Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of Circle of Friends (CoF)? Visit our Mission Statement.
When was CoF founded? Visit Our History.
How many schools have implemented CoF? 245 CoF chapters have been launched across seven states, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. More than 90,000 students with and without special needs have been positively impacted.
Is CoF a non-profit organization? Circle of Friends is a project of Community Partners (our fiscal sponsor), a registered 501(c)(3).
Tax ID # 95-4602067
I am a parent or student interested in starting a Circle of Friends (CoF) chapter, what do I do? Please contact Robyn Stack Reagan, CoF Executive Director, at Robyn@CircleoFriends.org, and she will provide you with program information to share with your local school administrators. CoF partners with schools at the district level.
Can elementary and middle schools start a chapter? Yes, CoF has many successful elementary and middle school chapters. CoF is for all grades levels—elementary through high school and helps to smooth the often difficult transition from one school to the next.
I am a general education student interested in joining a chapter. What's involved?
If there is an active chapter at your school, participating in CoF involves meeting a student with special needs once a week at lunch for the entire school year. Attendance at special monthly group activities, on or off campus, is encouraged but not required.
What does Circle of Friends (CoF) provide? CoF partners with schools at the district level to offer two years of consultation to develop an inclusion program that provides a systematic approach to improving social and language skills for students with special needs. Schools receive a comprehensive manual, three workshops in Year 1 and Year 2 in addition to monthly resources an phone and email support. An experienced Program Facilitator travels to you to conduct the workshops and is available for consult in-between.
How long does it take to implement CoF? School staff typically attend workshops in the spring or early fall. Within two months of the first workshop, your chapter will start CoF at lunchtime. After two full years, you will have a strong, self-sustained inclusion program that includes lunch groupings and monthly activities on campus and in the community, Student-led Ability Awareness, Bullying Prevention, and other inclusive service learning opportunities positively impact students, educators and community members.
What grade level is CoF for? CoF is for elementary, middle and high schools, as well as college campuses.
What are the components of the program? Visit our Program Description page.
Is CoF a program or a school club? CoF is a social and language skills program of inclusion; however, schools often run CoF as a club so that it has a “niche” on campus.
Who runs CoF on a daily basis? CoF is run by elected school advisors, preferably a team consisting of a speech-language pathologist, a special education teacher and a school administrator.
Are there statistics/data to support the success of CoF? There is quantifiable evidence that participants in CoF with special needs have shown positive improvement in social and language skills. Evidence also indicates that general education students improve communication and leadership skills and that campus bullying decreases. For more detailed information, contact the CoF office at Robyn@CircleoFriends.org.
Is there a cost to implement CoF? Yes, for information on cost and funding resources, contact Robyn Stack Reagan, CoF Program Director, at Robyn@CircleoFriends.org.
What happens at the end of two years of consultation? After two years, when CoF is fully implemented on campuses, there are options for districts to strengthen their programs through Chapter Continuation Agreements with CoF to create internal trainers, connect, get refreshers, and collaborate with other regional chapters Our standard agreement, renewed annually, allows for continued phone and email support, use of the CoF logo, and membership in a movement that is sweeping the country! Schools will also continue to receive and contribute to a nationally-distributed quarterly newsletter, highlighting innovative projects implemented by other schools along with updates from the national organization. Under the Chapter Continuation Agreement, district schools remain official CoF chapters, branding your district as an inclusive site working to decrease bullying and meet the needs of a beautifully diverse student body.
My district/school is ready to begin a CoF chapter, now what? Great news! Please contact Robyn Stack Reagan at Robyn@CircleoFriends.org to get started.
Don’t see your question here, contact our Executive Director, Robyn Stack Reagan at Robyn@CircleoFriends.org..