This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Connecticut Friends School5
Posted January 17, 2015
- a parent
Connecticut Friends School (CFS) has a nurturing environment where the students feel safe to take risks in their learning. The student-teacher ratio is small so the students have many opportunities to work directly with their teachers. The learning is very hands-on so the students have a very active learning experience instead of a passive education. Most importantly, CFS instills respect, kindness and caring in their students by exhibiting these qualities to their students while expecting the students to treat each other and their teachers with that same respect, kindness and caring. I was very impressed at conference time. My daughter, the teacher, my husband and I attended a conference that my daughter led. She knew exactly what her strengths and weaknesses were and had a goal and plan to work on what was weak. She showed us her work throughout the trimester and her plan to work on her goals. The school believes in the children and their ability to know themselves; it respects their individuality and nurtures the whole child.
Our family came to CFS after spending three years in another private school in the area. We now have two children enrolled at CFS (one in the Nursery School, the other in Maples). CFS nurtured our older child, focusing at the preschool level on social and emotional development and Kindergarten readiness. Now in Kindergarten, that child is absolutely thriving under the gentle, wise and patient guidance of the Maples teachers. After 2 years at CFS, our child who was once extremely unhappy and lacked self-confidence is now joyful about learning and excited to come to school. Our younger child, now in the second year of Nursery School, is surrounded by loving and supportive staff, permitted the freedom to play and discover, and encouraged to practice kindness and respect. We have a profound respect for CFS, for its philosophy and teaching in a peaceful and thoughtful environment. CFS has become a home for our family and our children.
Love the Friends Preschool - my child has been there since we took a Mommy & Me class when he was not even 2 years old, then he joined the 2 year old class and then moved up the 3 & 4 year old class. I love that this school is on the smaller side and focuses on the social emotional growth of the preschooler and gives them lots of time to play! Very sweet teachers and leadership, and I also love that they incorporate a mix of philosophies and styles - they are not stuck on one type of philosophy and not rigid at all. They do stress peacefulness (it's a Quaker school) and I also love that while they celebrate the seasons, they do not celebrate individual holidays and do crafts for holidays, just for the seasons. Great school - so happy we chose it!
Our two granddaughters attend CFS, one in the nursery school and one in the middle school. They love it and can't wait to get there every day. The teachers and auxiliary staff are exemplary both in their caring approach to the individual needs of each child and their teaching methods. The buildings and grounds are cozy and inviting -- not at all institutional. There many opportunities for outdoor activities, including the care of pet rabbits in beautiful habitats. Field trips abound, both for enrichment, education and community service. The arts are well represented with singing, musical instrument instruction, performing, crafts, visual arts, etc. This is not just a school, it is a family and we are thrilled that our granddaughters are a part of it. To coin a phrase, "it's where a kid can be a kid." Kudos to CFS!
We are parents of a middle school student and have been overall very pleased with our child's experience at the school. We are now midway through the year, and our child continues to be engaged, challenged, and is learning a tremendous amount across the strong and emergent curriculum. The friendships in the classrooms are solid between the students and they are supportive and nurturing of each other. The staff and administration continue to be warm, helpful, and communicative. We are consistently kept abreast of changes, developments, and progress in the classroom and school community through parent/teacher meeting, all parent meetings, email updates, and face to face communication. We are very happy with the amount of individual attention that our child receives, the intuitive and enthusiastic nature of the classroom teachers, and the very experiential learning environment that Friends has cultivated for the Middle School Students.
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.