Tandem Friends School

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Tandem Friends School is a private coeducational school for grades 5-12 with an enrollment of up to 240 students, in the Quaker tradition[1].


Tandem School was founded in 1970 by educators John Howard and Duncan Alling. Their philosophy, which continues to capture the essence of a Tandem education, was based on the conviction that learning thrives in an environment where faculty and students enjoy close, trusting relationships, values and ideas are freely examined, and decision-making involves the whole school community. They envisioned an economically and racially diverse school dedicated to academic rigor in the context of a curriculum embracing the arts, environmental stewardship, and community service.

In 1995, Tandem formally adopted the philosophy and practices of Quaker education and became Tandem Friends School, now serving up to 240 students in grades 5-12. The school’s mission statement best summarizes its goals:

"Rooted in Quaker values, Tandem Friends School prepares young people for higher education and fulfilling lives of integrity, creative expression, and service."

The school’s unofficial mottoes also capture the Tandem philosophy: “Freedom with Responsibility” and “Kindness and Wisdom”.

Tandem moved to its current 30 acre campus in Albemarle County[2] in 1972 [3].

Tandem is a member of the Greater Piedmont Athletic Conference (GPAC), fielding up to 18 teams with a no-cut sports policy. The Varsity Girls' Soccer team won the state championship for three years in a row, 2010-2012. A strong arts program features visual arts, music, and performing arts as well as an award-winning digital film program. The faculty student ratio is 1:7 with classroom sizes ranging from 12-18 students. Tandem is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, and is affiliated with the Friends Council on Education

Whitney Thompson became the head of school in July 2017. [citation needed]


In 1972, the school moved to "Hillcrest," a large home dating from the mid-19th century, located on 23 acres of land (now at 31 acres).[4]

The school is seeking to build a new pavilion. The Albemarle County Planning Commission recommended approval of a special use permit on February 18, 2020. [5]


  1. About Tandem Tandem Friends School, retrieved 10 Jul 2009.
  2. Tandem Friends School record from Albemarle's GIS-Web retrieved 10 July 2009
  3. Tandem History Tandem Friends School, retrieved 10 July 2009.
  4. https://www.tandemfs.org/about/history
  5. Web. Albemarle planners OK school pavilion, Sleep Number store, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 19, 2020, retrieved February 23, 2020. Print. February 19, 2020 page A1.

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