My son attends the pre-k/k program at CFS. We are almost at the end of the first school year and our experience has been great. First, the school has a very strong teacher body with very low turnover rate. The two teachers for our son's class are both teaching veterans with decades of experience. They are caring, supportive and firm with guidance. The head of school is thoughtful, approachable and cares deeply about the well-being of his students and staff. Over the eights years he has been at CFS, the school has implemented many improvements that increased teacher morale and student performance. Second, the physical facility of the school is very good. The classrooms are bright and clean. And the school has a huge outdoor space. In the coming year, a playscape designed by a renowned architect will be installed. It will make play time even more fun. Third, the families are all well educated and cares deeply about education. In our son's room, almost every family has at least one parent with advanced degrees. There are three parents who founded their own tech companies, and at least two are faculties at Universities in and around Cambridge. People are polite, cooperative and without pretense. Last but not the least, the education quality is good. It is hard to see from the pre-k/k level, but the high school placement shows a solid result.
You don't need to be a Quaker/Friend to have a solid education at CFS. The school practices a lot of Quaker ideas such as peace, integrity, humility, and community, but the school is not religious. It grants higher percentage scholarship to families that need assistance than the more posh schools in Cambridge do. So it truly practices what it preaches. If you are looking for a school that will help to bring your kids up to be a whole person, CFS is the one for you.
I have two children at CFS. To date their experience has been very positive. CFS is true to its Quaker core and, unlike many other schools, its values are completely integrated into the curriculum. If you are searching for a school that doesn't just give lip-service to diversity and critical thought, but actually integrates both into the curriculum you should consider CFS. As (more?) important is the general quality of kids and families in the CFS community. We are thrilled by the quality of character of our daughters' friends and their families. Each year we make more friends in this community and we value the fact that our children have strong relationships with their friends' families. Added to this is the fact that the boys and girls in this school are close---much less gender separation than at other schools I've seen. All in all, CFS is a remarkably wholesome place where kids participate in a values based engaged and thoughtful curriculum and make great friends!
My daughter will soon graduate from 8th grade at Cambridge Friends School, which she has attended since Pre-K. It has been a wonderful school for her -- in terms of academics, athletics, faculty relationships, community, diversity, social values and so much more. I do not know of another school like this. I highly recommend it.
My oldest son has been at CFS for 5 years and my youngest for 2 and in that time the school has gone through some big changes. The new Head of school is wonderful and attentive and cares very deeply for his school and the children. The administration is wonderful, Sarah the admissions director is kind and welcoming. CFS is an independent school where the Quaker testimonies are a integral part of the curriculum. Teaching to a child as a whole person, not just a student in-taking facts. The teacher to student ratio is very small, each class size averages 13. The teachers know the children and are attentive to each child's needs. Homework begins in third grade and is thoughtful and thorough. The culture is very special at our school. I cant say enough great things about our community and school. It is a joy for us to be a part of Cambridge Friends School.
After considering several private schools closer to home, we chose CFS for our daughter because because of the intellectual environment, diversity of the population, and the school's reputation among educators. She picked it for the big library, playing fields, student garden, and climbing wall. We couldn't be happier. This school has the small class sizes and personal attention you expect from an established private school. But there is so much more: email updates (with pictures) on our daughter's activities, a close network of parents, an unusually rich after-school program, an unrivaled social justice curriculum that starts in PK... It's no wonder people come from all over the region to go to this school.
For my daughter, now in her 6th year, CFS has been a great experience both academically and socially. The combination of clear guidelines and well-structured projects with plenty of room for students to follow individual interests has been a great match for her. She is interested not only in what she is doing, but what her classmates are doing as well. I have been impressed with how teachers have developed assignments so strong students push themselves further while remaining right in there with the whole group, socially connected. Academic subjects are solid (science is a standout). Assessment has worked very well for us--reports combine teacher assessments of students performance (above grade level, at grade level, etc.) with a narrative giving examples. More importantly, she has gotten consistent coaching in self-assessment. Her critique of her own work is dead on. CFS has given her the learning foundation I had hoped for.
I could not have hoped for anything better for my son. The art and music programs are well-thought out, and there is a great feeling of peace in the halls. I wish I had gone to CFS myself. It teaches tolerance and justice while fostering a very individualized approach to learning, and though my son is still very young, these values will be very useful come the middle school years.
Cambridge Friends School offers a rigorous, progressive curriculum, infused with Quaker values of social justice and inclusiveness. Children learn to make decisions collaboratively, through yearlong class projects and multi-grade assemblies and presentations. Science is a particular strength, including a popular engineering module in which 3rd graders design and build their own boats; 4th graders design and build cars, and 5th graders design and build amusement park rides. Parents are highly involved, and communities of interest emerge organically. Cambridge Friends School offers a full array of music and sports extracurriculars, along with an advanced drama program in the middle school that ranges from Shakespeare to music videos. Graduates of the 8th grade are accepted into next schools that include the most sought after in the area, including Concord Academy and Commonwealth. As one admissions director remarked, 'CFS graduates are the intellectual and moral centers of their class.'
i have two sons at CFS and am very involved in the school community. this site lists it as 'religious', however, although CFS is grounded in Quaker philosophy, i consider the education to be 100% secular. the only creed taught is one of social justice, tolerance, civic duty and responsibility to leave the world a better place than we each find it. we're jewish, and these values, coupled with academic excellence, dovetail perfectly with the values we teach at home.