Mission & Philosophy
Carolina Friends School was founded in 1962 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Chapel Hill and Durham (you can learn more about our history through the reminiscences of CFS co-founders Martha and Peter Klopfer). The School's Board of Trustees include members from the Chapel Hill and Durham Friends Meetings. CFS was one of the first schools in the South to pursue a policy of racial integration.
Carolina Friends School is a vibrant and inclusive learning community empowering students to think critically, creatively, and independently. We foster active exploration and quiet reflection, individual endeavor and collaborative engagement. Inspired by Quaker values -- pursuit of truth, respect for all, peaceful resolution of conflict, simplicity, the call to service -- we teach our children that it is possible to change the world.
The philosophy of Carolina Friends School is reflected in the following beliefs, which are rooted in the tenets of the Religious Society of Friends.
BELIEF THAT TRUTH IS CONTINUALLY REVEALED, which implies:
Openness to answer the light in others; willingness to listen and respond to the still small voice within; belief that answers are dynamic, not static; commitment to look beyond and beneath the obvious, searching for truth and identifying falsehood; engagement in the search for truth because of its inherent value, not simply to find answers.
BELIEF IN SEEKING PEACE WITH ONESELF AND OTHERS, which implies:
Commitment to achieve a level of self-awareness necessary to interact genuinely with others; effort to foster relationships founded on trust; commitment to a life of nonviolence; belief that peace is not the absence of conflict but the peaceful resolution of conflict; accepting that the resolution of personal and interpersonal conflict is a lifelong task.
BELIEF IN ACCEPTING AND RESPECTING EACH INDIVIDUAL’S UNIQUENESS, which implies:
Commitment to employ and enroll individuals of diverse backgrounds; commitment to provide community members with opportunities to learn to know one another; shared resolve to be open to the differences in others; commitment to provide a curriculum that enables each to celebrate one’s unique talents and heritage and those of others; acceptance of the responsibility for one’s own learning; commitment to lessen divisions among ages, among school units, and between the School and the broader community; acceptance of that of God in each person; belief that the individual achieves identity in relation to community and that an individual’s identity is nurtured and enhanced by community; shared resolve to promote tolerance and address the issues of prejudice.
BELIEF IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF LIFE, which implies:
Effort to instill a sense of awe and reverence for nature; responsible stewardship of all our resources; intentional teaching of a humble interaction with, rather than an arrogant attitude toward, living things; commitment to serve and empower others; celebration of the inner life of persons; respect for the harmony of mind, body, and spirit.
BELIEF IN THE VALUE OF SIMPLICITY, which implies:
Resolution to speak plainly, clearly, and honestly; reliance on one’s own creative resources when possible; wariness of the slick and shallow; awareness of the oftentimes fine line between the necessary and the frivolous; acknowledgment that our capabilities and possessions are gifts to be shared with others; commitment to create a community/learning structure that is sensible and devoid of structural trivia, appreciation of the truth that the simple is often very complex.
BELIEF IN THE POWER OF SILENCE, which implies:
Experiencing times of silence during the school day; developing awareness of the significance of shared silence; practicing the discipline of centering as a means to deeper understanding; desiring to foster deep and profound listening; including Meeting for Worship as a part of significant School events; incorporating silence as part of the decision-making process; recognizing the distinction between quiet and a deeper, settled silence.