A good education is critical. It is our mission to teach children how to maximize their intellectual potential to benefit themselves and society.

Social Responsibility

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 to have self respect.


Parents are the first teachers and the best gift they can give their children is a strong education. We encourage our parents to be directly involved in the education of their children and to be part of our school. Our faculty, parents and students are all part of the “Cornerstone Family”.


Instilling a sense of accountability and personal responsibility in all of our students is of utmost importance to us. 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.


Cornerstone Academy was founded in 1996 when the director, Karen McQuade, followed a dream to start her own school. Her vision was to create a school that tailors instruction to each student’s unique abilities and needs.

In August 1996, the Massachusetts Department of Education and the Northborough School Committee, with the affirmative recommendation of School Superintendent Robert Melican, approved the curriculum and the doors opened at Cornerstone Academy with only two children. In the spring of 2000, the school moved to its current location, which is nestled on three private, wooded acres on Oak Street. With nine teachers and an average of 47 students, the 5,500 square foot building was perfect with four main classrooms, an afterschool room/function room, and an office/meeting room.

Twenty years after opening, Cornerstone has evolved from a single kindergarten classroom to grades K-6. The original goal of building a solid academic foundation for all students has evolved in time to reflect progressive educational philosophies and principles including a solid focus on S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.A.M. topics, creative thinking, problem solving, and collaboration, which are all critical skills for success in the 21st century.

The name of our school is important to us because it represents our personal philosophy on life. Toward 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: education, social responsibility, family and character.  An education built upon these strong foundations, likewise, will also not fall or fail. The success and overall well-being of our past and present students has proven this theory time and time again.

– Karen M. McQuade, Director