join the circle and began teaching the steps.
We all enjoyed this spontaneous celebration brought to us by
parents of a second grader.

June 1998

As part of our graduation exercises, Eloise Smyrl, Clerk of the
School Committee, gave each of the six graduates a peacock feather.
All of us watched with delight as she demonstrated how easy it is to
balance such a big feather. Eloise reminded our graduates of the
importance of the values they have learned here at LFS and said
that just as one can balance a feather by keeping focus on the eye, so
can one balance a life by keeping focus on values.
Eloise gave the graduates a beautiful gift and she left us with an
inspiring message. The oversight of a small school is challenging.
We will only be able to do it well if we keep focused on the vision we
have of an elementary education built upon Quaker values.

July 1998

LFS receives a grant of $29,000.00 from the Tyson Memorial Fund
to upgrade the Pre-Primary playground.

New School signs are installed with the help of a grant from the
Chace Fund.

Improvements in the library are made with the help of a grant from
the Shoemaker Fund.

A Language Arts Coordinator has been added to our faculty.


All-School Theme -- Philadelphia

Mummers at Lansdowne Friends School! Three members of the
Greater Kensington String Band helped us kick off our all-school
theme of Philadelphia. A soft pretzel treat added a special touch to
the day. Thanks to a generous give, students had the opportunity to
take trips to the city either on public transportation or on hired
buses. The 5ty/6 th grade had the opportunity to tour parts of
Philadelphia and see works of the Mural Arts Program. Pre-
Kindergarten students traveled by train and got to view the city
from the top of City Hall. Kindergarten students traveled to the
waterfront crossing the river and viewing the city from the
Aquarium. First and second graders are taking several trips to
supplement their study of colonial times and third and fourth
graders are planning a trip to 30 th Street Station.

All-School Theme -- Philadelphia
Mummers at Lansdowne Friends School! Three members of the
Greater Kensington String Band helped us kick off our all-school
theme of Philadelphia. A soft pretzel treat added a special touch to
the day. Thanks to a generous give, students had the opportunity to
take trips to the city either on public transportation or on hired
buses. The 5ty/6 th grade had the opportunity to tour parts of
Philadelphia and see works of the Mural Arts Program. Pre-
Kindergarten students traveled by train and got to view the city
from the top of City Hall. Kindergarten students traveled to the
waterfront crossing the river and viewing the city from the
Aquarium. First and second graders are taking several trips to
supplement their study of colonial times and third and fourth
graders are planning a trip to 30 th Street Station.

July 2000

Jack Swope ’46 establishes an Endowment Fund to augment salaries

of full-time teachers.

February 2001

[Taken from A letter from Norma Vogel to the School Board]

Today, both the 100 th Day of School celebration and an Open House
for prospective parents are keeping us busy. Our younger students are
happily showing off necklaces, chains, and other creations made with
100 pieces of colored cereal, while other children are counting off one
hundred paces on the playground or jumping through hula-hoops one
hundred times.

May 2001

[Taken from A letter from Norma Vogel to the School Board]

What a busy time of year! Today we practiced for the musical,
Annie, which will be held in two weeks. Tomorrow sixth graders
leave for a trip to New York City, kindergartners are off to visit
Chinatown and second graders are holding a pretzel sale! On top of
all this, parents are busy putting final touches on plans for
Saturday’s May Fair. Everyone is happily enjoying the end of a
good school year.

September 2001

Enrollment 117

In just a few days, it will be time to open school for our centennial
year. And what a year it promises to be. Including our custodians,
we have a staff of twenty-five competent, caring and hardworking
adults and classes overflowing with active, eager students. For the
first time in many years, out status is waiting list for all classes.