Our Philosophy


We believe that students learn best when they are actively engaged in an experientially rich, hands-on program of study in classrooms that serve as working models of the learning community we strive to create.  Students are challenged to develop critical thinking skills and to reach ambitious academic goals while developing self-respect and respect for others.  Curiosity and creativity are valued; teachers function as guides and partners.

We are required to participate in the North Carolina ABCs of Accountability End-of-Grade testing program, and we follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in all tested subjects.  However, we teach using authentic learning materials and individualized instruction, rather than textbooks and pre-programmed curricula.  Students read in self-chosen age- and ability-appropriate novels, write on self-chosen topics, use primary sources for research, and use manipulatives to study math concepts.  This method of teaching requires small classroom sizes (we average 16 students per class),  and a strong sense of personal accountability from each student.

Different students learn differently.  We are therefore committed to the full integration of the arts into our classrooms, so that students can demonstrate their learning in ways other than pencil-and-paper.

The learning community we strive to create includes students, teachers, parents and guardians, and the community working in partnership.  Parents and guardians are always welcome in the classroom, and staff works hard to be responsive to parents and guardians on the telephone and in conferences.  We encourage parents and guardians to be responsive to us as well.

Finally, we are committed to honoring the professionalism and skill of our talented and diverse teaching staff.




Francine Delany New School For Children is an inclusive community that is committed to promoting social justice and preserving the inherent worth and human dignity of every person.

As individuals and as a school we will:

  • Practice fairness and equality for people of every race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, socio-economic status, religious belief, political view and other identiities.
  • Analyze multiple perspectives on historical and contemporary issues.
  • Build a community of critical thinkers who are active in the world.


We are committed to ongoing learning, raising awareness, and fostering dialogue around issues of social justice.