As the pandemic dramatically impacts education, Friends Council amplified its professional development for educators, keeping focus on Quaker principles and practices. Thirty gatherings were held this spring, more offerings than Friends Council usually has in an entire year. Through virtual programs, educators explored teaching students remotely in ways that remain true to Quaker pedagogy and testimonies. For example, Quaker and religious life educators shared tips for holding virtual meeting for worship, and lower school teachers discussed how to incorporate Quakerism into distance learning.
One of Friends Council’s functions is connectivity, and the shift to online has opened new opportunities. Virtual meeting for worship is offered each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. EST for those affiliated with Quaker education to connect and reflect. The first-ever virtual Friends Council annual meeting brought together friends of Friends education from across the country.
Friends Council also continued to offer counsel to heads of schools and trustees. Through the pandemic and calls for racial justice, Friends Council convened Friends school heads weekly for virtual conversations about how to lead with integrity and stay true to Quaker principles and practice.
As part of its own commitment to racial justice work, FCE is offering diversity, equity, and inclusion forums and community conversations on race on a regular basis.