This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Connecticut Friends School5
Posted September 01, 2014
- a community member
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.