Do you accept students for all grades?
We may also consider eighth-grade applications. Please email our admissions director, Shane Zack.
How do I apply?
You will want to schedule a visit to tour the school.
You can apply online or ask Shane for a paper copy of the application.
How can I visit the school?
Open houses include a school tour by current students, a chance to visit classrooms and chat with teachers and staff as well as information about the unique nature of our program. This is a child friendly event, so feel free to bring the whole family. To get on our admissions mailing list and receive information about these events, contact Shane at 651-621-8937 or by email.
School Day Tours: School day visits include a tour, classroom observations, and a chance to meet school staff. We host tours on select Monday and Thursday mornings, October through April from 9a.m.-11a.m. (adults only). Please contact us for an appointment at 651-621-8937 or email.
Summer tours may be arranged for families applying to fall openings or for prospective families visiting from out of town.
Applicant Visits: If we determine there could be a mutual fit between FSMN and your child, we will invite your child to an applicant visit or “shadow day” during the school day. During the visit, prospective students will see what FSMN is like and interact with staff and peers. We administer academic assessments and get to know your child.
All kindergarten applicants visit in small groups of other applicants for two hours during the school day.
First-grade applicants visit for a morning in a classroom of their peers.
Applicants in Grades 2-7 visit for a full school day in a classroom of their peers.
When are admissions decisions reached?
How do you use admissions wait pools?
We call it a wait pool rather than a waitlist because we don’t rank the applicants in the wait pool. If we offer a child a place in the wait pool, we believe that he or she will thrive at FSMN and hope there is an opening soon.
When an opening becomes available, we look to the wait pool for the best fit for the current classroom community. We strive for balance and diversity of many variables: gender, personality, interests, academic level, learning style, and socio-economic background.
Do you have sibling preference?
If my child is accepted, how do I guarantee their entrance to Friends School?
Does applying for tuition aid affect the admissions process?
Is FSMN accepting 2019-2020 applications?
Please contact admissions about current openings.
What is a Friends school?
To learn more about Quaker education in general, visit the Friends Council on Education.
What is progressive education?
Read our many FSMN blog posts about progressive education.
What grades do you have at Friends School?
Our lower school is k–4, and our middle school is 5–8.
Do you have a preschool program?
Do you have plans for a Friends School of Minnesota high school?
The wide variety of high schools our graduates attend speaks to their individuality and knowledge of themselves as learners when they leave Friends School of Minnesota.
Where do Friends School graduates attend school?
How many classrooms of each grade do you have at FSMN?
We have mixed-grade classrooms: two first-grade/second-grade classrooms and two third-grade/fourth-grade classrooms. Our kindergarten is the only lower school classroom that is not mixed-age.
Middle school also mixes grades in various classes (humanities, specialists, electives).
Each grade level, one through eight, has its own single-grade math class.
Why do you have mixed-grade classrooms?
We strive to maintain a diversity of students in every classroom, and balance classes by gender, personality, interests, academic level, and learning style. Cooperative, community-focused learning flourishes in mixed-age classroom environments.
Is your kindergarten full-day or half-day?
Do all kindergartners need to be five years old?
Does FSMN offer Spanish?
How does FSMN teach the arts?
All FSMN students have classes with visual arts and music specialists two or three times a week. Also, students study visual arts and drama with their classroom/core teachers. Students may also choose to participate in our after school music program or drama clubs.
What specialists do students see?
Do you have learning or behavior specialists on staff?
Does FSMN have a sports program?
We are part of a Twin Cities sports league of other private and public schools. The league is committed to positive, fun sports experiences. These experiences include mixed-gender teams, equal playing time, and good sportsmanship.
Do you have recess?
Being active and getting outside (every day unless it is raining or the wind chill is below zero) is very important for students—physically, socially, and academically. Even indoor recess gives students a much-needed break and unstructured time to play and interact with their classmates.
We have a playground and also use the spacious city park just south of the school for recess and other outdoor activities.
Are children given time to be active at Friends School during the school day?
A look around our classrooms, and you may also see large balls or one-legged stools to sit on, blocks to build with or manipulatives to teach a math concept. FSMN’s progressive education provides a rich environment for active learners.
Is it hard to be a new student? Doesn't everyone already know each other?
We work hard to help new students transition. The first six weeks of every school year focuses on community building in the classroom. Remember, with mixed-age classrooms, half of the class is brand new to the classroom too. Most new students will feel at home within a few weeks.
What are the school day hours?
What about busing and carpools?
Many families choose to carpool. Our families come from all over the Twin Cities (about 35% Minneapolis/65% St. Paul), so families are creative about transportation. At the beginning of August, the school sends out a list of families sorted by neighborhood so you can make your arrangements.
How much homework?
We believe that a moderate amount of work at home helps students develop good study habits, which is an essential factor in academic success. Homework provides a bridge between home and school. It allows parents a chance to know what skills their child is working on and to become more involved and actively supportive of their child’s academic development.
Quantity of Homework Recommended
In general, the amount of homework will fit within these guidelines.
· Kindergarten: 1 – 2 times per week, 5 minutes per day
· Grades 1-2: 2 – 3 times per week, 10-20 minutes per day
· Grades 3-4: 3 – 4 times per week, 20-30 minutes per day
· Grades 5-6: 1 hour per day (Not all subjects every day)
· Grades 7-8: 1.5-2 hours per day (Not all subjects every day)
Also, we recommend reading for 30 minutes per day (being read aloud to or quiet reading).
Completion of Assignments
Students do not need to spend more than the recommended time on an assignment if student, parent, and teacher agree that the time is being well-spent. Under circumstances in which assignments are difficult for students, it may be acceptable to turn in incomplete assignments with a student and/or parent signature. The signature indicates that the student did indeed use the time allotted for the assignment. This guideline may be modified to meet the needs of individual students and families.
Your role as a parent should be to help your child understand the assignment and find strategies to do it, not to supply answers. We recommend that parents assist young children with homework. As children get older, they should become more independent in their ability to complete assignments. At this point, parents should check in on homework rather than provide complete assistance. If assignments are persistently too difficult, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss the problem.
Additional Academic Support
Friends School offers limited support services for students with mild diagnosed learning differences. In consultation with parents, we can provide accommodations such as test-taking assistance, modified requirements for courses, and altered expectations for homework.
Since no learning specialists are on the school staff, families are encouraged to use the resources available in the community. Students who qualify may have the option of pursuing support services through the Saint Paul Public Schools.
Please see below for the academic support options outside of the regular school day that FSMN offers. All programs have a fee, and scholarships are available for qualifying families. Registration forms for all programs are available at the front office and on our website.
Students in Grades 5-8 work with FSMN teachers in small groups after school to get help with organizing and completing homework.
For questions about financial aid, see the Tuition Aid FAQ page.