Crossroads School provides a unique K-12 program built on a progressive, developmental model of education. Crossroads was founded in 1971 by Paul Cummins, along with a small group of teachers and parents, who wanted to provide a new approach to learning in a nonprofit, coeducational college preparatory day school.
As a college preparatory school, we certainly believe in the importance of academic success, yet not at the expense of a child’s emotional or social well-being. While students need to be challenged, we feel that it is crucial to develop and deliver curriculum that is appropriate for the age and ability of each grade level. This is what we mean when we describe ourselves as a “developmental” school.
Crossroads recognizes that there are many ways to learn. Integral to our identity as a progressive school is the notion that our teachers must design instruction that incorporates a variety of learning styles. Equally important is our belief that the curriculum should have meaning and interest for the student. It is, therefore, necessary to create inquiry-based lessons that explore and build upon the students’ knowledge base. In order to accomplish these objectives, teachers must know their students intimately. Therefore, relationship is the key to our educational model. In short, teachers at Crossroads are expected to know their students as individuals, determine how they learn best, and teach accordingly. Additionally, we view education as a work in progress. We constantly review what we do and how we do it with an eye to what needs to be refined, changed, or retained, always committed to the importance of offering a most relevant and meaningful educational experience.
Since our inception, Crossroads’ commitment to all forms of diversity has made it possible for us to be racially, economically, geographically, and culturally inclusive. Even in the earliest days, Crossroads made a major commitment to community service and soon developed a comprehensive program that served as inspiration for many other schools. In the 1990s we developed a different facet of community service we called “institutional community service” and created a separate non-profit foundation, the Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation, so that the School could model the values expected of our students.
Statement of Philosophy
The School was built upon five basic commitments:
It is the goal of Crossroads School to provide a strong college preparatory program from which each student will develop a personal commitment to learning, a respect for independent thinking, and an expanding curiosity about the world and its people. We consider certain skills to be essential for all graduates: to read well, to write clearly and coherently, to study effectively, to reason soundly, and to question thoughtfully.
Through the educational process, we assist students in gaining self-esteem, self-knowledge, and respect for the knowledge and opinions of others. We believe that education must not be a race for the accumulation of facts, but should be an enriching end in itself. We also believe that education is a joint venture among students, parents and teachers. To be effective with young people, teachers and parents must themselves continue to learn, so that they may perceive the young accurately and treat them wisely.
We believe that the arts are an essential part of the curriculum and that it is important for students to express themselves creatively and to use their imaginations freely. Therefore, music, drama, visual arts, film, writing and dance are significant parts of student life at Crossroads.
Through our academic and extra-curricular programs, we seek to promote social, political and moral understanding, and to instill a respect for the humanity and ecology of the earth.
We understand that there are many kinds of intelligence, and the traditional academic, cognitive area is one. Other important areas of intelligence are intuition, imagination, artistic creativity, physical expression and performance, sensitivity to others and self-understanding. To neglect any of these areas is to limit students in the development of their full human potential.
We believe that the uniqueness of children is revealed in their very existence and that it is the School’s responsibility to foster their innate sense of the mystery and joy of life.