Strategic Goals


I.  Strategic Goal: Facilities Enhancement

Valuing simplicity, stewardship and the environment compels us to cultivate facilities that respect nature and are designed for optimal learning within a context of safety and nurturance.  We believe our facilities should embody our approach to education and enable us to deliver a robust curriculum while attracting and retaining a diverse and vibrant community. Improving our facilities, as evidence of our commitments to quality and sustainability, is critical to our development. Undertaking facilities enhancement will accomplish the following goals:   

Increase our visibility

Enhance programmatic capacity and quality

Model environmental stewardship

Create a permanent home for FSW


Phase 1: Engage an architect to create a phased master plan and process map for the FSW property on Peiffer Avenue. This plan could include a multi-purpose facility, an entryway from Camellia Lane, signage on Oleander Drive, and safety enhancements.

Phase 2: Construct permanent classroom buildings on the Peiffer Campus.

Phase 3: Create a unified campus.

II. Strategic Goal: Market Positioning 

Community and service are core values of Friends School of Wilmington and strong stewards of the community are focused on serving their neighbors. By growing our school and becoming a more inclusive community, we will enrich the lives of more children, and the FSW community will live more fully its mission of equality and social justice. We seek to expand our inclusive community to the current capacity of 205 students, helping families of all backgrounds find us and benefit from a Friends School education. We will widen and deepen understanding of the things we do best—creative and critical thinking, collaboration, leadership and service—all with a mindful approach. Building a robust applicant pool made up of families who are fully committed to the mission and values of FSW will contribute to our vitality, growth, and financial sustainablilty.



We will complete a marketing study that answers the questions:

What is the perception of Friends School in Wilmington?
How do we most effectively appeal to the current market, by raising FSW’s profile, giving students even more enriching experiences, highlighting our extended offerings, increasing diversity, and/or developing virtual partnerships with other 21st century learners?

Rebrand: Informed by the results of the marketing study, we will develop and implement a compelling rebranding plan. We will integrate these results with our long-standing connection to 325 years of 21st century education.  We will communicate the resonance between neuroscience and our inquiry-based pedagogical approach. We will answer the question, Why Friends? making clear FSW’s distinct and exceptional qualities in our region. We will create cohesive and thorough internal-marketing and parent-education programs through digital media and human connection.

Extending our Reach

We will establish partnerships with area non-profits, corporations, educational institutions, the larger Friends school network, and NCAIS, with the goal of making FSW more connected to Wilmington and to learners around the world. An “in conjunction with” approach will make visible the ways in which we can grow, having a greater impact on the lives of our students, families, and community. We will explore flexible tuition and the benefits it would bring to FSW, such as making our community more inclusive by changing the perception of affordability/accessibility. It is also necessary to extend our programming, increasing extracurricular activities, sports, and after-school enrichment so as to expand the social pool that is an important part of the Friends School experience.

III. Strategic Goal: Curriculum

Fortify the FSW educational experience as preparation for  21st-century leadership

For 20 years, the heart of the FSW mission has been the education of the whole child. Through a values-based, character-enhancing, experiential learning model, FSW engenders a life-long love of learning and facilitates the development of skills that lead to successful engagement in 21st-century leadership.  We embrace this approach because we want our children to look through the lens of what is possible. Our children leave FSW as creative and compassionate problem-solvers, well on their way to success as professionals, and life-long learners. In countless surveys, major employers highlight the following character traits, skills, and mindset qualities that are valuable to employers in the 21st century:

The ability to work well in teams—especially with people different than yourself

An understanding of science and technology and how these subjects are used in real-world settings

The ability to write and speak well

The ability to think clearly about complex problems

The ability to analyze a problem and develop workable solutions

An understanding of the global context in which work is now done

The ability to be creative and innovative in solving problems

The ability to apply knowledge and skills in new settings

The ability to understand numbers and statistics

A strong sense of ethics and integrity

Feedback from alumni and alumni families, as well as current members of the FSW community, tells us that FSW is singular in Wilmington in its approach to planting the seeds of these skills in the elementary and middle-school years.  Along with fostering the growth of our students, we will continue to prioritize teacher quality through in-service training, instructional support, professional development, and evaluation/feedback, ensuring a rigorous education that tends to the whole child.

In the service of enhancing our curriculum, we also believe it is important to pursue a central initiative in the next three years, one that may have a variety of discrete manifestations.


We will establish our curriculum as a national model of place-based learning, which includes service learning and real-world application across grades. This involves using Wilmington’s location and history as a living lab that cultivates the development of skills, concepts, and citizenship, emphasizing fundamental Quaker values such as environmental stewardship, equality, and social justice. We will expand Spanish-language instruction and cultural opportunities, and further integrate technology, creating possibilities/partnerships that would otherwise be inaccessible. We will also develop programs to merge skills of creativity, design, and entrepreneurship as a means of teaching practical problem-solving.

IV. Strategic Goal: Ensure financial sustainability

Ensuring financial sustainability allows us to create and maintain a flourishing future for Friends School of Wilmington.  Our commitments to integrity and stewardship require us to build capacity only by a fiscally sound approach to budgeting and an expansion of philanthropic resources.


We will pursue training for staff, Board of Trustees, and the Board’s Finance Committee on current best practices of financial planning for sustainability in independent schools. We aim to increase giving to the Annual Fund by 5% each year for the next three years. Finally, we will plan a capital campaign for facilities enhancement and determine the feasibility of developing an FSW endowment fund.

Friends School of Wilmington Wilmington, NC 28409 910.791.8221 (PreK-2nd Grade) 910.792.1811 (3rd - 8th Grade) Contact Us (FSOW)
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