Community First School (CFS) opened in August of 2020 and now serves children in grades K-4 in North Hartford’s federally designated Promise Zone neighborhoods, Clay Arsenal, Upper Albany, and Northeast. CFS believes in the inherent greatness of each resident, and the mission, vision, and core values embody this philosophy.

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Application for Accreditation Approved !!

On July 17, 2023 Community First School (CFS) received word from the Northeast Association of Schools and Colleges that at its meeting on June 21-22, 2023, the Commission on Independent Schools reviewed the Candidacy Visit Report and was pleased to vote that Community First School be granted the status of Recognized Candidate for Accreditation. The Chair of the Commission reported this favorable vote to the Board of Trustees of the Association at its meeting on September 8, 2023.

This is very exciting news as it affirms the work CFS has accomplished in the fight to prove the capacity of North Hartford’s children and families. A quote directly from the letter is as follows, “The Commission commends Community First School for offering engaging and individualized instruction to its young students and applauds the efforts to deliver an experiential academic program while providing essential social and emotional support in the north end of Hartford, in the Promise Zone. Honoring the value of each child and family in the community they live in and incorporating community-supported human services is at the center of the model. The Commission commends the thoughtful growth of the school program and the extensive summer offerings. The support of the surrounding community for services and for funding will continue to be a cornerstone for Community First School to achieve its mission. The Commission commends the school for assembling an experienced and diverse Board of Directors well-versed in navigating many of the challenges the school must overcome to become a mainstay in the community.”


By partnering with community groups and implementing a whole-family care, relationship-based, and place-based program, CFS empowers children to own their greatness, and become passionate, independent learners able to compete, collaborate, and innovate in a diverse world.


CFS combines a place-based philosophy with essential social and emotional supports and a strong community partnership initiative to deliver an experiential academic program with the highest expectations, honoring the value of each child and family, and incorporating community supported human services to meet the needs of students in grades K-4 (scaling up each year to serve grades K-5).

When one walks into Community First School they will see:

  • Students actively learning through purposeful project-based experiential activities, tied to individual student interests and goals.
  • Students or family members who greet you with a warm smile and engaging conversation.
  • Students and families taking a walk to a local landmark to participate in a field learning experience.
  • Teachers and families meeting in the community to celebrate student growth and seek input on how to best serve the child.
  • Visual representations and student work representing the cultural diversity of the families who live in North Hartford’s neighborhoods.
  • Daily activities where student culture and diversity is on display through music, call and response, staff and community testimonies, and other culturally relevant activities.
  • Community partner organizations and volunteers providing student and parent services in the visual and performing arts, health and nutrition, physical fitness, and after school academic tutoring.