FAQs

List of 29 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Why choose Friends School?

    Parents choose Friends School because they want to feel confident that their child is getting a personalized, quality education in a safe, nurturing environment where the student to teacher ratio is low, professional teachers are exceptional, caring educators, and where each child is known and treated with respect. Parents choose Friends to know with certainty that their child is held to high academic standards, challenged to reach their full potential and at the same time are immersed in curriculum that offers both breadth and depth, is rich in art, is hands-on, and has relevant experiences integrated with heartfelt social and emotional learning. Parents choose Friends because their child’s education, happiness and well-being are important to them. They want to see their child come home from school each day thriving in the joy of learning, the excitement to return to school the next day, and the discovery of knowing themselves. Parents choose Friends School because they value community. They want their child and their family to know what it means to be a supported, productive member of a community that emphasizes compassion, social responsibility and respect of diversity and the individual.
  • Q. How do I apply?

    Review the Step by Step Application Process, apply online, or download all application forms, and return completed forms to Friends’ School. Alternatively, you are welcome to call or email our Admissions Office and we are happy to send you an application packet. No application fee is necessary to visit the school. The application fee can be submitted with the forms OR separately after visits. Please request a waiver if the fee is a hardship for you.
  • Q. When is the application deadline?

    Friends School begins accepting applications on August 1st, one year prior to the application school year. Applicants are considered on a rolling admissions basis when all steps in the application process are completed and spaces are available. Although the rolling admissions process does not adhere to specific deadline dates, we do process Preschool applications first, followed by Elementary applications – see our Admissions Calendar for an overview of the admissions timeline.
  • Q. How do I schedule a tour, class observation and interview for myself and my child?

    Initial parent conversations happen over the phone to answer your questions and help you determine if Friends is a school you want to visit. We offer individual or small group parent tours and classroom visits during regular school days throughout the year as well as specific dates for Preschool, Kindergarten, and Middle School Informational Meetings. Student applicant visits are also scheduled throughout the year. See our Admissions Calendar for an overview of the visit timeline by grade level. You do NOT need to submit an application to schedule a parent visit. You DO need to submit an application to schedule your child’s visit. Both parent and student visits are a required part of our application process. Please call call the Admissions Office, 303-499-1999 x227, and we would be happy to arrange the visits.
  • Q. What can we expect during our child's visit to Friends School?

    Preschool & Kindergarten applicants visit in small groups of applicants on prescheduled dates. These visits are 30 minute “play dates” with a parent present. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers have a variety of fun activities available for the children and help children choose and engage in activities. The visit ends with clean-up and a closing circle with songs.
     
    1st grade applicants visit for half a day in the morning in our current Kindergarten class. Applicants participate in regular classroom activities and curriculum including a short recess and snack time. Our Literacy & Math specialists meet with the applicant for a brief assessment. Your child needs to bring a snack, but will leave before lunch time.
     
    2nd-Middle School applicants visit for a full day in the class of their current grade level. Applicants meet the teacher of the grade they are applying to and participate in regular classroom activities and curriculum including a morning and afternoon recess, morning snack, and lunch time. The visit also includes a brief Literacy and Math assessment with our specialists. Your child should bring a snack and a lunch.
  • Q. Are parents able to participate at Friends School?

    Yes. Friends parents, grandparents, other family members and friends are an active part of our school community.  Parent participation is welcomed, encouraged and contributes to the success of the school and the success of each child. Parents can be involved in a wide variety of school activities and volunteer in many ways. All parents are welcomed into our Parent Council and often serve on committees or on our Community Board. Parents and extended family provide support and enhance the school experience for our students and community.
  • Q. What is the age requirement for Preschool and Kindergarten?

    Applicants for Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten are required to be three, four, and five years old, respectively, by September 30th. The Boulder Valley public schools require all children to be 5 years old by September 30th to enter Kindergarten. By aligning with the public school age requirement, Friends’ students are not disadvantaged when leaving or entering public schools.
  • Q. Do children have to be potty-trained to enroll in Friends Preschool?

    No. We respect each child’s own individual process of learning and development.
  • Q. Is Friends School part of the network of Friends Schools in the U.S.? Does the school follow a specific educational philosophy?

    No. Friends School is NOT affiliated with the network of Quaker Friends Schools. It is a coincidence that our school has the same name. Our founding students named the school, Friends School, because “….. our school is where our friends are.” Friends School is not affiliated with any specific philosophy in education. We are an independent school and have our own Mission and Philosophy, created from the strengths of many different educational approaches, and focused on best practice. State and national standards are used as benchmarks for our curriculum.
  • Q. Is Friends School accredited?

    Friends Preschool and Elementary school are fully accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS), a recognized Colorado Department of Education accrediting body. Friends is also an active member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). These organizations support the highest standards for education. In addition, the Colorado Department of Social Services and the Health Department license our facilities, Preschool program and AfterCare & Summer Programs to ensure safety and responsible practices.
  • Q. Does Friends School require admission testing for student applicants?

    No testing is required for students who apply to Friends School.  A Literacy & Math assessment with our teachers is a part of 1st through Middle School student applicant visits.
  • Q. Does Friends School administer standardized testing?

    As an independent school, Friends School is not required to administer any standardized testing. Our students in 3rd grade through Middle School, however, do take a national and independent school normed standardized test – the ERB, Educational Records Bureau. These tests give us national and independent school norms to continually insure that our students are learning a comprehensive and competitive curriculum. These tests provide our students experience in taking standardized tests and provide an opportunity for us to examine program and curriculum effectiveness and to plan for improvement.
  • Q. Does Friends School use a traditional grading system to assess students?

    No. At Friends School we use a variety of means to assess student learning. Assessment is used to gather developmental information, understand ability, determine prescriptive measures, measure skills and progress, and determine program effectiveness and improvement. At Friends, student evaluation is not an end, but a part of the growth and development of each child. In our Preschool, developmental norms are used as benchmarks and in our Elementary school, State and National Standards are also used as benchmarks.  
        
    Preschool teachers record observations to review at parent/teacher conferences twice a year. In addition there are a variety of other opportunities throughout the year for parents to discuss their child’s development. An end-of-year narrative report is sent to parents summarizing the child’s year of progress and development.
         
    Elementary and Middle School portfolio assessment provides a comprehensive overview of each student’s learning process each school year and includes teacher written narratives, detailed progress reports, work samples and each student’s own reflections on their learning accomplishments. Parent/teacher portfolio conferences are held twice a year at the end of each semester as well as a fall check-in conference. Elementary and Middle School students actively participate in the creation and review their portfolio.
     
  • Q. How many students are in each grade? What is the student to teacher ratio?

    Our Preschool program offers two classes for 3-year-olds and two classes for 4-year olds. Each class has approximately 16 students with two teachers in each class. The ratio is 8 students to 1 teacher.
     
    In our Elementary and Middle Schools, we have one class at each grade level, Kindergarten through 7th grade. Each class has approximately 20 students. The ratio is 10 students to 1 teacher. Elementary also has a Teacher Candidate in each classroom.
     
    In both Preschool & Elementary programs, a number of specialist teachers are regularly teaching specific curriculum in all classes throughout the school year increasing the number of teachers in each class and lowering the student to teacher ratios.
  • Q. How many spaces are available each year by grade?

    Preschool:  Our two classes for 3-year-olds are our beginning level providing approximately 30 spaces each school year. Our two classes for 4-year-olds are filled first by families re-enrolling from the 3-year-old classes. As a result of attrition, we typically have an average of 1 to 5 openings total in our 4-year-old classes.
         
    Elementary:  Our Preschool students have first option to enroll in our Kindergarten. Friends’ has an average of 2 to 8 openings in Kindergarten each year for students who did not attend our Preschool. Attrition can occur at each grade level in 1st through 5th grades. An average of 0 to 3 openings is typical in 1st through 5th grade classes.

    Middle School: 
    Our 5th graders have first option to enroll in our 6th grade.
  • Q. What are the school hours? Do you have before and after school care?

    Preschool:  Our two 3-year-old classes meet three mornings a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 8:40-11:40am. Our two 4-year-old classes meet four afternoons a week, Monday through Thursday, 12:35-3:35pm. All Preschool classes have a snack time during the class hours. There are no Preschool classes on Fridays. Friends School does NOT offer before or after school care for our Preschool program.
         
    Elementary:  Kindergarten through 5th grade classes are full days, 8:30am-3:15pm, Monday through Thursday.  Fridays are shorter days, 8:30am-1:30pm which allows for teacher professional development. Friends Elementary school provides an AfterCare Program that is available from dismissal time through 5:30pm each day. In addition, a variety of  Enrichment Classes are offered after school each semester. Friends does not provide before school care. 

    Middle School:  6th-8th grade classes are full days 8:45am-3:30pm Monday through Thursday. Fridays are shorter days, 8:45am-1:45pm.
  • Q. How are admissions decisions made?

    When spaces are available and an applicant has completed all the steps in the application process, a committee composed of the head of school, teachers, and admissions director consider a number of factors in making admissions decisions. Some of these include:  appropriate fit for Friends School, siblings of returning students or alumni, and classroom make-up. Students with learning differences and special needs are considered on an individual basis if we feel we can provide a successful environment for the child. We may not be able to accept a child if we determine we cannot adequately accommodate the child’s needs and support the rest of the students in the class. Admissions decisions are made without regard to financial status and before a family is placed on the tuition scale or financial aid is awarded.
  • Q. Does Friends School offer a Summer Program?

    Yes. Friends Summer Program provides week-long sessions for ages 3 to 16. Please  review details and information on the Summer Program page of our web site.
  • Q. Do siblings and children of alumni receive admission preference?

    Yes. Friends School gives siblings of returning students and alumni admissions priority if the child is an appropriate fit for the class and for Friends’ School.
  • Q. What are you looking for in an applicant?

    We are looking for students who are thoughtful and curious, who are excited about learning and want to learn. We are looking for students who are open to new experiences, new challenges and new relationships. We want children who are respectful and kind to others. Friends School wants students who are not perfect,but who are interested in being themselves and furthering their self-discovery.  
  • Q. Are Preschool graduates prepared for Kingergarten?

    Friends Preschool graduates are not only prepared for Kindergarten with a strong foundation in pre-academic skills, but are also well-rounded students who are compassionate, empathetic and inclusive. Preschool graduates know how to solve problems, resolve conflicts respectfully and be a productive member of a community.
  • Q. Are Elementary graduates prepared for Middle School?

    Yes, Friends Elementary graduates have a strong academic foundation in all subject areas including foreign language and are at or exceed the state and national standards and benchmarks. In addition, graduates have comprehensive, hands-on learning experiences in music, art and physical education as well as social and emotional learning. Friends graduates are perceptive, critical, eclectic thinkers who are passionate about learning, know how to be learners, and know themselves well. Our graduates are also well-rounded individuals who are compassionate, empathetic and inclusive, who know social responsibility and what it means to be a productive member of a supportive community.
  • Q. How much is tuition?

    Friends’ School provides a tuition scale with limited tiers based on family adjusted gross income per the previous year’s Federal Tax Return. There are different tuition scales for the Preschool classes and for the Elementary classes based on grade level and the number of days per week a child attends class.
  • Q. How can I apply for Financial Aid? Is there a deadline to apply?

    Financial assistance is offered, in part, through discounted tuition that is awarded to qualifying families who are placed in one of the limited tiers on the tuition scale. Supplemental financial aid assistance is also available on a limited basis. All persons seeking additional financial aid must complete a financial aid application with FAST online.
     
    In order to be considered for a financial aid award, returning families should apply for financial aid online by the deadline indicated in the re-enrollment packet that is issued each January. There is no deadline to apply for Financial Aid for new families, however, because financial aid funds are limited, there is no guarantee of availability later in the enrollment process. Applicants are considered on a rolling admissions basis. Financial Aid applications should be submitted immediately after an applicant is offered enrollment. 
  • Q. How is Financial Aid awarded?

    Financial Aid is awarded on an individual basis and based on need as determined by FAST. Friends School provides a tuition scale based on family adjusted gross income per the previous year’s Federal Tax Return. Families who qualify on the tuition scale below the full tuition level may receive discounted tuition in one of the limited tuition tiers. Supplemental financial aid assistance is also available on a limited basis. All persons seeking additional financial aid must complete a financial aid application with FAST online. Admissions decisions are made without regard to financial status and before a family is placed on the tuition scale and financial aid is awarded.
  • Q. When will I be notified of my admission status?

    Applicants are considered on a Rolling Admissions basis when all steps in the application process are completed and spaces are available. Although the Rolling Admissions process does not adhere to specific notification dates, we do process Preschool applications first, followed by Elementary applications – see our Admissions Calendar for an overview of the admissions timeline. You are also welcome to call or email our Admissions Office for an individual status update for your child’s application.
  • Q. What does it mean to be placed in the Wait Pool?

    Applicants not offered enrollment will be placed in our Wait Pool and considered when additional spaces are available. When a space does become available, the same factors are reviewed that are used in making all admissions decisions. Some of these include:  appropriate fit for Friends School, siblings of returning students or alumni, and classroom make-up. The Wait Pool is for the upcoming school year only. We encourage Wait Pool applicants who are not offered enrollment to reapply for the next school year.
  • Q. If I am in the Wait Pool and my child is not offered enrollment, is my child given preference for the next school year? Do I have to apply again?

    Every applicant in our Wait Pool that is not offered enrollment does need to reapply to be considered for the next school year. An updated application must be resubmitted and all the steps in the application process will need to be completed, except you DO NOT pay another application fee. Each application year the same factors are reviewed to make all admissions decisions. Some of these include:  appropriate fit for Friends School, siblings of returning students or alumni, and classroom make-up of each class (same comment as above). The admissions committee does give additional consideration to applicants who have been in our Wait Pool. 
     
  • Q. Is it possible to get a ViewBook with information about Friends School?

    Yes.  Please call or email our Admissions Office and we will be happy to send you a View Book. You can also browse or download our View Book from our web site.