Carolina Friends School

Carolina Friends School

We are a pre-K to grade 12 independent Quaker day school serving the greater Durham-Chapel Hill area

An independent Quaker day school for 500 students ages 3 to 18. We strive for excellence in academics, arts, athletics, and ethics. Students benefit from a 1:9 teacher-student ratio and careful attention to each student as a unique individual. We have three Early Schools, which serve students age 3 through kindergarten: one at the Durham Friends Meeting on Duke's campus, one at the Chapel Hill Fri

Operating as usual


How can Quaker education empower students to see themselves as leaders who can create a better, more just world? Let's hear from Upper School Quaker Education Coordinator and Art Teacher Amelia.

This is a brief snapshot from last week’s panel with Drew Smith, Executive Director of the Friends Council on Education, and Carolina Friends educators.


Thank you to our recent alums —

Gavi Fischer '20 (Franklin and Marshall College)
Birtukan Lomax '21 (NC A&T)
Pilar Covington '21 (UNC Chapel Hill)
Meta Covington '21 (Brown University)
Shelby Boulware-Johnson '23 (Stanford University)
Owen Bauer-Lepofsky '23 (Boston University)

— for sharing your invaluable insights in today's "Life After CFS" panel.

We are so proud of you!



Access to books and educational material is the single biggest barrier to literacy development in the United States. Let's re-write this story.

Carolina Friends School is teaming up with Book Harvest to spread the joy of reading in our local community! Drop your new and gently used books for ages 0-18 in one of the donation bins conveniently placed in each of the units and at the Center Building.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 01/05/2024

What new discoveries will our students make in 2024? We can't wait to find out!

Susan, a Carolina Friends community volunteer, recently led Early School scientists through an explosive exploration of volcanoes. The team's tools included handmade sculptures, fizzy soda, and plenty of Mentos.


Jump start your 2024 with intention and self-care!

Join our Extended Learning program's first event of the year: "Recognizing and Repatterning Movement Habits," taught by former Carolina Friends School dance teacher Annie Dwyer and Leah Wilks '05 on January 6 & 7.

You can attend one or both of these immersive experiences, where we'll tune into our bodies, explore different approaches to viewing the body, and learn simple practices for more efficient movement. Learn more at

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 12/27/2023

In a time when conflict in its many forms fills our world, the Friends Council on Education continues to ask, “What is ours to do?”

Carolina Friends School colleagues held this question while presenting at two recent Friends Council on Education conferences.

Amelia Shull, art teacher and Upper School Quakerism coordinator, recently co-facilitated a session at the Spiritual Life and Religious Studies Educators Peer Network event. The theme: How do we support the spiritual health of our community in the midst of the current discombobulation of civic and cultural norms?

Meanwhile, at a Friends Council workshop, Christel Butchart and Ida Trisolini represented Carolina Friends School and Peaceful Schools NC during a 2-day workshop on relationship-based approaches to discipline and conflict resolution.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 12/19/2023

The Durham Early School shined at its annual Festival of Lights! The entire Carolina Friends community was invited to an evening filled with joy, wonder, and exploration, delving into the alchemy of light within darkness. ✨

Highlights included a dance party under the Aurora Borealis, a s'mores station by the campfire, a playground snow machine, and a glow party inspired by the dot art of Yayoi Kusama.


Who’s ready to curl up with a good book over winter break?

Danielle’s middle school language arts classes have started a new annual tradition: The 4th Year Book Swap. Students brought in a total of 238 books to exchange with their peers.

“The stories they brought in reflect such a diverse array of experiences of folks from various walks of life including Black lives, Hispanic lives, Asian and Asian-American lives, Indigenous peoples’ lives, Arab and Arab-American lives, people with disabilities and neurodivergence, LGBTQAI+ lives, and the list goes on…” Danielle shared. “This is quite a testament to the variety of books read by our 4th years.”

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 12/12/2023

"It’s important for young people to learn about these issues and see themselves as agents of change locally and globally," reflected Mike, a Fountain Class teacher.

Over the past 6 weeks, our 3rd and 4th year students have been studying the following questions:

1. What is climate change and what causes it?
2. What are the impacts of climate change?
3. What are people, such as Indigenous groups and scientists, doing to slow climate change?

This project-based learning experience culminated in a showcase of their research, artwork, and inventions for their campus community and family members.

Presentation topics ranged from rising oceans and polar bears to deforestation and wildfires, but a unifying thread ran through them all: Each of us can do our part to combat climate change.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 12/08/2023

This morning, our little learners explored the rich (and tasty) traditions of Hanukkah! Over at the Campus Early School, enthusiastic chefs whipped up latkes worthy of a 👍. At the Chapel Hill Early School, students handcrafted colorful candles to adorn teacher Rachel’s menorah. Thanks to all of the families and peers who helped us learn with these fun, hands-on experiences.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 12/03/2023

Although has come to a close, Middle School students continue to reflect on how they can continue caring for the Earth and its people.

In November, they have researched local indigenous communities, learned about indigenous science from Carolina Friends parent Dr. IndigiNerd - Lee Francis 4, wrote letters to Congress urging for the protection of our local waterways, camped near the Eno River and participated in a four-day exploration led by Jason “Crazy Bear” Keck of 7 Directions of Service about land rights and protection.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/30/2023

A 2021 GLSEN National School Climate survey reported that only 12% of North Carolina students were taught positive representation of LGBTQ+ people, history, or events.

Upper School Librarian Julia Stivers wants this to change.

At this year’s North Carolina School Library Media Association Annual Conference, Julia presented on Queer-centered and Queer-affirming literature.

“Representation and supportive adults can help to mitigate the harm of living in a homophobic and transphobic world,” said Julia. “And I don’t think there’s a better place for this support to take root than in school libraries. Every student comes through our doors and has access to the literature on our shelves.”

Check out some of the titles Julia has added to our Upper School bookshelves below. “Of course it’s important to include books that talk about the potential trauma of coming out, for example," she said. "But the majority of our Queer-centered literature offers roadmaps of joy, hope, and a bright future.”


Register today for Saturday's Early School Open Houses:

Join us at the Chapel Hill Early School at 10am and the Durham Early School at 2pm to learn how Carolina Friends School's unique curriculum can help your child cultivate a lifelong love of curiosity, creativity, and learning.


"I am grateful for CFS and pie. Mostly CFS though."

We're grateful for everyone in our learning community, today and every day!

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/22/2023

We're overjoyed to share the incredible results of the all-school food drive! After Middle Schoolers learned about hunger, food scarcity, and food insecurity in our community, they challenged all families to contribute, gathering a remarkable 1,670 pounds of food!

A round of applause to each person who contributed—your generosity will make a significant difference. Special thanks to PORCH Chapel Hill Carrboro and TABLE for partnering with us to ensure these donations reach those who need them most.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/20/2023

Our Middle School students not only learn with purpose – they actively practice living with purpose!

On Friday, the Middle School's day of service and action activities included packing lunches for Urban Ministries; creating Thanksgiving cards for Meals on Wheels; picking up trash along Friends School Road; cooking casseroles for the SECU Family House; volunteering at our Early Schools; gardening across campus; and more!

How Quaker Testimonies Can Combat White Supremacy - QuakerSpeak 11/17/2023

“I believe that Quakers are uniquely called… to lean into racial equity principles, to engage in the antidotes to white supremacy culture."

Check out former Carolina Friends School Upper School Head Teacher Lauren Brownlee talk with QuakerSpeak about the ways peace, integrity, community, equity, and stewardship can shape anti-racism practices for individual Friends and meetings.

How Quaker Testimonies Can Combat White Supremacy - QuakerSpeak “I believe that Quakers are uniquely called… to lean into racial equity principles, to engage in the antidotes to white…

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/15/2023

Today the curious students at Chapel Hill Early School used scientific observation to find a hidden shape inside an apple: a star ⭐️! Their joyful learning will continue tomorrow when they make applesauce to share with family and friends.

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/13/2023

Once a trimester, Upper School students plan and participate in a Community Engagement Day. Today's included student-run skillshares, service projects, and a documentary screening about Durham’s own Pauli Murray. Thanks to all the students who make our school and community beautiful!

Photos from Carolina Friends School's post 11/10/2023

“While it is humans who start wars, it is also humans who build peace.” ☮️

This week, the Middle School welcomed a delegation of first-, second-, and third-generation survivors of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945 (known as the “hibaku-sha”). Durham is one of three stops on their speaking tour, called “The Hope and Healing Tour: Nagasaki Survivors' Last Message to the United States.”

Students were given the opportunity to learn about the lasting effects of war and encouraged to advocate for a better, more peaceful world.


As part of the Upper School's Mental Health Awareness Month programming, we've enjoyed having therapy animals on campus. Meet Jessie, a very good girl. Students have also had the option to spend time with our neighboring horses. We look forward to welcoming parents and caregivers for a Community Conversation on mental health this Tuesday, highlighting skill-building and connection.


We love when students make connections! These Middle Schoolers were asked to individually identify themes in the novel "Everywhere Blue" on note cards. They then, as a group, used colored string to find connections among those observed themes, creating an opportunity for both colorful and fruitful conversations.


Sometimes the weather is so nice you need a picnic! These Chapel Hill Early Schoolers are showing us all how to enjoy nature while feeding your brain and body.


Our Upper School's production of "Little Shop of Horrors" runs this weekend! Friday, May 5 at 8:00 pm, Saturday, May 6 at 2:00 and 8:00 pm. Come enjoy this classic ode to 1950s B movies.


Congrats to the Carolina Friends students who participated in the recent JUST TRYAN IT triathlon fundraiser for families impacted by pediatric cancer! This effort was family-organized. Reporter on the ground and Middle School parent Dalia Mack said, "The weather turned the triathlon into a run-only race, but everyone still had a great time. This small team of 11 CFS students raised over $10,000 for local families battling childhood cancer and they were the 3rd highest fundraising team out of 25! Three out of the 11 members were honored for raising over $1,000 at the Opening Ceremony."

Photos from Peaceful Schools NC's post 04/25/2023

Congrats to our Peaceful Schools NC facilitators, who recently provided a workshop to Philadelphia-area Quaker schools! This initiative provides Restorative Practices solutions for educators across the country through workshops, school partnerships, and pre-service teacher trainings. 💚

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Videos (show all)

What Does It Mean to Be a Quaker School?
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Giving Day: Aubrey Griffith-Zill '05 shares love and light





4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 4pm
Tuesday 8am - 4pm
Wednesday 8am - 4pm
Thursday 8am - 4pm
Friday 8am - 4pm
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