We’re delighted to have the opportunity to share information about Carolina Friends School. We know that you’re looking for the very best possible learning environment for your child, and we hope that as you explore your options, you’ll consider these facts about CFS, as well as what some of our past and present parents and students are saying.
- Opportunity for Continuity and Community
CFS enrolls children ages 3 through 18, which gives students the opportunity to continue their education through high school in the same environment.
Our integrated curriculum offers engaging projects that allow students to “connect the dots” and apply what they know to real life. For examples, use this website to check out What’s New at CFS or click to the right on any unit of the school.
- Academic Vigor: Steadfast Focus on a Child’s Full Development
At CFS, we focus on strong academics and also on social, emotional, artistic, spiritual, and physical growth. All our students take dance, art, music, fitness, and foreign language. They engage in collaborative learning, practice conflict resolution, make meaningful choices, have regular jobs, and enjoy plenty of time outdoors.
- Excellent Student-Teacher Ratio Allows Differentiated Instruction
Students benefit from a 9:1 student-teacher ratio, with highly qualified and imaginative teachers (not teacher assistants) who devote close individual attention to each child. We meet students where they are and guide them forward, differentiating instruction so that each student's needs are met. Students are seen, heard, and valued for who they are. This allows them to develop the knowledge, values, and confidence they’ll need to thrive – and make a positive difference – in the world.
- Nothing Standardized About Evaluation at CFS (And Yet . . . )
Individual uniqueness is valued and encouraged, and students receive the challenge and support appropriate to their abilities, interests, and needs. Evaluation is not limited to scores or grades, and we do not employ standardized tests. Instead, we offer parent-teacher conferences and written narrative evaluations that include reference to graded work and much more.
Our Upper School students do take standardized tests as part of the college application process, and our SAT score averages are higher than the averages for both NC and the NC Association of Independent Schools. Although we intentionally do not offer strictly designated Advanced Placement courses, we do offer a variety of advanced courses of our own design. In 2012, 13 students took AP exams, and the mean and median score was 4. The 36 students in the class of 2012 includes 3 National Merit semi-finalists and 5 National Merit commendations. Although we do not define Friends School by such honors, we are happy to share this good news.
- Meaningful Opportunities for Real Responsibility
CFS students are given responsibility – for academic choices, for personal relationships, and for their community. Highly motivated students are able to assist with or even teach courses in an area of expertise. CFS students are engaged in meaningful community service projects on campus and in the wider world.
- Excellent Preparation for College and More
Our college counseling program is highly individualized and thorough. On average, 95% of CFS graduates go on to colleges of their choice, as close to home as North Carolina-system schools and Duke, and as far away as Earlham, Georgia Tech, Middlebury, Northwestern, Oberlin, Pitzer, Smith, Tufts, and Wesleyan. (To learn more about the college and career outcomes for our students, please explore Our Graduates.)
With 13 buildings and over 126 acres on the main campus, students have the facilities, space, and safety they need to expand their horizons, spread their wings, and thrive. “Green” values are incorporated into the curriculum and campus maintenance – e.g., through use of recycled materials, water reclamation, and solar power projects that include photovoltaic collectors returning power to the grid. All this within 15 minutes of Durham, Chapel Hill, or Hillsborough.
- Commitment to Diversity—Then, Now, and Always
Founded by Quakers in 1962 as one of the first schools in the southeast to pursue a deliberate policy of racial integration, CFS maintains a commitment to diversity of many kinds: race, national origin, religious affiliation, family structure, sexual orientation, learning style, physical ability, and socioeconomic background. 23% of CFS students strengthen diversity of race or ethnicity.
Around a quarter of CFS families receive need-based tuition assistance. 10% of tuition revenue is devoted to tuition aid, and for 2011-12, we raised over $100,000 for an Economic Relief Program to help retain and attract families during this challenging economic time.
We are fortunate to have low attrition, so if you can imagine your child thriving here, please consider applying soon.
There is no better way to experience CFS than during the school day, so we invite you to call us to arrange to take a parent tour of our main campus. Or visit one of our Open Houses: Durham Early School on Sunday, November 11; Chapel Hill Early School on Sunday, November 18; and our Main Campus on Sunday, December 2 – all from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
If you’d like to know more about what a Quaker education can mean for your child, please call Kathy Kirschmann or Kathleen Davidson at 919.383.6602 x221 or x240. We look forward to getting to know you.