Friends School is a supportive, dynamic community committed to educating the whole child — head, hand, and heart — and to training exceptional teachers for tomorrow’s classrooms. We provide a strong academic foundation while developing creative expression and nurturing a passion for learning. Our students gain a deep understanding of themselves and are inspired to act with compassion and integrity.
We believe in Head, Hand and Heart.
We recognize and celebrate the gifts, challenges and inspirations of each individual. There are many ways to be smart, and there are many ways to learn about the world. Our teachers nurture students’ natural curiosity by engaging their minds, bodies and spirits in the learning process. Teachers ensure that students’ physical, social, emotional and cognitive interests are being engaged and strengthened in all learning experiences.
We believe in community.
A true education is founded in the myriad of life’s meaningful personal experiences and connections. Being part of a community where everyone feels safe, valued and connected greatly enhances learning. Our school is a place where everyone is nurtured and respected for his or her individuality and contributions to the good of the whole. We hold in high esteem rituals and traditions that help children develop self-awareness and understanding of themselves as part of the bigger world.
We believe learning is for life.
We inspire a lifelong love of learning. We understand that quality education is a cumulative, integrated process and that child-centered, critical and creative learning experiences are essential. We value the integration of the arts into a well-rounded education. We intentionally cultivate a growth mindset, in which our students and teachers learn to thrive on challenge and see failure as a springboard for growth. Through individual and cooperative hands-on learning experiences, our students construct their own knowledge and engage with the real world.
We believe in the importance of social and emotional learning.
Our social and emotional curriculum helps students learn self-awareness and self-regulation, which in turn facilitate their interactions with and understanding of others. This begins with knowing our own emotions and needs and how to express and manage them appropriately. It includes recognizing and responding to the needs and emotions of others through empathy, gratitude, compassion, and the intentional teaching of kindness. Ultimately, having effective strategies for listening and speaking with one another develops an ability to problem solve in all kinds of situations, often leading to inspired conclusions and stronger interpersonal relationships.
We believe in providing a rich and challenging academic program.
Our teachers understand that learning requires discussion, experimentation, creative experiences, and context and it is these building blocks that provide the basis for academic learning at Friends. Teachers employ multiple instructional strategies to be sure that our high academic standards are met, or surpassed, in lessons that are engaging, authentic, and meaningful to students. Our teachers integrate content areas that combine art, math, science, literacy, social studies and music to reflect the natural learning process and an understanding of current brain research. Our students become fluent readers, articulate writers, sound mathematicians, critical scientists, and curious global citizens.
We believe in training teachers.
Friends School offer a unique Teacher Preparation Program to aspiring teachers that enables them to attain a Colorado teaching license as well as a Master’s degree in education. We partner with public, charter and other independent schools throughout Boulder County to give Teacher Candidates an exceptional hands-on classroom teaching experience with a mentor teacher. Our program launches new teachers with every tool to be successful in their careers. We actively support our current faculty and staff with on-going professional and self-development opportunities.
We believe in environmental stewardship.
Experiencing the wonder and beauty of nature is intrinsically valuable and is critical to developing environmentally conscious citizens. Friends teaches children about sustainable living practices and provides rich experiences with the natural world. Children who understand the complexity and interconnections in our world are personally motivated to work toward the sustainability of the planet and make conscious choices about the use of the earth’s resources.
We believe in preserving the joy and innocence of childhood.
In a world where children are exposed to endless stimuli and in which they can grow up too fast, we aspire to be a caring and nurturing environment where children are simply children. We understand the essential role that play and imagination form in the development of young minds and bodies. Play is how children begin to understand their world. Laughter, meaningful social experiences, and connection help children to be in an emotional state to be ready to learn.
We believe that diversity makes our community stronger.
We prepare children to have successful relationships with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, and family structures. We recognize each person possesses unique intelligences, talents, affinities, and challenges. We discuss, embrace, and learn about many aspects of diversity in the classroom: race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, family structure, learning styles, skills, challenges, and interests. We help children utilize this knowledge and to recognize and respond to issues of prejudice and injustice. We respect our differences and understand that diversity makes our community a healthier place.
We believe in partnership.
We understand that education is a journey and that a strong partnership between home and school is essential. We actively include parents in their child’s education and the life of the school. We have a robust Parent Education program that supports parents to be their best. We communicate frequently with parents and, by providing diverse opportunities for participation, we ensure that everyone has a place at Friends School. As well as partnering with other public and independent schools in our Teacher Preparation Program, we also partner with local organizations for service and off-campus learning opportunities. Friends is a private school with a public purpose.
Friends School was founded by a small group of dedicated parents who envisioned a school where the whole child is educated and revered for who he or she is. Today, Friends School remains true to this vision and offers a comprehensive, independent, secular program for children in Preschool through Middle School. Small, collaborative classrooms, exceptional teachers, and a connected parent community enable students to learn respect for themselves, others, and our world.
The Friends community supports growth and learning and nurtures respect, responsibility and safety. Being part of a positive environment supports children’s growth into healthy, contributing members of society.
Our social/emotional curriculum helps students learn self-awareness and self-regulation, which in turn facilitates their interactions with and understanding of others. Service learning experiences offer them opportunities to learn about and engage in the world beyond Friends.
Friends School is committed to educating the whole child — head, hand, and heart. We are awake to children’s gifts, natural curiosity, and desire to learn. Thus, we address cognitive, physical, creative, social/emotional, and spiritual aspects of learning through active, relevant experiences. The curriculum balances depth and breadth, as well as process and content.
We foster both critical and creative thinking in our students. Through individual and cooperative hands-on learning experiences, children construct their own knowledge and engage with the real world. We encourage them to question, evaluate, act, and reflect in all academic arenas. We help them to be fluent readers, spontaneous and literate writers, sound mathematicians, scientific thinkers, and curious global citizens.
At Friends School we adhere to the most current, research-based methods applied to classroom learning. Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning are considered and reflect an understanding of brain development in the educational context. We blend rational, deductive, and purposeful learning with intuitive, hypothetical, and imaginative learning.
Our educational outlook and curriculum have at its foundation the work of Fredrich Froebel, John Dewey, David Hawkins, and many others who believed that children must be active participants in their learning.
In developing our curriculum we refer to national and state standards. Our programs reflect a commitment to changing and evolving as we learn more about how children’s brains develop and how children learn and grow best.
Our teachers design creativity-friendly environments where individual ideas are welcomed. We have classrooms in which routines, procedures, and culture are supportive of intrinsic motivation and flexible thinking. Classrooms are places in which it is not only safe to ask questions, find problems and seek to solve them—they are places where these behaviors are enthusiastically encouraged.
Understanding and retention of knowledge are largely based on involvement with a subject that has meaning to the student. The more opportunity a child has to discover, manipulate, teach and experience the subject, the more highly motivated one becomes, so more learning takes place. Interaction of students among grade levels provides an integrated, dynamic approach that deeply engages students, and nurtures a love of learning and involvement in their world.
Experiencing the wonder and beauty of nature is intrinsically valuable and is critical to developing environmentally conscious citizens. Friends teaches children about sustainable living practices and provides rich experiences with the natural world. Children who understand the complexity and interconnections in our world are personally motivated to work toward the sustainability of the planet and make conscious choices about the use of the earth’s resources. Our students are informed of environmental issues and feel empowered and optimistic about improving global health.
In the context of today’s world we must prepare children to have successful relationships with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We discuss, embrace, and learn about many aspects of diversity in the classroom: race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structure, learning styles, skills, challenges and interests. We teach our students about the power of gratitude, resilience, integrity and honesty. We help children utilize this knowledge and to recognize and respond to issues of prejudice and injustice.
Developing personal spirituality is a lifelong journey and a natural aspect of childhood. We encourage children to have open hearts and minds as they grow, explore, and share traditions in the classroom, developing self-awareness and understanding of themselves as part of the bigger world. Through school rituals and celebrations we honor the cycles of the seasons.
Friends School graduates have a history of successful integration into a variety of high school settings and beyond. Students know how to learn and how to utilize their strengths and meet their challenges. Friends alumni are successful perceptive, critical, and diverse thinkers who know themselves well.
Friends School is committed to educating the whole child—head, hand, and heart. In educating the whole child, we are awake to children’s gifts, natural curiosity, and desire to learn. Research consistently tells us that intelligence is dynamic and multidimensional. In every child’s education, many different areas need to be addressed. These include the cognitive, physical, creative, social/emotional, and spiritual aspects of learning. Our teachers integrate, honor, and consciously teach to each of these dimensions. In addition, by supporting such gifts as appreciation for nature and the child’s natural sense of spirituality, we strive to create an atmosphere of wholeness in our classrooms and in our school.
Integrated and Experiential Learning
At Friends School, teachers teach to each child’s individual learning style and intelligence. We nurture children’s cognitive, physical, artistic, social and emotional development. Our lessons and projects are designed with consideration of all the learning modalities (auditory, visual, kinesthetic), Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and the Schools Attuned neurodevelopmental constructs.
Understanding and retention of knowledge are largely based on involvement with a subject that has meaning to the student. Relevancy serves to keep children engaged and motivated while learning academic skills. The more opportunity a child has to discover, manipulate, teach and experience the subject, the more learning takes place. Our learning environment is designed to inspire a child to become involved in the educational process and to pursue his or her interests and creativity.
Students make the most sense of material if it is learned in context. Concepts and skills are taught in the context of integrated units of study. This integrated approach engages children at the elementary level to help them understand the common experience underlying the various disciplines. Using students’ experience, background knowledge, and interests, qualified teachers use their wisdom to maximize student learning while engaging students.
Children need opportunities to be with others who are learning various skills at the same rate as they are and to be challenged and taught by those who may be learning or developing more rapidly. They benefit from the opportunity to support and teach others. Well-rounded learners come from having experiences as the younger in a group, as well as being one of the older leaders of a group. At Friends this balance is created within classrooms and through the interaction of students among grade levels. This integrated, dynamic approach deeply engages the student and nurtures a love of learning, personal growth, and involvement in their world.
We believe the collective energy of many people, students, parents, faculty and staff, creates a community that supports each other’s growth and learning.
Children who have a strong sense of belonging to their school feel safe and connected. Being part of a positive environment supports children’s growth into healthy, contributing members of society and their adult communities. We believe it is important to build and sustain community by nurturing respect, responsibility, and safety. It is important for students to learn direct, honest communication and mediation techniques. The social/emotional curriculum helps students learn self-awareness, which facilitates their interactions with and understanding of others.
Community at Friends School begins in each classroom. It expands to the school, the neighborhood, the city, and beyond. Children’s sense of community gradually grows to include other cultures and all living things. Students are encouraged to be active members of the larger local and global communities. Service learning experiences offer them opportunities to learn about and engage in the world beyond Friends and show them ways they can contribute to the larger good.