I Graduated from CFS a couple of years ago. It is absolutely the best school I've ever been to and believe me I've been to a lot. Everyone is so kind and welcoming, I attended CFS for four years and I have to say, best four years of my life so far. With the classes so small you really get to know each other, and you're not ignored in a way that easily happens on public schools, the teachers spend quality time with you. The kids are great and become great people, I made some really great friends there that I'm sure will be life long.
My wife and I appreciate that the teachers ask the children to think for themselves, but also require groups of students to collaborate and listen to each other's ideas. The practice the kids get problem solving is invaluable and the fact that they are challenged to consider alternate points of view helps them grow to be thoughtful young adolescents who are capable of walking in someone else's shoes. We find this maturity is spotted by our children's summer camp counselors who remark that they are happy to have either of our kids speak up during summer camp squabbles because they can be counted on for making fair comments and for proposing good ideas in a courteous but confident manner. We know this reflects the culture of Connecticut Friends School as much as our own family's culture.
We give Connecticut Friends School an excellent rating because the school is a breath of fresh air in Fairfield County and it supports the values my wife and I try to develop in our home. We want our children to be ambitious, resourceful, creative and competent as well as compassionate friends, strong leaders and moral citizens. When we first looked at the school we noticed how easily the students answered our questions and we were impressed that they felt comfortable explaining the curriculum to us. Of course some children are more shy than others but, by-and-large, the students are self-assured, but not arrogant.
This school is a Potemkin Village. Now that the administration is aware of the negative reviews on this site, they seem to be stacking the deck with positive reviews from families who are in their circle. Don't look past the negative reviews: some families like it at CFS and stay in the club; most realize that their money is being poorly spent and leave only to wonder if their children learned anything of value.
My daughter was in the Wilton public school district. She was doing OK until we hit middle school when the public school discouraged my daughter to the point where she began to hate school. Being a 7th grade student we were concerned about moving her but, as her parents, we knew what would be best. She started at CFS in 8th grade and within 2 months my daughter was back to her amazing self. She began to feel confident and eager to go to school. She was making friends and the sparkle was returning to her eyes. CFS goes until 8th grade and although some may think it is a short time to make a big difference, well .it truly did make a positive impact for my daughter. She felt accepted, academically supported and at ease for the first time in her middle school career. I only wish we had 4 more years at CFS. However, that 1 year proved to be a positive experience that truly made a difference with my daughter! She is now in public high school in Wilton but a girl with values that were only learned at CFS. That one year gave her exactly what she needed.
I have worked for Connecticut Friends School for a number of years now and I have found the teachers and staff to be the most caring people. In my experience, the care that is given to each student, whether the children are aware of it or not, is evident throughout. I am always amazed at the understanding that the teachers and administrators have of what each student faces when they wake up every morning. This goes for even the mysterious middle schoolers. The question throughout the school year is always how can we help this student . How can we help the student find their way; find their path; find themselves so that when they leave here they are empowered to be their very best selves and not some kid lost in the high school crowd. Growth on this level requires a sense of community and trust. Community as in it takes a village and trust that each student gets what they need. Not what everyone else gets but what each individual student needs to be a successful person.
After searching for a school that offers a balanced approach to education we enrolled our 2 children at Connecticut Friends School. That was 3 years ago and we have not been disappointed. Younger students have a healthy mix of academics and playtime; we consider this far healthier than a program that leans too heavily toward test taking and assessment. Our younger child learned to read and write and do mathematics while still having daily recess sessions outdoors and free choice options indoors. The curriculum for all ages includes service work projects, theater productions, field trips and special instructors (e.g. yoga workshops or live animal presentations in the classroom). For older students the daily schedule includes not only subjects such as math, language arts, social studies and science but activities such as art, P.E. and music (...the main music sessions focus on singing and music theory but the kids also take part in special workshops on African drumming). The middle schoolers take Spanish and participate in a great Outdoor Education and Leadership program where they get off-campus every other week to go caving, rock climbing, hiking, skating etc. We recommend CFS!
Our son has been enrolled at Connecticut Friends School for 4 years and we have had a very positive experience. My wife and I both agree that since starting at CFS our son has been thriving not only academically but emotionally as well. We've seen the great care the teachers have put into the curriculum, taking the kids on field trips to supplement what they are learning in school; introducing hands-on projects in science, language arts and social studies; integrating art projects with their academic studies; weaving performing arts opportunities into the curriculum; offering many, many ways to connect with nature. We have been impressed with all that our son has learned, and how his teachers have stretched him to take on challenges that he at first shied away from while simultaneously nurturing the areas our son took to naturally. We've seen our son's confidence grow but also his ability to consider the needs of his classmates and to make thoughtful decisions. Our observation is that all the students are asked to reflect on how their own behavior affects the class and school community. CFS helps children become articulate communicators and develop leadership skills.
I enrolled my child at this school with the hope that it would be a nurturing environment that would help him thrive as a student. It didn't in the slightest. Not only are both of those hopes not present, but the faculty are uncaring, greedy, and unequipped, and the education is disappointing at best. If you're considering this school, don't look past the negative reviews.
CFS has completely tarnished my son's enthusiasm for education. We kept giving CFS chances, but they seemed to withdraw their promises each time. Stay away.
Our world needs to learn of Friends Testimonies. Gentle, enjoyable learning is offered by CT Friends School and it is a haven for its students.
Our daughter is in high school now and we found that the academic preparation she received at Connecticut Friends School prepared her very well for the rigors of a highly competitive prep school. Not only did she get all the basics (spelling, vocabulary, grammar, math operations, geography, history, scientific process and writing techniques) but she has a quick mind and a voracious curiosity which her high school teachers love. When were considering where to enroll our daughter for high school, several guidance counselors and admissions officers told us what a delight it was to meet a student who expressed excitement about what she had been learning in middle school; they remarked on how at-ease our daughter was with speaking to adults and said it was a pleasure to get to know her. High school instructors tell us our daughter brings a lot to class discussions and they feel she is a positive influence on her peers, motivating those around her to work to higher standards. They're impressed with how generous our daughter is with kids who are less able than she is. We credit CFS with nurturing our daughter's mind and also her heart and therefore recommend the school highly!
Advice to potential applicants: don't just go by the reviews written by current parents. Talk to some families that have left, of which there are many. My child was far behind grade level when we left here and I'm still wondering what exactly they did all day. What a difference now that we're in another school! It may be the right fit for you anyway, depending on what is important to you, but I would just highly suggest being thorough in your research and touring some of the other schools in the area as well. I certainly wish I had.
My son, Luke, entered the Connecticut Friends School three years ago when he started 4th grade. We have have found the school to be exactly what we expeced: unique in its ability to combine challenging academics, manageable amounts of homework and a social curriculum that emphasizes community, mutual respect and self-reliance. Small class sizes make every teaching moment valuable. A focus on outdoor education fosters physical independence and a deep understanding and respect for our environment. While students have access to computers, video equipment and other forms of technology, there is also a low-tech approach to teaching that clearly benefits students and their families. Summer camp experiences through this school are also truly enriching.
We were so delighted to discover this amazing school several years ago. Our family life had become very stressful due to nightly battles over homework. We felt as if the tail was wagging the dog because the teachers were gearing so much of the curriculum to standardized tests. Our son was angry that, after an entire day of doing school work he had no time to play or relax. This scenario repeated itself day after day, leaving our family exhausted. Once we found Connecticut Friends School our lives changed immediately for the better. We found that CFS teachers are very judicious in their assignment of homework and the curriculum is not influenced by standardized tests. What a relief! In short order our son "revived". He declared that he now loved attending school and looked forward to each day. The information and insights that he brought home were reflective of a rich curriculum--one that challenges the children to think for themselves and to be compassionate members of their community. We see that our son's skills are developing but without the anxiety and exhaustion he had previously experienced. We highly recommend CFS to families that are seeking a positive change.
Our son has been a student at Connecticut Friends School for 5 years and we could not be happier with the education he is receiving. The depth of discussions that take place in the classroom and the thoughtful way the teachers present the curriculum continues to impress me. My son has become a strong writer and is progressing very well through the math curriculum but in addition he has had the benefit of a huge amount of enrichment experiences woven in as part of the core program (I love that a bright child does not have to be pulled out for the "gifted program" but at CFS ALL the students benefit from an excellent approach to education). Teachers approach the subject matter from a range of perspectives, integrating art projects, theater experiences, field trips, science experiences, service work and performing arts with standard skill building such as research projects, essay writing, reader's workshops and creative writing. We have found the school's leadership to be very open to discussion and have been satisfied every time we brought up a concern or question. My husband and I have seen some of our suggestions adopted by CFS and we enjoy the camaraderie of the other parents.
The school's program could be wonderful, if only they could deliver what they promise. Disorganized and defensive, the administration gossips about parents and takes no responsibility for their failing. A recent bullying problem has arisen with older kids, and they are entirely ill-equipped to address the issue. It's so sad, because they could be offering something unique in Fairfield County. I wish they could deliver the program they describe, because it would be really special. We left after several years there, along with a large number of families, for similar reasons.
Our child has been attending CT Friends School for the past four years. We have had a wonderful experience there. CFS is age appropriate, warm, and engaging. Students are taught in a way that is exciting and at a pace that is comfortable. Each student is appreciated for his/her own unique qualities and are lovingly taught how to find his/her own place within the community.
This school has done wonders for my child who was bored and lost in the public school system. She was not being challenged to her level and complained every day about it. We did tons of research and found Connecticut Friends School to be the best choice after several visits for both my family and daughter. She has now been there for over 4 years and is a happy, social, kid that really loves her school. She was thrilled when they introduced live bunnies to the campus and learned all about bunny care. She now is a pro at it and wants to be a vet! This school will definitely deliver on academics, programs, kindness and values, and community!
I graduated from Connecticut Friends School (CFS) in 2004. After leaving CFS I went on to high schools in Italy and Washington, DC and then to Swarthmore College, where I majored in engineering an minored in public policy, graduating in 2012. I'm now living in Boston where I work as a mechanical engineer at a robotics firm. I'm intending to return to school next fall to pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Even though it has been awhile since I left, my time at this school (CFS) continues to help define who I am. CFS instilled in me a strong sense of duty to give back to my community through my work. CFS also helped form my personal moral compass, emphasizing the importance of open-mindedness, personal integrity and the embracement of diversity. I continue to actively seek out schools that were equally committed to these values after graduating from CFS. It is a great school!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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