The educational program at Crossroads Elementary School captures the school philosophy.  A strong academic program, emerging from social studies themes and topics, connects the arts, community service, health and fitness education, and environmental education.

At the heart of all of our educational programs is our nurture of the social, emotional, physical and spiritual development of each child.

Springing from our roots in progressive education, we know that learning should be experiential, child-centered and socially mindful. With these ideas in mind, we have deepened our approach to teaching and learning over the years in order to encourage student initiative and ownership, promote inquiry, foster dialogue, expand and strengthen thinking processes, and develop basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics, speaking and listening.

Because we believe that children build or construct their own understanding of the world around them based on what they already know, we have adopted a “constructivist” approach to education. The most important difference in a constructivist classroom is that the teacher no longer always tells the children what they need to know. Rather, the children spend time figuring out how to solve problems across all areas of the curriculum.

The constructivist principles that are the bedrock of our teaching and learning at Crossroads Elementary School are as follows:

  • We believe that learning happens most effectively when we offer academic problems that challenge students to grapple first with big ideas and to discern for themselves, with teacher mediation, the parts that require more investigation.
  • We believe that curriculum must be relevant to each student. We seek to pose problems and structure classroom experiences that foster the creation of personal meaning for the student.
  • We view students as thinkers with emerging theories about the world rather than as recipients of knowledge from the teacher.
  • We believe that students learn from one another and from the world around them rather than solely from the teacher.
  • We believe that the process of learning is more important than the product or “right answer” alone.

The beginning years (K-2) of our program allow for the many variations that are a natural function of child development. From third to fifth grades, students are given increased responsibilities, long range projects, and problem-solving opportunities in a non-competitive atmosphere.

I hope you will come and visit us and see the program in action!


Debbie Wei
Director of the Elementary School
    • Debbie Wei, Director of the<br> Elementary School

      Debbie Wei, Director of the
      Elementary School

Middle and Upper School: 21st Street Campus | 1714 21st St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 | Phone: (310) 829-7391
Elementary School: Norton Campus | 1715 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90404 | Phone: (310) 828-1196
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences provides a unique K-12 program built on a progressive, developmental model of education.