Carolina Friends School

4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705-0277
     Tel: (919)383-6602
Grades: PK - 12 | 496 students
Interscholastic sports are available for Middle and Upper School students.
Featured School
Interscholastic sports are available for Middle and Upper School students.
  • Carolina Friends School was founded in 1962 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Chapel Hill and Durham.
Carolina Friends School is a vibrant and inclusive learning community empowering students to think critically, creatively, and independently.
We foster active exploration and quiet reflection, individual endeavor and collaborative engagement.
Inspired by Quaker values -- pursuit of truth, respect for all, peaceful resolution of conflict, simplicity, the call to service – we teach our children that it is possible to change the world.

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc. Friends Council on Education (FCE)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
State or regional independent school association
Religious Affiliation Friends
Grades Offered Grades Prekindergarten - 12
Year Founded 1962

Student Body

Total Students 496 students
Student Body Type Co-ed
% Students of Color 21%
State avg.: 18%
Students by Grade Carolina Friends School Students by Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers 64 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio 8:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree 47%
Average Class Size 13 students
Number of AP Courses 6 courses
List of Courses Offered Link to List of Courses
Advanced Courses Adv Biology, Adv Statistics, Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Adv French, Adv Spanish, Adv Physics, 
Matriculation DataMatric. Data Link to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress Code Casual

Finances and Admission

Admission Deadline Jan. 4 / Jan. 15 / rolling
Tuition Notes Tuition varies by level.
% on Financial Aid 25%
Average Financial Aid Grant $6,500
Acceptance Rate 35%
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director Kathleen Davidson
Admissions Associate Kathy Krahenbuhl


Total Sports Offered 8 sports
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, VolleyballBaseballBasketball,
Cross CountrySoccer,
Ultimate FrisbeeVolleyball,

School Notes:

Why CFS?

  • Opportunity for Continuity and Community. CFS enrolls children ages 3 through 18, which gives students the opportunity to continue their education through high school in the same environment.
  • Compelling Curriculum. Our integrated curriculum offers engaging projects that allow students to "connect the dots" and apply what they know to real life. For examples, use this website to check out "What's New?" (upper right corner) or click below on any unit of the school.
  • Academic Vigor: Steadfast Focus on a Child's Full Development. At CFS, we focus on strong academics and also on social, emotional, artistic, spiritual, and physical growth. All our students take dance, art, music, fitness, and foreign language. They engage in collaborative learning, practice conflict resolution, make meaningful choices, have regular jobs, and enjoy plenty of time outdoors.
  • Excellent Student-Teacher Ratio. Students benefit from a 9:1 student-teacher ratio, with highly qualified and imaginative teachers (not teacher assistants) who devote close individual attention to each child. Students are seen, heard, and valued for who they are. We meet them where they are and guide them forward, differentiating instruction where needed. This allows our students to develop the knowledge, values, and confidence they'll need to thrive – and make a difference – in the world.
  • Nothing Standardized About Evaluation at CFS. Individual uniqueness is valued and encouraged, and students receive the challenge and support appropriate to their abilities, interests, and needs. Instead of standardized tests or grades, we evaluate students through written narrative evaluations and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Our Upper School students do take standardized tests as part of the college application process, and our SAT score averages are higher than the averages for both NC and the NC Association of Independent Schools. Although we intentionally do not offer strictly designated Advanced Placement courses, we do offer a variety of advanced courses of our own design. In 2011, 19 students took 25 AP exams, and the mean score was 4 and median score was 5. The Class of 2012 (36 students) includes  3 National Merit semi-finalists and 5 National Merit commendations. Although we do not define Friends School by such honors, we are happy to share this good news.
  • Meaningful Opportunities for Real Responsibility. CFS students are given responsibility – for academic choices, for personal relationships, and for their community. They are engaged in meaningful community service projects on campus and in the wider world.
  • Excellent Preparation for College and More. On average, 95% of CFS graduates go on to colleges of their choice, as close to home as NC-system schools and Duke, and as far away as Pitzer, Smith, and Wesleyan. (For recent college lists, click on "What's New?" and scroll down.)
  • Room to Learn And Grow. With 13 buildings and over 121 acres on the main campus, students have the facilities, space, and safety they need to expand their horizons, spread their wings, and thrive. "Green" values are incorporated into the curriculum and campus maintenance – e.g., through use of recycled materials, water reclamation, and solar power projects that include photovoltaic collectors returning power to the grid. All this within 15 minutes of Durham, Chapel Hill, or Hillsborough.
  • Commitment to Diversity—Then, Now, and Always. Founded by Quakers in 1962 as one of the first racially integrated schools in the Southeast, CFS maintains a commitment to diversity of many kinds: race, national origin, religious affiliation, family structure, sexual orientation, learning style, physical ability, and socio-economic background. 23% of CFS students strengthen diversity of race or ethnicity.
  • Tuition Aid Available. Over 20% of CFS families receive need-based tuition assistance.
  • Very Low Attrition We are fortunate to have low attrition – just 8%, so if you can imagine your child thriving here, please consider applying soon.

Profile last updated: 01/17/2014

Nearby Schools:

The nearest high school is Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill (2.9 miles away)
The nearest elementary school is Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill (2.9 miles away)
The nearest preschool is Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill (2.9 miles away)
 All Schools  | High Schools High Schools  | Elementary Schools Elementary Schools  | Preschools Preschools  | Public Schools Public Schools 
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  • DurhamTrinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill
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  • DurhamDuke School
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    DurhamNC 27705
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  • Chapel HillEmerson Waldorf School
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    3.4 mi | 235 students | Gr. PK-12                      
  • DurhamCresset Christian Academy
    3707 Garrett Rd
    DurhamNC 27707
    3.7 mi | 282 students | Gr. PK-12                      

School Reviews

9 months ago
I go to Carolina friends, and I like it a lot. I was in a public school before switching to CFS and I am much happier. I feel like the teachers pay way more attention to the students and there is not so much stress. It is very small, which is good for some people and not so good for others, but it really depends on you.
- Posted by Student/Alumni
1 year ago
An outstanding school with an attentive, intelligent, caring and creative faculty. If one is looking for a place where their child will be known well by their teachers, and their child will be encouraged to grow as an individual while at the same time take care of their community, then CFS may be the right choice for you.
- Posted by Parent

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Durham, NC is $8,233 for elementary schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Durham, NC is 67% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).
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