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.

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 to have self respect.

The third corner is family.

We believe that it is very important for families to 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 to be part of our school. Our faculty, parents and students are all part of the “Cornerstone Family”.

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.


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.

– Karen M. McQuade, Director