A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area

At A Glance

We are a Quaker school with a main campus on 126 acres near Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Carolina Friends School (CFS) includes three Early Schools for ages 3-6 (one on main campus, one in Durham by Duke University, and one in Chapel Hill by UNC), a Lower School (equivalent to grades 1-4), a Middle School (equivalent to grades 5-8), and an Upper School (grades 9-12).

Facilities include 14 classroom buildings; Lower and Middle/Upper School libraries; science, maker, and computer labs; a greenhouse; art and music studios; a performing arts center; two athletic buildings; spacious playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces; tennis courts; and baseball, soccer, and ultimate fields.

We are members of National, Southern, and North Carolina Associations of Independent Schools, National and Southern Associations for College Admissions Counseling, and Friends Council on Education. CFS is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Founded 1962

Lower School opened 1964

$1.8 M

Total funds available for tuition adjustments last year


Graduates attend colleges or universities of their choice


Students in our adjusted tuition program

510 Students

Across 4 units and 3 campuses

Ages 3-18

Range of students at our School

18 Years

Average teaching experience of our educators

Extended Day

Enrichment opportunities across ages and interests


School average student to staff


Staff with advanced degrees


Athletic teams across 8 interscholastic sports


Racial/ethnic diversity


  • Families Receiving Adjusted Tuition: 26%
  • Annual Budget: $11.2 million
  • Endowment: $12.9 million
  • Annual Fund: $390,000

Recent Capital Improvements

2018 New Performing Arts Center
2016 Campus Early School Meeting Space Addition
2015 Lower School Renovation and Addition
2014 Middle School Renovation and Addition (Including Science Labs)
2014 Upper School Makerspace and Art Studio
2013 Enclosure of the Quaker Dome (With Geothermal Heat) and New Greenhouse
2012 Chapel Hill Early School Expansion

School Security & Safety

The safety and security of all members of our community is of paramount importance at Carolina Friends School.

The Campus Safety and Security Team (CSST), comprised of senior administrators and staff, meets regularly and guides the school in the evaluation and implementation of policies and procedures related to school safety. Legal counsel specializing in school matters advises the CSST in its policy-level work.

The following are among the policies and procedures currently in place:

  • Background checks for every staff member, substitute, and coach are mandatory and continuously monitored and updated. Volunteers who help drive and chaperone student outings are also subject to background and/or driving record checks. All current staff, substitutes, and coaches have had background checks.
  • Each staff member receives the Growing Healthy Relationships training on preventing child sexual abuse and human sexual development. All new staff are required to receive this training in their first year at CFS and repeat the training every two years.
  • All units have revisited practices around advisee outings, campus and off-campus overnights, Middle School Exploratorium and Upper School End-of-Year Program travels to ensure that students and staff are protected.
  • Each unit provides students with annual age-appropriate training and counseling in healthy relationships, human sexuality, and responsible decision making.
  • Staff members are provided with first aid and CPR training, including training on AEDs (defibrillators) on a regular basis. Staff are expected to maintain certification in both first aid and CPR.
  • The School has AEDs (defibrillators) in each unit, the Center, the Shop, and the Gym.
  • The units, the Center, and the Gym all have expanded emergency kits, filled with over 30 items, everything from disposable nitrile gloves and Steri-strips to instant cold packs and Neosporin.
  • The units, the Center, and the Gym have site-specific emergency plans.
  • Students and staff practice fire, tornado, and other drills on a regular basis.
  • The School, with three campuses, works closely with local law enforcement agencies — Chapel Hill, Durham, Orange County, Duke University, and UNC Chapel Hill — around ongoing safety and security matters, from facility security to crisis response.
  • Periodic parent education programs in the units allow parents to share questions and ideas with one another and with outside experts — for example, around alcohol and other drug issues.
  • For inclement weather and emergency situations, our communications options include a campus telephone-intercom alert system and an emergency outreach system, SchoolMessenger delete (formerly SchoolReach), that allows the school to send phone, text, and/or email messages to parents and guardians. We also share information on our website and in our social media channels. Our SchoolMessenger system, website, and Student Information System database are all hosted off campus, which allows us to continue to use these tools even if power is lost at school. Please see the "Delays and Closings" section for more details on school cancellations.
  • An emergency notification system can broadcast audible messages campus-wide in the event of weather emergencies or other on-campus events that require immediate action.
  • We ask that all drivers refrain from texting, calling, or otherwise using mobile devices while on campus roads.