The Crossroads Experience

Elementary School

The perfect balance of learning and fun.

Each day begins with a warm hug or high-five from the director, who greets every child by name at the front door. Inside, our youngest learners experience the thrill of discovery in an enrichingly diverse environment that values each student’s interests, background and unique point of view.

Learning with Meaning

Crossroads empowers students to problem-solve across all areas of the curriculum. Teachers guide student inquiry through dynamic lessons that are experiential, child-centered and socially mindful. Children develop their natural exuberance, playfulness and eagerness for personal expression through physical education, Life Skills and the arts.

Ideas Into Actions

The Elementary School places a strong emphasis on issues relating to social justice. Crossroads gives students the tools to be “upstanders” who speak up for what they believe is right and contribute to their communities and their world.

A Welcoming Community

The Elementary School offers a cozy “second home” where parents, guardians and teachers create a nurturing space for children to flourish. Weekly Monday Morning Meetings and Friday Gatherings—which may feature cultural celebrations, student presentations or a rousing performance by the Parent Band—enhance a sense of unity and belonging.

Elementary School

Curriculum
To learn more about our Elementary School curriculum, click on any of the subject headers below.

List of 9 items.

  • Arts

    First and second graders take Creative Dance and Movement to understand and value their bodies in action; strengthen the mind/body connection; and increase self-esteem, kinesthetic awareness and social skills. Drama is offered beginning in second grade; skills are integrated and developed through scene work and gently taught through exercises that become more complex as children move through the grade levels. The music curriculum is based on the Orff-Shulwork process and includes options in chorus, strings, wind instruments and band. Through the visual arts program, students build basic skills and techniques in clay work, painting, printmaking, drawing, sculpture and collage.
  • Athletics

    The Elementary School Athletics program, offered to fifth graders, emphasizes safety, sportsmanship, participation, self-confidence, skill development and fun. Fifth-grade athletics takes place after school; players practice together and play games against other schools. There are three “seasons” for fifth-grade sports:

    • Fall: Coed Flag Football and Girls Basketball
    • Winter: Boys Basketball, Girls Volleyball and Coed Swimming
    • Spring: Coed Soccer and Boys Volleyball
  • Human Development

    The Human Development program comprises Life Skills, Physical Education, Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) and Service Learning. Through Life Skills, children express their thoughts and feelings on a variety of topics and learn conflict mediation, speaking from the heart and listening attentively. The Physical Education program emphasizes teamwork and sportsmanship; physical fitness and mind/body awareness; skill development; and respect for oneself and others. Fourth and fifth graders participate in overnight EOE trips to study early California history and marine biology, respectively. Through the Service Learning program, students engage in projects including conservation; working with the elderly; contributing to local food banks; and advocating for those marginalized in our society and communities.
  • Language Arts

    Our balanced literacy program enables students to become independent, flexible and resilient readers and writers. Children read a range of literature representing our diverse city and world. They develop strong phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, and understand that a text’s meaning is derived through an interchange between the reader and the text. Instruction is scaffolded so that students gradually learn to read increasingly complex texts. Writing is taught as an explicit skill and with ample time for independent practice. Students create authentic pieces of writing intended for specific audiences and learn how to generate writing ideas across topics and genres.
  • Library and Technology

    The library program centers on literature and information literacy and contains 13,000 books and materials. Students learn about the Dewey Decimal System; use encyclopedias and other reference materials to create reports; and utilize the online catalog to find books and eBooks. By the end of fifth grade, they use atlases, almanacs, biographical dictionaries and electronic databases to find information for their research reports. The Elementary School offers a STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) and other technology resources to support student learning. Kindergarten and first grade students visit the STEAM Lab weekly, while second through fifth graders work there during interdisciplinary “tech weeks.” The annual fifth-grade science and technology collaboration, “Robotathon,” showcases students’ ability to design and construct a machine that can complete a number of challenges.
  • Math

    The math curriculum is conceptual, challenging and grounded in best practices. We also strive to make it fun! Students learn how to reason and communicate using models, numbers and words; form mathematical arguments and respectfully critique the reasoning of others; choose appropriate tools to explore and make meaning; persevere in solving problems; attend to efficiency and accuracy in solutions; and demonstrate computational fluency. Math instruction is differentiated to support a range of learners, with grade-level benchmarks that are based on Common Core standards.
  • Science

    Students experience a world of hands-on science exploration and discovery; gain an appreciation of scientific inquiry; and develop scientific literacy. Our young scientists are introduced to a broad range of disciplines and content—including biology, engineering, design thinking, physics, chemistry and robotics—while continuously working to develop their skills in, and understanding of, scientific processes. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are referenced to help design classroom learning experiences that are relevant and stimulate students’ interests in science; help them find a passion in the field; promote confidence for the subject; and foster a curiosity and will to learn.
  • Social Studies

    Through the social studies curriculum, students explore the world around them, making meaningful connections between the past and present and gaining an understanding of their place in the world. In kindergarten, students begin with an introspective look at their own identities, gradually expanding their perspective to include different kinds of families and members of their school community. As students get older, they explore topics related to social justice and activism; local geography and climate; understanding the lives of those from different backgrounds; and the various civil rights movements that have formed modern-day American democracy.
  • Spanish

    In the early grades, children hear the sounds of the language through songs and stories. They focus on diction and pronunciation, learning the differences between the English and Spanish language. Students learn to engage with Spanish through role-playing, project-based learning, interactive games and activities. Every year, students showcase their growing language skills by working collaboratively and creating a project. Children engage in conversations about culture, traditions, heritage, immigration and migration, and many other topics related to social justice. Students learn about the Latinx diaspora; through their newly acquired language skills, they learn to see the world through a different lens.

Before-and-After School Care Program

Crossroads offers early morning childcare beginning at 7:30 a.m. and Hang Out, an after-school care program that includes outside play, creative art activities, imaginative play, building opportunities and homework study hall for older students. Two semesters of after-school enrichment classes are also offered throughout the year.
Learn More

Explore More

Educational Program

Elementary School

Administrative Team

List of 3 items.

  • Debbie Wei

    Head of Elementary School
  • Catherine Ramos

    Assistant Head of Elementary School
    Elementary School Dean (Grades 4-5)
  • Ilene Silk

    Elementary School Dean (Grades K-3)

Elementary School

Featured News

Teacher Spotlight

List of 1 news stories.

  • Johana Barahona

    Elementary School Technology Specialist
     
    “As a technology specialist, I am privileged to work with students from kindergarten through fifth grade. They come to the STEAM Lab eager to learn something new every day. Together we get to build, create, code and problem-solve.”