In cooperation with leaders at the National Association of Independent Schools and members from all of our constituencies, we recently took a deep look at who we are, what we are uniquely positioned to do, and what the world of education needs most. The 5th Day is our answer, and it will better prepare your children for college, the working world beyond college, and life itself.
What Is 5th Day?
5th Day is a unique day each week that steps outside of our typical academic schedule and provides students opportunities to engage more deeply and collaboratively in topics, offering time and space for innovative exploration, often across the city. 5th Day is:
- An educational laboratory for innovation for students and teachers
- Focused on active engagement, problem-solving, advocacy, and leadership
- Based on educational research rooted in practical application of skills in impactful ways
- At the heart of what it means to be Crossroadian
The future does not have a textbook; the problems our graduates will tackle are complex and nuanced. 5th Day provides new learning spaces where young people can develop the skills and mindsets they will need; we can prepare them to lead the way.
We are launching 5th Day at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. In creating 5th Day, we are proud to be innovators and risk-takers alongside our students. The 5th Day at Crossroads College Prep is an essential addition to what it means to be seen, supported, known, and needed as a student, a thinker, and a person.
So What Might 5th Day Look Like?
Product Design Engineers
Our middle school recently prototyped a 5th Day experience. Students were challenged with a design task to land a new drink on a grocery store shelf in our area. Middle Schoolers experimented with flavor profiles in science class, printed 3D cans at MADE in their makerspace class, pitched and voted on can cover designs, and created final names, designs, and flavors. They then made commercials for their product in their theater elective.
Investment Analysts & Financial Advisors
While learning the general principles of financial literacy, students work with an Edward Jones broker and invest real money in the stock market. They track their investment over time and make decisions as a group about new tactics or changes to their financial profile. At high school graduation, students meet to determine what to do with the proceeds of their investment.
St. Louis Civic Engineers
In an immersive study of the history, politics, and economics of housing and neighborhoods in St. Louis, exploring topics such as urban design, communities, redlining, homelessness, and eminent domain, students travel to different areas of the city to study how these issues and forces play out in real-time. Students then have the option to: interview community members and create copy to submit for local publication; design a housing or neighborhood solution; create artwork to protest unjust housing practices; research an issue and present their findings to the St. Louis Planning Commission; or plan and build a tiny home at MADE, or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
Mastery Learning Projects 2.0
Crossroads students have always had the opportunity to design, monitor, and complete a Mastery Learning Project driven by their interests; these MLPs coexist with our college-prep course load. The 5th Day allows students to pursue more advanced versions of these projects, such as extensive research projects, micro-enterprise initiatives, or social change campaigns in the broader community. Additional time and space for such explorations provides students experience with long-term, independent college projects like these and term papers. They also prepare students to be the thinkers and problem solvers that companies are eager to hire and our evolving world needs.
Crossroads has many student artists, and the current schedule is often too narrow for full immersion in the creative process when large portions of each class period are spent setting and cleaning up. 5th Day in the art studio or Black Box, invites young people to deeply engage with their art and enter creative flow. With the openness to experiment, take risks, make messes, and seriously develop their expression, they can truly work like artists.