Friends School

A nonprofit organization

For more than 30 years, Friends School has provided a rich academic and social-emotional curriculum that prepares our graduates to enter the world as kind and confident citizens. Our two beautiful campuses serve grades preschool through 8th.


"From Preschool to 8th grade, Friends School has always been warm hearted and filled with kindness. If there's one thing I've learned at Friends, it is to always chase your dreams and not to stop until you've caught them."

"It really has been an extraordinary year and we are so grateful to be at Friends. The strong intention behind the teaching and interaction that I've witnessed among teachers and the children has been inspiring!"

"With both of our children, we saw incredible strides in their emotional, social and academic lives. The teachers communicate with children and parents on such a candid level that one cannot help but listen and appreciate their words."

"I am constantly blown away by this amazing preschool. The teachers are the most talented, dedicated, nurturing, well-educated, fun people! My very hesitant, shy son warmed up to them in seconds. At our parent conference we received such valuable information about our son's development. This again showed us the teachers are not only experts in their field, but know my son at such a deep level."

"Friends taught me that it was OK to be myself, to explore new concepts, and always let me be myself. It wasn't just about getting good marks on the test, it was about how I expanded my ideas, how I wrote a paper that composed my thoughts, how I presented my findings, and how I allowed my voice to be heard. They set me up as an individual who could make her ideas known in the world and was not afraid."

"The teachers are thoughtful, kind, listen to the students and parents, and give amazing instruction. The classroom is organized, creative, and structured. I love that I get to be a part of my child's school."

"There are many places our son could gain the academic prowess he'll need to at least have the chance to go to a great university, and Friends School is among them. But I've never encountered a school that fosters warmth, love of learning, and an almost spiritual feeling of togetherness like Friends does....Enrolling at Friends was the best choice we have ever made."

Middle School testimonials:
"If getting ready for high school is a worry, it shouldn't be, because I'm definitely getting prepared but in a more fun way. There's more work and more responsibility 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."

"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. This more traditional middle school arrangement has provided our son with an opportunity to learn about juggling multiple classes, communicating with teachers independently, and appreciating different teaching styles. In constrast to more mainstream middle schools, Friends students contribute significantly to the direction their coursework takes. Their interests are explored in meaningful ways which are applicable in their everyday lives. Additionally, through mini courses and labs the students are learning in a hands-on manner about a variety of concepts and themes. For our physically active student, this type of instruction is fun and engaging. 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."

"Going into 5th grade at Friends School we had a terrible sadness when we thought about leaving 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."

"Before we came to Friends, I never would have imagined that I would enroll my child in a brand-new, small middle school program! I was far too risk averse for that...



Making the world better by challenging minds, nurturing spirits and honoring individuality.


Friends School is a supportive, dynamic community committed to educating the whole child-head, hand, and heart - and to training exceptional teachers for tomorrow's classrooms. We provide a strong academic foundation while developing creative expression and nurturing a passion for learning. Our students gain a deep understanding of themselves and are inspired to act with compassion and integrity.


We believe in Head, Hand and Heart.

We recognize and celebrate the gifts, challenges and inspirations of each individual. There are many ways to be smart, and there are many ways to learn about the world. Our teachers nurture students' natural curiosity by engaging their minds, bodies and spirits in the learning process. Teachers ensure that students' physical, social, emotional and cognitive interests are being engaged and strengthened in all learning experiences.

We believe in community.

A true education is founded in the myriad of life's meaningful personal experiences and connections. Being part of a community where everyone feels safe, valued and connected greatly enhances learning. Our school is a place where everyone is nurtured and respected for his or her individuality and contributions to the good of the whole. We hold in high esteem rituals and traditions that help children develop self-awareness and understanding of themselves as part of the bigger world.

We believe learning is for life.

We inspire a lifelong love of learning. We understand that quality education is a cumulative, integrated process and that child-centered, critical and creative learning experiences are essential. We value the integration of the arts into a well-rounded education. We intentionally cultivate a growth mindset, in which our students and teachers learn to thrive on challenge and see failure as a springboard for growth. Through individual and cooperative hands-on learning experiences, our students construct their own knowledge and engage with the real world.

We believe in the importance of social and emotional learning.

Our social and emotional curriculum helps students learn self-awareness and self-regulation, which in turn facilitate their interactions with and understanding of others. This begins with knowing our own emotions and needs and how to express and manage them appropriately. It includes recognizing and responding to the needs and emotions of others through empathy, gratitude, compassion, and the intentional teaching of kindness. Ultimately, having effective strategies for listening and speaking with one another develops an ability to problem solve in all kinds of situations, often leading to inspired conclusions and stronger interpersonal relationships.

We believe in providing a rich and challenging academic program.

Our teachers understand that learning requires discussion, experimentation, creative experiences, and context and it is these building blocks that provide the basis for academic learning at Friends. Teachers employ multiple instructional strategies to be sure that our high academic standards are met, or surpassed, in lessons that are engaging, authentic, and meaningful to students. Our teachers integrate content areas that combine art, math, science, literacy, social studies and music to reflect the natural learning process and an understanding of current brain research. Our students become fluent readers, articulate writers, sound mathematicians, critical scientists, and curious global citizens.

We believe in training teachers.

Friends School offers a unique Teacher Preparation Program to aspiring teachers that enables them to attain a Colorado teaching license as well as a Master's degree in education. We partner with public, charter and other independent schools throughout Boulder County to give Teacher Candidates an exceptional hands-on classroom teaching experience with a mentor teacher. Our program launches new teachers with every tool to be successful in their careers. We actively support our current faculty and staff with on-going professional and self-development opportunities.

We believe in environmental stewardship.

Experiencing the wonder and beauty of nature is intrinsically valuable and is critical to developing environmentally conscious citizens. Friends teaches children about sustainable living practices and provides rich experiences with the natural world. Children who understand the complexity and interconnections in our world are personally motivated to work toward the sustainability of the planet and make conscious choices about the use of the earth's resources.

We believe in preserving the joy and innocence of childhood.

In a world where children are exposed to endless stimuli and in which they can grow up too fast, we aspire to be a caring and nurturing environment where children are simply children. We understand the essential role that play and imagination form in the development of young minds and bodies. Play is how children begin to understand their world. Laughter, meaningful social experiences, and connection help children to be in an emotional state to be ready to learn.

We believe that diversity makes our community stronger.

We prepare children to have successful relationships with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, and family structures. We recognize each person possesses unique intelligences, talents, affinities, and challenges. We discuss, embrace, and learn about many aspects of diversity in the classroom: race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, family structure, learning styles, skills, challenges, and interests. We help children utilize this knowledge and to recognize and respond to issues of prejudice and injustice. We respect our differences and understand that diversity makes our community a healthier place.

We believe in partnership.

We understand that education is a journey and that a strong partnership between home and school is essential. We actively include parents in their child's education and the life of the school. We have a robust Parent Education program that supports parents to be their best. We communicate frequently with parents and, by providing diverse opportunities for participation, we ensure that everyone has a place at Friends School. As well as partnering with other public and independent schools in our Teacher Preparation Program, we also partner with local organizations for service and off-campus learning opportunities. Friends is a private school with a public purpose.

Background Statement

Founded in 1987, Friends School was run by a small group of dedicated parents (Bev Cole, Joan Lieberman and Hope Morrissett) who wanted a school where the whole child is educated and revered for who they are.

The school was started initially as a kindergarten class with eight students comprised of the founder's children and their friends. In 1989, as enrollment continued to increase, the founders moved the school from a small building on Marine Street to a home they purchased on Pennsylvania Avenue which serves as the preschool building today. Many of the practices and traditions that still exist today were created during these early years.

Today Friends School remains true to this vision and offers a comprehensive, independent, nonsectarian program for children in Preschool (age 3) through middle school (age 14). We challenge students through experimentation, exploration, and direct instruction with small classes, low student to teacher ratios, and active, involved parents. The founding students named the school, Friends School because "...our school is where our friends are."

Organization Data


Organization name

Friends School

other names

Friends School, NA, Friends' British Primary School, Inc.

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)





Friends School South Campus / Elementary and Preschool 5465 Pennsylvania Avenue
Boulder, CO 80303


Friends School North Campus / Middle School and Teacher Preparation Program 3800 Kalmia Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US





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