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Carolina Friends School

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Middle School

Middle School students and teacher in Spanish classroom

In our Middle School, students grow academically and personally through a process of active exploration and problem solving, taking on increasing responsibility for themselves and their learning. The heart of our program lies in our strong social curriculum, building community and fostering authentic interpersonal relationships.

We offer a thoughtful balance of required and elective classes based on recommended best practice for students in the fifth through eighth grade age range, providing them with voice and choice.

We affirm the value and worth of each individual and the necessity for a flexible yet firm approach to each individual relationship. We especially affirm that all learning experiences are educational — we do not create a false dichotomy between what is academic and what is non-academic. 

The pre-adolescent and early adolescent is at a sometimes delightful, sometimes frustrating age. The best preparation for life for our students is to help them appreciate the relevance and the integration of their learning, their skills, and their lives, and to help them grow in understanding the importance of responsibility in the human community.



Average number of students a year


Students in each mixed-age Advisory Group


Electives across STEAM, service, activism, and more

Advisee Groups

The advisor is the student's advocate in the Middle School — a role taken very seriously by the staff. Advisors remain in contact with parents, help students determine curriculum choices, and are the students' primary source of guidance and support. Each mixed-age advisory group is home to 10-11 students.

Mentor/Mentee Program

Every student who is new to the Middle School receives a fourth year Mentor. The mentor serves as a supportive partner in the Middle School through Mentor/Mentee lunch day and informal check ins throughout the day and week. We believe that this program not only creates meaningful relationships among our oldest and newest students, but also strengthens the overall solidarity of the Middle School community.

Conflict Resolution

It is our belief that conflict is a natural part of human life and can be an opportunity for growth. We strive to prepare students with skills to manage those conflicts, both in class and throughout their time with us. Emphasis is placed on communication, trust, working as a team, and developing interpersonal skills.


Time is set aside for community group meetings that provide an opportunity for students to generate ideas and concerns which affect the group as a whole. In this experience, students carry the discussions, help problem-solve, and learn about the process of coming to consensus. Our Middle Schoolers are also important members of the Carolina Friends School larger learning community. In addition to sharing our wooded, 126-acre campus, they also engage with younger and older students in a variety of ways, whether it is reading fairy tales of their own creation to Early Schoolers, performing a musical for an audience of Lower Schoolers, or sharing graphic novels with Upper Schoolers in the library.



Exploratorium consists of three mini-sessions in the last three weeks of school. This is a time for students to choose from a wide variety of in-depth course offerings, lasting from three to five days each. Exploratorium enables students to deeply engage in a specific topic for an extended period of time. Because of the unique format of Exploratorium, students are able to have a completely different, more intense school experience than they usually do. These experiences involve dabbling in new fields of study, delving deeply into topics that are of particular interest, taking risks, building groups, and exploring relationships with themselves and others. Exploratorium offerings include overnight trips, scientific discoveries, community service and outreach, creative writing, career explorations, and the fine arts.

Academically rigorous, yet scaled to each individual child's needs...what an aspirational community. Our kids come home each day excited about their learning and look forward to school each morning. Current parent

Learn with Purpose

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Discover how our Quaker values inspire us to learn and live with purpose.

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Middle School Admission

Curious about our enrollment process and how we can get to know each other?

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David Chottiner

David Chottiner

Middle School Head Teacher