Sometimes, it is important to step away from the familiar to gain a deeper appreciation for a range of possible approaches. Experiencing the International School of Prague as a member of the NEASC accreditation team provided that kind of perspective.
Greetings from the Czech Republic! I write to you from the International School of Prague, a K-12 school with nine hundred students from sixty different nationalities. While here, I am part of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation team.
Last May I had the opportunity to attend a professional development opportunity at NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges), the organization that accredits Crossroads. NEASC is now implementing a new accreditation procedure for international schools known as ACE.
This Friday at 8:15 am in the library, Dr. Bruce Freeberg will present his annual Core Knowledge Coffee. For those of you who haven’t yet heard this talk, and also for those who have but would like to learn more about our school’s curriculum, this is one of the most important mornings of the year.
This Wednesday, our school’s founder, Mary Beth Klee, will address the faculty on her recent work with the Core Virtues curriculum and a new foundation she is supporting to develop and implement this important program more widely. We are excited to welcome Mary Beth back to Crossroads almost a year after we celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary with her last fall.
Last spring, I approached Crossroads parent Stephen Branchflower to help design an outdoor classroom, nestled in the trees and accessible for students and teachers who desired a quiet place to learn, reflect, and complete work that was connected to and perhaps inspired by nature. Stephen created a beautiful design that situated an octagon structure overlooking the Hewes Brook.
We couldn’t be more excited for Grandparents Day! For many members of our community, grandparents are the cornerstones in our families. They are the people who we go to when we are faced with an important decision. Their wisdom, expressed in just the right way and at the precise time, sheds important light on the key issues that impact us. And of course, when a grandparent encourages us, it helps to bring out the best in who we are.
The Crossroads history curriculum stretches from before Plato to after NATO–that is a long period to cover even for talented teachers working with the most curious minds! But somehow, students come away from their studies of these 2,400+ years with a deep understanding of history and how it impacts our society today.
At an admissions event for prospective Crossroads families last spring, a parent asked about the particular challenges facing educators today. I love these kinds of questions as they allow the opportunity to share a few of the strategies and goals that are central to our program.
Crossroads teachers start the year with the Core Virtues of Respect and Responsibility, and for good reason. These are fundamental qualities that serve as the foundation for much of what Crossroads does throughout the year. And with this common understanding and shared expectations for how to be with each other and do what’s expected, so much more can be accomplished between now and June.