December 7, 2016

“Beyond Expectations”

Allison and Tori
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, the holidays are upon us and there is much to be grateful for.  There is also another season that takes place in independent schools in December and into the New Year.

Friends’ School is immersed in admissions season.  Every day, our classrooms are hosting visiting parents and students.  We are holding several information sessions for entry into preschool, Kindergarten and sixth grade.  We have lots of interest from families in Boulder and those who are moving here.  It is an exciting time.

While strong interest from outside families is of course very welcome, what is most gratifying to me is hearing from current families when our programs exceed expectations. This past week, for example, I received an email from one of our sixth grade parents, Carol Hoeffler. I read: “The experience the students are having and the quality of their middle school experience - socially, emotionally and academically - is beyond my expectations.”

 She added, “The education my daughter is getting at Friends is not only ample for high school preparation, it excels in life preparation, inspiring independent thought and motivated, interested students.”

Over the years in Boulder, Carol has seen her niece go to Casey, her nephew at Platt Choice and her own son at both Southern Hills and Watershed School. She has a good sense of many different middle schools in Boulder. However, from her direct observation of Friends’ new middle school, she knows her daughter Allison is well on the way to being extremely well prepared for high school and for life.

Our 6th graders worked collaboratively to create
proposals for the landscaping of our new North Campus
Allison told her: “There is more work and more responsibility than Friends’ Elementary, but it’s in a way where if you’re having trouble, the teachers will understand what’s going on. I’m learning a lot this year. The teachers are pushing us but are still really kind. There are more expectations but the teachers are interested in your life and where you’re coming from.”

With such a positive experience for her family at Friends’ North Campus, Carol was inspired to ask other families their opinions of Friends’ Middle School.

These first two paragraphs are from families who are brand new to Friends’ in middle school – their sons attended BVSD elementary schools. The last two quotes are from families who continued from Friends’ Elementary School.

“We feel fortunate to be a part of the ‘pioneer group’ at Friends’ Middle School. It’s been exciting and dynamic to work with such a dedicated team of educators. To us, the most important aspect is that our son comes home genuinely excited about school.  He is inspired by his teachers and is obviously enjoying learning. Since the middle school is new and relatively small, we were pleasantly surprised to learn the students have several teachers. Friends’ students contribute significantly to the direction their coursework takes. Their interests are explored in meaningful ways which are applicable in their everyday lives. As Friends’ continues to develop a rich middle school experience, they do so in a way that is consistent with their mission of teaching to the whole child creatively and with integrity.” – Mignon, mom of 6th grader Tanner.

Middle School science lab
“Friends' sixth grade has been a completely different middle school experience. The creative, open learning experience of flipped classrooms; use of technology and Schoology; the attention to community and relationships, together with inner growth; and many inspired learning avenues create a unique and open learning environment where really being yourself is at the root of learning. My pre-teen is finding is that there is enough room to explore himself and be very excited by the joy of learning.”
- Caron, mom of 6th grader Beck

“I never would have imagined that I would enroll my child in a brand-new, small middle school program! I think of this experience as being an incredibly empowering one for my daughter and her classmates. They are, every day, helping create the kind of school and community they want to be in, and it’s impressive to witness how they are carrying that out. These kids are some of the kindest, most selfless, inspiring, and thoughtful kids (or people!) I’ve ever met, and it is such a privilege for my daughter to be with them every day. The community may be small, but it is boundless in heart….

….it really is ridiculously amazing how many incredibly professional, experienced, and thoughtful teachers these kids have. Many are favorites from the elementary school - Diane, Rachel, Kelly, Stephen, and Erika. Then there is the terrific lead teacher, Kevin, who is inspiring my daughter more about learning, especially in science, than I’ve ever seen and stepping up expectations to an appropriate middle school level. Friends’ Middle School is a unique place and an experience I feel so grateful to be able to give my daughter in this critical time in her life.” – Elizabeth, mom of 6th grader Charlotte

“Going into 5th grade at Friends' School we had a terrible sadness when we thought about leaving
Our pioneering 6th grade class at Community Cycles
our community there. In this day, our sense of community is disparate as we become more global citizens. Our families often live a great distance, we move from our home states and neighborhoods are less community driven than ever. The decision to stay at Friends' for middle school was so much more than an academic one. The real-world learning platform is wonderful, it evolves with them and I see the impact it's making daily. For us, Friends' is more than a school, it's a community. We grow and learn and feel safe to fail there, our friends are there, our family is there... it's home.”
- Cinder, mom of 6th grader Tori

Our first sixth grade class, and some of our administrative team, move into the beautiful, newly renovated North Campus main building in January.  Our construction crew is wrapping up their outstanding work this week.

We invite you to come and see it for yourselves - whether your students are moving on to middle school in the next couple of years or still have several more years in our elementary school. Give us a call.

Please click here for details on all of our upcoming admissions events and feel free to pass on this information to your friends and share on social media.

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