Head of School's Blog

Why Do Families Choose Fayerweather?

Kim Ridley, Head of School
Fayerweather Street School has been educating students for over 54 years. We are a small, close-knit community located in the heart of the Fresh Pond neighborhood in Cambridge. There are many schools to choose from in Cambridge and Boston. Many of these schools have large campuses, swimming pools, tennis courts, and beautiful facilities. Facilities are important, but a larger priority is creating a sense of connection, purpose, and belonging. We continue to learn the importance of paying close attention to our student's and staff's humanity. One of our most important values at FSS is the centering of relationships. When people within our learning community feel seen, heard, valued, and respected, we see a greater openness to learn, develop and transform.
At Fayerweather, we place relationships and well-being at the heart of all we do. Teaching is an interactive process that starts from a place of connection and a joining of knowledge between learners. We believe that children teach us as much as we teach them. A fundamental tenet of our progressive education is modeling and facilitating a process where students take ownership of their learning. Learning happens everywhere, within and outside classrooms, with and without formally trained teachers.
Learning is viewed as a partnership between parents, staff, teachers, and students. This partnership allows us to take advantage of our community's existing knowledge and talents. Parents share their expertise with us, children bring their interest forward, while teachers, staff, and administrators create opportunities for all this learning to coalesce into a robust and rigorous interaction of information, knowledge, and growth. 
Fayerweather provides multiple entry points to connect students with who they are as people and learners. From the projects students work on, the books they read, and the field trips they take, students understand that learning is contextual, evolving, and dynamic. Central to a Fayerweather education is developing important skills, such as perspective-taking, asking critical questions, writing and presenting information, and considering different ways of approaching problems; whether it is learning a math algorithm, working in the science lab, or managing difficult friendships, we learn that all people see and make sense of the world through their social lenses and that culture shapes what we see and understand about ourselves and others. Our formal and informal curriculum intentionally creates windows to help students see the world outside themselves, while mirrors provide students with positive reflections of who they are and can be.
Fayerweather believes in the innate potential of all who learn here. Our mission reminds us daily that people learn best in a community where they are seen, heard, encouraged, and loved. Our secret sauce is our deep regard for what it means to be human and how we model and live this vital interaction and process.
Kimberly Ridley,
Head of Fayerweather Street School
Fayerweather Street School | 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 | 617-876-4746
Fayerweather is a private PreK, kindergarten, elementary and middle school. We engage each child’s intellect.