Cambridge Friends School is a learning community guided by Quaker values and a long-standing belief in educational excellence for everyone. In small classes, CFS teaches and empowers students to take ownership of the educational process through experiential learning.
As the only Quaker school in Massachusetts, seeing the light in every person commits us to social justice with a special emphasis on anti-bias education. Our students understand their individual and collective identities in local and global contexts, value the lived experiences and journeys of others, build strong community roots, and are confident in their skills to positively impact the world.
This five year strategic plan presents four pillars to support the school’s vital educational mission.
I. Outstanding Academics
Academics are the heart of CFS. Our mission calls for an outstanding education and meaningful learning. Over the next five years we will ensure a community-wide familiarity with the CFS academic program across all grades, as well as the resulting impact of a CFS education. We will continue to support our teachers in their professional growth as educators in the classroom and beyond.
- Form a faculty committee to define “outstanding education” and “meaningful learning” at CFS. By Fall 2020, create a report of committee conclusions and use to inform future work.
- Complete a curriculum map, create and share a summary version of the curriculum map by Spring 2020, and establish annual processes for employees to revisit the curriculum map.
- Improve new employee orientation and ongoing mentoring on academics and schedule time for faculty to discuss academic programming within and across divisions.
- Establish a process to track student outcomes after CFS and use results to inform review and revision of academic program.
- Define program enrichment within each grade’s curriculum that supports the academics and offer after school opportunities that enrich student experience through academically based activities and clubs.
II. Community Diversity
CFS believes in the power of a diverse community. Over the next five years we will ensure the support offered to diverse students, especially those of color, remains strong and we will expand support for the experience of diverse employees and families within the school. We will engage the larger community in the learning and action of anti-racism and anti-bias education.
- Form a Diversity Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees and adopt a statement of best practices for initiatives and goals at the board level to understand, support, and improve the experience of diverse people, especially those of color, in the school community.
- Ensure support for all employees of the school to practice and promote the school’s anti-bias principles and curriculum within the school and in the broader community and apply these principles in the employee evaluation process.
- Recruit, support, and retain people of color to double the 2019 percentage to 30% of the faculty and staff.
- Recruit, support, and retain students of color to sustain the 2019 percentage of at least 48%.
- Recruit, support, and retain Quakers students to double the 2019 percentage to 6% of the students.
- Create an affinity group or equivalent support for LGBTQ+ identified students.
III. Sustainable Enrollment
CFS exists to educate children. Having children enrolled and engaged in the school is the core of the community. Over the next five years we will grow enrollment across all grade levels and this enrollment growth will reflect CFS’s commitment to diversity -- cultural, gender, racial, religious, and socio-economic – as well as our commitment to equity, integrity, and sustainability.
- Continue to lead area independent schools in maintaining a higher percentage of school income committed to financial aid. Use financial aid as an enrollment tool for all family income tiers to build enrollment in the middle school.
- Increase enrollment by at least 6% over each of the next five years.
- 3. Achieve an annual attrition rate of less than 10%.
IV. Fiscal Stewardship
Responsible stewardship calls for clearly defined and purposeful fiscal practices. Over the next five years we will improve the school’s long-term financial stability by following such practices, increasing fundraising, and improving endowment management. In addition, we will explore uses of the school’s real estate to realize additional financial benefit for sustaining the school’s mission.
- Operate at a balanced budget while working to increase annual fundraising to 10% of annual income of the school.
- Establish the school’s endowment and determine policy for use of those funds.
- Form a community-wide task force that works with external consultants and real estate professionals to develop recommendation for leveraging the school's real estate to support increasing enrollment and the school’s financial needs by Fall 2020.
- Develop a mission-aligned master plan for use of the school’s real estate to improve the school and drive enrollment including either the renovation of current facility or construction of a new facility.