The Merger of CDS & TFSSA

Why has Chesterfield Day School (CDS) merged with The Fulton School at St. Albans (TFSSA)?

We are securing and fortifying the long-term well-being of both schools by bringing them back together. This is a strategic rather than a reactive measure, one that represents a thoughtful, well-timed, proactive move of two strategic boards and school leadership teams. Through unifying CDS and TFSSA, we will combine assets and resources and leverage our considerable individual and shared strengths. For more detailed information about the decision click here.


What is the new name?

The merged schools are now referred to as The Fulton School, in honor of Dr. Barb Fulton who, over the course of three decades, grew CDS into a vibrant school community. Dr. Fulton was also the founding head of Chesterfield Day School in St. Albans which was started in the 1990’s. The two schools separated in 2008 and the school in St. Albans changed its name to The Fulton School at St. Albans. It seems fitting that the reunion of these two outstanding schools honors the woman who provided hundreds of students and families with an opportunity to learn and grow in a challenging, nurturing environment.


Who is leading the new entity?

Kara Douglass, the former head of TFSSA, is the Head of School at The Fulton School, leading a combined team of TFSSA and CDS administrators. Peggy Fiala, former Head of CDS, is the Assistant Head responsible for the Lower School (toddlers through 6th grade) and Director of the Learning Center.


What happened to the two Boards of Trustees?

A transition committee made up of members from both boards finalized the make-up and bylaws of the new TFS Board of Trustees.


How do the students benefit from this merger?

Most importantly, our student body will be bigger. Plus, the former CDS students who wish to experience this environment longer will have the opportunity to stay through Upper School (grades 7-12). TFSSA also brought with them some unique programming, like an apiary, farm, and extensive makerspace.


What is the expected combined population for the 2022-23 school year?

We are forecasting somewhere between 165 and 175 students.


How will the Upper School (7-12 grade) students be incorporated into the current building's space?

TFSSA brings years of experience in successfully managing a toddler-through-12th-grade environment. After careful assessment of the buildings and grounds at the White Road camps, the consensus was that we were well set up for separate divisional levels. Our Upper Level provides the right number and configuration of rooms, along with a separate entrance and ample parking space to accommodate students in grades 7-12. We have a strong emphasis on community, connection, and collaboration, and we know it is important for us to be very purposeful and developmentally appropriate in the use of our physical spaces. We look forward to this new endeavor!