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"As the director, I have been asked many times about the origins of our school. Cornerstone Academy was borne out of the closing of another school – the Oxford Academy in Northborough, MA. In the spring of 1996, I was facing unemployment as a K-1 Strand Teacher at Oxford Academy, when I was asked by several of my student’s parents if I would consider teaching their children in the basement of one of their homes. They were impressed with my love of teaching and had seen the many positive changes that I had made in the lives of their children. The notion of teaching in a basement was quickly dismissed but from this thought came a new notion – I would start my own school!

The summer of 1996 was a busy one. With the help of my husband, David, we found a location in Times Square Plaza in Northborough, MA. This site had housed a school the previous year, and the landlord really didn’t want another school in this space. However, David and I were able to convince him of the merits of our proposal and our desire to create a truly unique educational environment. The entire summer was spent writing the curriculum for Kindergarten and First Grade. In August 1996, the Northborough School Committee, with the affirmative recommendation of School Superintendent Robert Mellican, approved our curriculum. With the curriculum in hand and a location in place, the doors opened at Cornerstone Academy in September 1996. My first class had two children, but by the end of the first year, our enrollment had grown to 9 students.

Over the next two years, the school continued to expand, and Grades Two, Three and Four were added to the curriculum. Ms. Marylou Rawlings, a teacher and close friend, joined the faculty in 1997. With Marylou’s help, our enrollment had soared to 28 students by the end of 1998. The following school year, we had outgrown the space and relocated across the street in the Pendleton Square Plaza. In 1999-2000, when our enrollment reached 38 students, a third teacher was added, and we began to look for a newer and larger space.

In the spring of 2000, we moved to our current location, which is nestled on three private, wooded acres on Oak Street. The 5,500 square foot building was renovated that summer to suit our needs with four main classrooms, an afterschool room/function room, and an office/meeting room. In May 2005, the Cornerstone Academy was approved for Grades 5 and 6 by the Northborough School Committee."

- Karen M. McQuade, Director

The name of our school is important to us because it represents our personal philosophy on life.

Towards this end, we offer an analogy. There are four corners to every house. These corners comprise, by design, the foundation of the house. It is understood that a house that is built upon a strong foundation will not fall. Similarly, we believe that there are four-corners to life (i.e. cornerstones).
Cornerstone #1 = Education Our first corner is education.

We believe in the importance of a good education. It is our mission to teach children how to maximize their intellectual potential to benefit themselves and society.

Cornerstone #2 = Social Responsibility The second corner is social responsibility.

We believe that it is important that we teach our children to fulfill their social responsibilities, which in turn, strengthens the individual and our society. We teach the importance of community - to share, to respect others and have self respect.

Cornerstone #3 = Family The third corner is family.

We believe that it is very important that family play a role in education and in the development of proper values. We encourage our parents to be directly involved in the education of their children and be part of our school. Our faculty, parents and students are all part of the “Cornerstone Family”.

Cornerstone #4 = Character The final corner is character.

As educators, we feel it is important to instill a sense of accountability and personal responsibility in all of our students. We believe in the pillars of character: citizenship, fairness, trustworthiness, caring and respect. In addition, the use of manners and social etiquette are an integral part of the Cornerstone experience.
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