Why Connecticut Friends School?
Connecticut Friends School teaches children academic and social skills while encouraging a permanent and joyful love of learning. We perceive learning not as a set of principles to be memorized but as a continual process of inquiry. We have chosen our particular academic model because we believe it is a powerful pedagogy, capable of affecting children in a profoundly positive way as they navigate through life.
By fostering cooperation rather than competition among students, CFS creates an atmosphere that celebrates individual differences. Working together, the children learn the joys and challenges of building a community while, at the same time, gaining a sense of their specific interests and abilities.
What is a Friends school?
Friends schools are based on the values of equality, integrity, simplicity, community, stewardship, and peace. Since the opening of the first Friends School in Philadelphia in 1689, Friends education has steadfastly maintained that social, ethical, and spiritual development is just as important as academic excellence in the education of a child. A Friends School cares deeply about the type of individuals its students are becoming. Friends Schools stand as beacons for tolerance, love, and mutual understanding.
Are you a religious school?
Although we are rooted in the Friends, or Quaker, belief system, we do not teach religion per se nor do our students need to be Quaker. We enroll students from a variety of faiths at CFS. Students are encouraged to share from their own faith traditions as part of their social studies work.
Is CFS right for my child?
CFS is a mainstream school, well-suited for a variety of learners, from accelerated to average. We are not equipped to meet the needs of students with serious learning challenges. As educators, we believe that the right school is one in which a child learns best, where the educational approach is valued by the family, and where the family feels a sense of belonging. Such a school will be different for different families. Getting to know our school as well as possible is the only way to find out if CFS is right for you and your child.
Can we visit the school?
Of course! Parents may visit Wednesday mornings by appointment with the Director of Admissions. Just call (203) 762-9860. Students visit later as part of the admissions process.
Parents and children may attend our Open Houses, held three times a year In November, January and March.
How are children evaluated for admission?
CFS does not test children as part of our admissions process; rather, there is an informal assessment of applicants in the areas of reading, math, and writing fluency, according to their age.
Children entering grades 2 through 8 spend a full day integrated into a classroom program. Children participate in on-going classroom activities and discussions, and are welcomed into the social group of the class for that day.
Children entering grades K and 1 visit for a few hours in the morning. They play games and engage in various activities that allow the teachers to observe each child in a general sense, and meet one-on-one with teachers for 25 minutes.
Our admissions committee also looks at information provided by the applicant’s parents and current school as well as teacher recommendations.
How are children evaluated as students once enrolled at CFS?
Teachers provide written narrative assessments at the end of every trimester. We do not assign grades, nor administer standardized tests. Our curriculum is in alignment with national standards for the various disciplines and our teachers accumulate samples of student work, quizzes, and test scores to supplement their close observation.
Where do CFS students go after graduation?
Our graduates have gone to local public high schools in Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Weston, Westport as well as magnet schools such as Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE), Academy for the Performing Arts, Center for Global Studies, Nutmeg Ballet.
Other students have attended Fairfield Prep, International School (Rome, Italy), King School, Marvelwood, The Masters School, The Sound School, Soundview Prep, St. Joseph High School, St. Luke’s School, Stanwich, Suffield Academy, Trinity Catholic, Trinity-Pawling , la Unidad Educativa Americalatina (Quito, Ecuador), Waldorf School (Oberberg, Germany), Westtown (Friends) School, and Wooster School.
What about college?
CFS alumni have been accepted at the following colleges and universities: American University, Bowling Green, Bryn Mawr College, Bucknell, College of the Redwoods, Colorado College, Columbia University, Cornell, Earlham College, Eugene Lang School for the Performing Arts at the New School, George Washington University, Gettysburg College, Goucher College, Green Mountain College, Guilford College, Hampshire College, Hartwick College, Harvey Mudd College, Haverford, Hobart, Lafayette College, Lewis & Clark College, Middlebury, MIT, Princeton University, Swarthmore College, University of Rhode Island, University of Rochester, University of Vermont, and Wellesley College.
How long is the school day?
School begins at 8:30 am and ends at 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, school ends for K through 4 grades at 12:30 pm and for 5 through 8 grades at 3:00.
How much homework is assigned?
Generally speaking, students in grades 2 through 8 should expect daily homework. Although teachers may give assignments to be completed outside of school, we do not equate long hours of busy work with a rigorous academic program. We expect our students to work diligently during school hours so that they can spend time with their families each evening.
Is there an after school program?
Yes, see the complete description of the after school care program at the end of the FAQ section below.
Is bus service available?
Yes, although the route varies from year to year depending on the geographic configuration of students. Families may sign up for both am and pm bus service, or only morning, or only afternoon. See the schedule of fees for pricing. Some transportation requests cannot be filled.
What sort of physical education is offered?
Physical education classes are held twice a week. Students participate in a variety of fitness activities including stretching, aerobics, strength training, yoga, dance, and soccer. Students also have generous amounts of unstructured outdoor recess each day30 minutes at lunch and an additional break in the morning. Our middle school students take an Outdoor Education and Leadership program, a sequential, skills-oriented approach to being safe in the outdoors.
Our After School Care Program (ASCP) is offered Monday through Friday. The program is fun, low-key, and friendly. Connecticut Friends School is committed to offering ASCP to our families both as support to working parents, as well as a means by which students can socialize with friends. The program is a way for students of all ages to continue the community building that happens naturally during the school day. In addition to the program director, at least one faculty member is available to help with homework.
Our program begins at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. Students meet in the Oaks 2 classroom following dismissal. Students may be picked up anytime, but no later than 5:30 p.m.
Families receive a discount when purchasing a pre-paid pack of ASCP visits, or they can pay per session as needed. We also offer a 10% discount for siblings who attend CFS.
For more detailed information about cost, schedule, and programming, please call the office at (203) 762-9860.
Connecticut Friends School will post delays and closings on the following media platforms:
Cable Channel 12
Cable Channel 30 (NBC)
Individuals can sign up to have information on school closings and delays sent via email or by text to a cell phone: Go to the CTWeather.com website and click on e-notifications. First, create an account, then log into your account, select the box for Connecticut Friends School, and press “submit.”
If CFS has an unscheduled early dismissal, we will call parents. Please give us all your phone numbers. If we cannot reach you, we will make some provision to safely care for your child.
Connecticut Friends School policy is to not make up days cancelled due to inclement weather or other emergencies.