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Why CFS?

CFS affirms the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools statement about private school rankings.

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.

Compelling Curriculum
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 standardized Advanced Placement courses, we do offer a variety of advanced courses of our own design. (For scores, see below.)

Meaningful Opportunities for Real Responsibility
CFS students are given real 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 service learning projects on campus and in the wider world. We talk about Education for action and our students make it happen--from supporting Gay-Straight Alliances in area schools to lobbying North Carolina members of Congress on environmental policy.

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--100% of the Class of 2015. They matriculate in schools as close to home as North Carolina-system schools, Duke, and Guilford, and as far away as Brown, Carleton, Colorado College, Earlham, Georgia Tech, Goucher, Hollins, Kenyon, Middlebury, Northwestern, Oberlin, Occidental, Pitzer, Rhode Island School of Design, Smith, Tufts, University of Chicago, and Wesleyan. (To learn more about the college and career outcomes for our students, please explore Our Graduates.)

In 2015, 16 AP exams were taken, and students earned a score of 3 or higher on 15 of those. That class also had two National Merit Scholars. Our graduates are typically offered over $2,000,000 in merit-based aid at colleges; recent classes have included a UNC-CH Morehead-Cain scholar, three UNC Pogue scholars (of four offered), and other awards. Although we do not define Friends School by such honors, we are happy to share this good news.

Room to Learn And Grow
With 17 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. Our Lower School expansion/renovation opened in Fall 2015, we are delighted with recent additions to Middle School (including new science labs) and Upper School (including a new physics lab and maker space), and we eagerly anticipate the new performing arts center whose construction will begin in 2016. “Green” values are incorporated into the curriculum and campus maintenance – e.g., through our newest geothermal construction projects, 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, gender identity, learning style, physical ability, and socioeconomic background. About one in every four CFS students strengthens diversity of race or ethnicity.

Affording CFS
Over a quarter of CFS families receive need-based tuition assistance. More than eleven percent of tuition revenue is devoted to tuition aid, and a Board Committee on Affordability, Accessibility, and Sustainability is working to ensure that families of varied socio-economic backgrounds can join the Friends School community.

Very Low Attrition
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.

If you’d like to know more about what a Friends School education can mean for your child, please call 919.383.6602 x221 or x240. We'd like to get to know you!

Revised June 2016

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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