The following are the primary areas of academic study across grades K-8:
Our mathematics program emphasizes strong computational, problem-solving, and geometry skills through lively and engaging activities. The backbone of instruction is the Math in Focus Program—the United States version of Singapore Math; we supplement this program with many other materials and activities. Small group and whole class instruction supports each child toward mastery of skills, processes, and application. Offerings in Middle School include Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and occasionally, Algebra II.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
One of the unique offerings at Crossroads is our rich, sequenced history and geography program. Through songs, projects, dramatic presentations, research, mapmaking, and teacher presentations, our students travel across space and time. Our students learn about history by exploring culture through topics such as the Mesopotamian ziggurats and Renaissance architecture. By the end of eighth grade, students are able to research and debate highly complex and fascinating topics.
At Crossroads, world language exposure begins early. As history is the backbone of our program, through history we have many opportunities to expose our students to languages spoken around the world. While Greek and Latin roots are taught in lower grades, Latin instruction begins in earnest in grade six with an introduction to the classical world. Latin continues through grades seven and eight. Students graduating from Crossroads with Latin should expect to enter Latin 2 in grade nine.
Children in kindergarten through third grade are exposed to lessons in both French and Spanish. In fourth grade, students choose either French or Spanish as an area of focus through eighth grade. Language courses are interactive to teach students conversational skills as well as grammar, reading, and writing, in addition to culture.
Our 140-acre campus of forest and wetlands is our science laboratory. Our science program encourages students to directly explore their natural world and use those experiences to frame the extensive experiments they perform in our classrooms, greenhouse, and Middle School laboratory. The knowledge drawn from these experiences allows students to understand how science can lead to a deeper understanding of their world and what role humans play in keeping the earth a habitable and healthy planet.
Our language arts curriculum is designed to foster literacy and an appreciation of great literature. We employ a variety of best teaching practices including phonics instruction, linked reading and writing activities, and a rich selection of literature at each child’s reading level. Students bring the literature to life through dramatic performances and creative projects. Writing instruction includes grammar and all mechanics and is delivered through whole class and individualized instruction.
ART, MUSIC, DRAMA
Art, music, and drama are the creative expressions of culture. By studying the great works of art and music and engaging in the creative process, our students experience culture and creativity first hand. Through our unique program, our students are exposed to a rich array of composers and visual artists. In music class, students read, play, and compose music. All students perform regularly through various choruses. We have recently added boys and girls choirs in our Middle School. Beginning in the kindergarten, students are exposed to art history at school in art and history classes and during field trips to museums. While studying the great works of art of the world, they also produce their own works of art through a wide variety of mediums.
Our students engage in dramatic performances beginning in kindergarten. Poetry is recited, songs are sung, dances are performed, and plays are enacted across the grades. One of our favorite days is Shakespeare Day. On this day, every Lower School child performs! Formal instruction in drama begins in earnest in grade five with a full production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It continues through Middle School when vocal techniques, characterization skills, stage, and spatial awareness are learned. All of these skills come together in the production of our much anticipated and fabulous annual musical.
Our physical education program encourages physical fitness and an active lifestyle. Activities and games are designed to promote growth in skills, provide opportunities for personal challenges, and encourage teamwork. Students engage in a variety of activities within our spacious gymnasium, on our outdoor fields, and on the trail through our wooded campus.