Carbondale New School

Serving Southern Illinois since 1974

The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled


Child-centered and Teacher-led


Carbondale New School has always been on the cutting edge of educational reform that empowers students to be successful on all levels. Our emphasis has always been on the whole child. We have high academic standards, but meet them successfully only because we meet all of our students’ needs from the social to the emotional.

In 2016, we took another step in improving the quality of education for each and every student by becoming a teacher-led school. Teacher-led schools are increasingly common as students, parents and teachers strive to improve the educational experience for all. According to the NEA, teacher-led schools have been in operation since the 1970s, when CNS first opened. The NEA also has several programs helping schools to become teacher-led.

According to U.S. News and World Report there are more than 60 teacher-led schools currently operating in the United States. They range in student enrollment from 50-650, although the average teacher-led school in the report had an enrollment of 169 students. One thing that most teacher-led schools have in common is that decisions are made in a more democratic way by the consensus of the teachers. Teachers take on the roles and responsibilities that they are most qualified and comfortable with.

For the coming school year, we will continue to be teacher-led, with Kathy Compton as our director and financial officer.