Connecticut Friends School seeks to create an environment that challenges and enables students, teachers and others in the community to realize their intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual potential. CFS works to prepare its students to live effective and fulfilling lives, guided by the Quaker principles of integrity, equality, peace, community, simplicity and stewardship.
In an ever-changing world, Connecticut Friends School teaches that true peace of mind springs from a sense of competence, confidence, and living in alignment with the soul's purpose.
Connecticut Friends School is located on Route 106 in Wilton, Connecticut, and serves children ages 5-14; grades Kindergarten-8.
The school day runs from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm Mondays through Thursdays and 8:30 am to 12:30 pm on Fridays. Middle school students have an extended day on Fridays to accommodate their Outdoor Education and Leadership Program; their day runs to 3:00 pm on Fridays.
Connecticut Friends School teaches children academic and life skills while simultaneously encouraging a permanent and joyful love of learning.
While we hold students to high standards of scholarship and classical skill building (spelling, math, grammar), we perceive learning not as a set of principles to be memorized but as a continual process of inquiry.
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 individual uniqueness.
Current research in brain-based learning supports our belief that such an environment is optimal for learning. When social and emotional functioning is stressed, cognitive learning is blocked. In a school culture that prioritizes social and emotional security, students are able to build a sense of trust that it is safe to be their authentic selves. Then they can engage in learning to their full potential.
Children learn best when they are able to interact with what they are learning. At CFS, we not only take students on field trips, we use the classroom to make the learning experience interactive and three-dimensional. When a class studies water cycles, they create a closed terrarium in order to observe first-hand the cycle of evaporation and precipitation. When studying Van Gogh, CFS students create their own paintings in the style of the Impressionists.
Students are taught across the learning stylesvisual, kinesthetic, and auditory learners are given an equal chance at understanding and assimilating knowledge.
CFS classrooms are organized by developmental age rather than by grade, with two or three age groups together in one classroom.
In the multi-age classroom, children have the rare opportunity to learn from regular interactions with students who are older and/or younger than they are. Multi-age classrooms allow students not only to remain with the same teacher for more than one year, but also diminish the competition and performance anxiety that traditional grade levels may promote. Parents, as well as students, benefit from spending more than a single year with a teacher who is familiar with each student’s strengths and areas for growth.
As a Friends school, we acknowledge that there are invisible aspects of life beyond the touchable, seeable reality. Students are encouraged to consider ethical questions and to develop a vocabulary that enables moral searching.
Each class at Connecticut Friends School begins the day with a Morning Meeting, which includes a greeting, news from home, plans for the day ahead, and a few minutes of silent reflection. During this period of quiet we invite students to relax and perhaps acknowledge the invisibles in life, taking time to drop all of the “doing” and “achieving” of the school day in order to just “be” for a moment, to meditate, settle in, feel more centered, pray in their own faith tradition, or simply rest.
We regard the inevitable conflicts that arise in a school setting as opportunities to achieve a deeper understanding of one another and ourselves. To support this process, students and adults alike practice skills in communication, non-violent conflict resolution and creative problem solving. This process is used as a springboard for moral growth and as a base for developing mutually fostering relationships.