The Crossroads Experience

Upper School

Own your education.

There is no such thing as a “typical” high school experience at Crossroads. The Upper School offers you a tantalizingly diverse curriculum—everything from gender studies and filmmaking to advanced organic chemistry—and invites you to delve deeply into your areas of interest.

Depth and Direction

Curiosity is your guide as you plan your studies. The high ceiling for advanced learning stretches from math and science to music, the arts and more, and includes Crossroads Advanced Studies (CAS) courses, independent research projects and concentrations in classical music, visual arts and theater.

Making an Impact

Our students utilize their passions to make a difference. Through dozens of outreach-focused campus clubs, student-planned forum days and events related to equity and social justice, you can take advantage of the many opportunities for service, and develop new initiatives of your own.

Rites of Passage

The hallmarks of the Crossroads experience coalesce in your unforgettable senior year. You’ll take on a three-week immersive project of your choice and go on a life-changing nature retreat, solidifying a high school experience defined by passionate inquiry, personal growth and lifelong bonds with teachers and classmates.

Upper School

Curriculum
To learn more about our Upper School curriculum, click on any of the subject headers below or click here for a comprehensive curriculum guide.

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  • Arts

    The Upper School offers programming in dance, drama, classical and modern music, filmmaking, music production and visual arts. Students display their artwork in the Sam Francis Gallery; perform in musical, dance and theater performances; shoot films; and build sets and run tech for performances. Arts faculty not only train students in the skills of their given disciplines; they teach them to examine meaning and intention in art-making and to stretch the bounds of their creativity, exploring new media and new modes of thinking, seeing and creating. Students with a serious interest in arts can major in music, drama or visual arts.
  • English/Publications

    The English curriculum strives to instill in students a lifelong love and appreciation of reading, and to teach students to write in ways that—beyond mere correctness—fluently communicate deeper meanings and values. As students experience literature from diverse perspectives and backgrounds, teachers encourage them to develop critical thinking and reading skills and, to convey their understandings in clear, well-supported expository essays and creative, multi-genre projects that develop their authentic voices.

    The Publications program gives students an opportunity to take those reading, writing and editing skills into the area of print and online publications. They produce and solicit work from a variety of sources, edit and polish the pieces, and learn fundamentals of design to produce the award-winning student print and online newspaper; print and online literary magazine; and academic journal, as well as the annual yearbook.
  • History/Film Studies

    The Upper School History Department strives to help students experience the “foreignness” of the past and its power, and to deepen their understanding of political, economic and social life. Historical study hones reason, deepens empathy, awakens responsibility and, when necessary, rings alarms. In all History Department classes, students write, discuss and debate arguments from original documents, interviews, scholarly journals, classic works of history, film and other sources. Assignments encourage analysis, synthesis, evaluation and original research.

    The History Department also houses the Film Studies Department, in which students examine the vital role that this popular culture medium plays in the social and political life of the United States and around the world.
  • Human Development

    Four departments make up the Human Development program: Community Service, Environmental and Outdoor Education, Life Skills and Physical Education. These curricula work in tandem to instill healthy physical, mental and emotional development. Students learn to make meaningful social contributions; connect to the natural world; speak their truths and practice compassion; and engage in physical wellness. Through the Human Development program, students understand, integrate and coordinate their bodies, minds and hearts.
  • Math

    We believe that all students can be solid mathematics students: We must simply discover the pace at which each student learns best. Courses and course sequencing are designed with pacing differences in mind. The standard sequence for an Upper School student is Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Precalculus and Calculus. Within that sequence, students can enter into Accelerated, Honors and Crossroads Advanced Courses (CAS), which dive more deeply into topics and units. While following the traditional sequence of topics, students are also encouraged to study Probability and Statistics.
  • Physical Education

    The Physical Education program seeks to promote the development of each student's phsyical well-being and full human potential. We place the emphasis upon personal and cooperative development rather than competition. Students gain an interest in various movement forms and the satisfaction that comes with exercise, enhancing their physical, mental and emotional well-being. All students are required to complete one year of Physical Education through either Boom-Fitness or Human Performance.
  • Science and Technology

    The thorough understanding of science and technology requires students to engage in hands-on experimentation. Course offerings include marine biology, design and engineering, organic chemistry, earth and space science, physics and computer science. Students engage in inquiry-based labs, field trips and extended ecological field studies offered through the Environmental and Outdoor Education program. The Science Department teaches students to grow their curiosity and interest in the world around them and to discern science from non-science through problem-solving, review, research and experimentation.
  • World Languages

    Crossroads offers courses in Latin, Chinese, French and Spanish. Teachers employ methodologies that focus on developing speaking, writing, reading and listening with an emphasis on language immersion. Courses are taught in the target language to help students reach proficiency. Students apply previously learned material to new contexts and are encouraged to take risks while developing their linguistic instincts. Beyond the acquisition of language skills, students learn about the cultures behind the language, studying issues including politics, social justice, economic systems, literature and the arts.

College Counseling

The School’s three full-time college counselors get to know each student, exploring with them all of the different opportunities that exist for post-secondary life.
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EMMI

Students are accepted into Crossroads’ renowned classical strings program by audition only.
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Educational Program

Upper School

Administrative Team

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  • Roxanne Zazzaro

    Head of Upper School
  • Anthony Locke ’01

    Dean of Student Life
  • Art McCann

    Dean of College Counseling
  • Guy Vandenbroucke

    Interim Dean of Curricular Life

Upper School

Featured News

Faculty Spotlight

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  • Bryn Lander

    Upper School History Teacher

    “One of my favorite things about working at Crossroads is the relationships I form with students, both as a teacher and as a mentor.”