5th Day at Crossroads
The future does not have a textbook; the problems our graduates will tackle are complex and nuanced. 5th Day is our answer to what students like YOU need most.

What Is 5th Day?

5th Day at Crossroads College Prep is an essential addition to what it means to be seen and supported, known and needed as a student, a thinker, and a person. 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

5th Day Challenges the Factory Education Model

The “factory model” of education operates on the metaphor of students-as-buckets, passive vessels that receive knowledge and skills to be used in largely predetermined ways. 5th Day upends that. It centers students as agents of their own education by immersing them in experiential learning and encouraging them to design their own projects in alignment with their interests and passions. The program exposes students to real-world, nebulous problems that require creativity, autonomy, and collaboration – competencies that 5th Day aims to cultivate.
5th Day Schedule at Crossroads College Prep
Every Wednesday is 5th Day!

Current 5th Day Courses

Builders, Inc. (7th-12th)

Builders, Inc is a community-driven initiative where Crossroads students work together to solve a local problem using design thinking initiatives. Students will find businesses and community initiatives in our local area which have needs that we will try to tackle by using our makerspace and partnership with MADE. This course is student-driven and is a great way to learn project completion from beginning to end. There are a lot of problems to solve and we can tackle them together. Students may repeat this 5th Day course for more advanced skill development.

Ceramics (7th-12th)

Students will be introduced to the medium of ceramics through fundamental hand-building techniques using slabs, coils, and pinch pots. Students will also be introduced to basic wheel-throwing skills such as centering, opening, and pulling up a cylinder. Along the way, they will gain an understanding of the properties of clay and its history throughout the world as a vehicle for communication and a culturally integral source of functional vessels and decorative objects. Students may repeat this 5th Day course for more advanced skill development.

Civil Rights in St. Louis (7th-12th)

In an academic format, students in this course will investigate the history of the Civil Rights movement through events that happened in St. Louis. Topics will cover the long history of Civil Rights from before the Civil War to current aspects that affect voting, housing, and other events related to the movement. Exhibition projects could include presentations, a museum exhibit, podcasts, a video series, or the like. Site visits to places where Civil Rights events happened and workshops with college professors are part of the course plan.

Courts and Trials: Foundations of the Judicial System (7th-12th)

Students will learn about the judicial system through an exploration of local, state, and federal courts and trials. Students will have opportunities to visit both local/state and federal courthouses in the St. Louis area and to observe real trials, interact with guest speakers such as local attorneys and judges, and participate in mini-mock trials and mini-moot courts (like a mock trial, but for an appellate court). Some field trips may require students to dress in business casual attire. Students will also investigate and consider major issues currently facing the judicial system.

Drone Crew (7th-12th)

Using cutting edge technology, Drone Crew will produce short videos for nonprofits for their websites and social media pages. The crew will interview their clients, plan the shots, coordinate with neighbors to ensure safety, film the location, and produce a final piece meeting client expectations. Drones are exciting, and who doesn’t want to learn to fly? Well, those who are afraid of heights or the risk involved in flying. Drones mitigate both worries and keep all the thrill. The day-to-day realities of running a tech service/company like aerial photography will present design challenges with real-world constraints and consequences. Drone Crew will not only serve the nonprofit sector of St. Louis, it will open up another path into STEM careers. Note that drone operation is limited to students age 16 and older, but younger students will be able to participate in many other ways. Students may repeat this 5th Day for more advanced skill development.

Fall Play Rehearsal and Tech (7th-12th)

In this 1st Quarter course, students will explore elements of producing a play, from the process of auditioning for and rehearsing a show to the technical expertise required to mount a production. Students will collaborate in a variety of acting, directing, design and management approaches. The class will culminate in a live theatrical production performed for an audience. Some fall play rehearsals will also take place after school. Students who would like to participate in the fall play are strongly encouraged to take this course, but enrollment in this 5th Day is not a requirement for participation in the play.

Food Science I (7th-12th)

You are what you eat! Or are you? Have you ever wondered what it means to eat a “balanced diet?” How does the FDA determine the safe way to store foods? How seriously do you need to take those expiration dates on packages? These are all common questions people have about the food they eat. The Food Science class will help you answer all of these and, of course, learn how to make some new and exciting dishes. We will take regular trips to Field Foods to gather the ingredients necessary to create our dishes each week.

Food Science II (7th-12th)

In this course, students will build on what they learned in Food Science I. Students will learn more about the science of cooking, practice more complex recipes, and find ways to connect what they learn to their lives. The course will continue to take regular trips to Field Foods to shop for ingredients to make different recipes each week.

FTC Robotics (7th-12th)

Students learn the engineering design process, computational thinking, and workforce skills to build a robot to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competition. Students are introduced to the robot's systems and the essential math and science needed to build the robot. At a minimum, students will have a driving robot, with a basic autonomous and a driver-controlled program, using a basic arm for manipulating game objects. Students will also assemble an FTC regulation playing field, develop game strategy, and conduct practice matches. Students will gain valuable engineering experience as they continually iterate their design and programming, while documenting the process. Students who take this course are expected to be a part of our FTC team through the end of the season (end of 3rd quarter). Students may enroll in this 5th Day course more than once.

Good Work: Community Service (11th-12th)

Juniors and seniors interested in volunteering at a local community organization may apply to work with one of Crossroads’ Good Work partners. Students will travel to their organization during the 5th Day block, devoting 3 hours of work time while there every Wednesday of that quarter. Details about Good Work partners, eligibility, expectations, and successful completion will be provided to students who express interest in this option. Students are encouraged to volunteer in areas of their potential career interests.
Students may enroll in this 5th Day course more than once, pending approval.

History of St. Louis Through Sport (7th-12th)

Students in this course will read and research sports history in St. Louis with an emphasis on their political, economic, and social impact. Planned topics include the team that represented St. Louis in the Negro Leagues, the only NBA champion from the city, the site of the first forward pass in college football history, researching the origin of nicknames, and a study of St. Louis’ greatest athletes. Students will also connect sports to the greater social impact of teams, stadiums, and athletes. The end product will be a student-created project.

Holistic Worldviews (7th-12th)

Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? How do we build good and fulfilling lives in such a confusing, noisy, scary world? How do we form nourishing relationships with our own selves, and why might we explore our inner worlds? How do we form meaningful, nourishing worldviews and understanding of life itself? This course dives into these essential questions. To explore them, we will engage in: contemplative study of topics like holistic psychology, philosophy, secular spirituality, and cosmology; frequent personal reflection through journaling and meditation; experiential learning outdoors and in our imaginations; and creating practical tools and practices to support an inspired and intentional life. The goal is to explore and start developing ways of thinking, being, perceiving, and relating that feel nourishing and true. In our age of despair, confusion, and disorientation, we need this deep personal grounding in order to sustain a meaningful life for ourselves — and to help the world from a place of wholeness and awareness.

Introduction to Robotics (7th-12th)

This class is for anyone interested in exploring the world of robotics without a commitment to the robotics team. Students will learn how to design, build, and program a robot, and will gain understanding of how the engineering process applies to each of those aspects. Students will have opportunities to learn coding, use CAD software, and do hands-on work building the robot. The class will work together to produce a working robot to accomplish a specific task.

Life Skills (7th-12th)

Life Skills engages the students in learning helpful and practical information in topics such as emergency preparedness, kitchen safety and basic cooking skills, healthy foods, meditation and mental health, and basic financial decisions and money management. Students will also conduct neighborhood learning walks and will work on mini-projects that they choose, research, and present to the class.

Mastery Learning Project (7th-12th)

The Mastery Learning Project (MLP) is an opportunity for students to complete a project that falls outside the boundaries of typical school courses. Past students have studied hydroponic gardening and beekeeping, written and illustrated a book in French, taught themselves and other students ASL, and designed and built a strategy board game. Students may also choose to complete an independent research project. An MLP is approximately 40 hours of independent work per quarter, 24 of which occur during the 5th Day block. Each MLP spans one quarter, with the possibility of expanding the project, with approval, in a subsequent quarter. Most MLPs culminate in a presentation/demonstration to the Crossroads community of the learning achieved during the project. Students interested in completing an MLP for one or more quarters of 5th Day should read the complete expectations for an MLP here and complete the application found here by May 11. Students may enroll in this 5th Day course more than once, pending approval.

Mindfulness and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) (10th-12th)

This course will provide students with a variety of mindfulness techniques as well as the skills to actively listen to and support classmates and peers. Students will participate in a yoga and meditation experience during each time block. Students will learn actively listening, increase their ability to be safe allies, understand confidentiality and its limits, learn and adhere to a safety protocol. Students may choose to serve as a peer mentor and advocate upon successful completion of the course. A variety of learning modalities will be employed including lecture, role play and presentations. Students who take this course must agree to adhere to all safety and confidentiality expectations.

Mock Trial (9th-12th)

Students in the Mock Trial 5th Day course will learn about the components of trials and legal concepts, such as rules of evidence and objections, while preparing to compete in the Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition. Students will prepare to represent the case from the perspectives of the plaintiff and defendant, with students portraying witnesses and attorneys on both sides. Students will analyze the case materials, including witness statements and evidence; develop theories of the case; write lines of questioning, including direct and cross examination questions, and opening and closing statements; and compete against other local schools in the 3rd Quarter Students who take this 2nd Quarter course are expected to compete and are required to continue with Mock Trial during the 3rd Quarter during their Activity period. Students may enroll in this 5th Day course more than once.

Outdoor Education (7th-12th)

In this course, students will learn, practice, and master basic skills that they can apply in both recreation and survival settings. The topics will include some or all of the following: basic first aid; orienteering; Missouri Stream Team water quality monitoring; fire, water, and shelter; fishing; watercraft; plant and animal identification. We will be outside as much as possible, barring severe weather. The course will utilize Crossroads College Prep, Forest Park, and local state parks as our learning locations.

Trash and Recycling (7th-12th)

In this 5th Day class, students will learn about the largely unseen world of trash and recycling. We will explore questions such as: What happens to our trash? What materials can be recycled? How does the recycling process work? What are recycled materials useful for? What impact does recycling our goods make on our environment locally and globally? How can we increase participation in recycling programs? If possible, we will visit a landfill and a recycling center. The course will culminate in students identifying a specific problem related to trash/recycling and developing a solution to address it.

Scientific Research (7th-12th)

Students in this 5th Day will conduct their own scientific research in an area that interests them (life science, physical science, geology, engineering, psychology, etc.). Students will conduct background research into the topic, design laboratory investigations directed at addressing a question or problem, and conduct those investigations with teacher support, where needed. Along the way, students will learn how to assess sources of information and develop the skills necessary to present and analyze data. Students will present their research at the end of the quarter, and some students may choose to continue their work in the next quarter in preparation for the regional science fair. Where feasible, older students may be placed in a research lab at a local university. A general research proposal will be due one week before the first quarter ends for those participating in 2nd quarter research and one week before the second quarter ends for those participating in 3rd quarter research. Students may enroll in this 5th Day course more than once, pending approval.

St. Louis Homes and Houses (9th-12th)

This class studies the history, politics, and economics of housing and neighborhoods in St. Louis, including topics such as urban design, neighborhood communities, red-lining, homelessness, and eminent domain. We will also examine what “home” means to us, and how these socio-political forces affect the ways different groups of people can create home in the city. The class frequently travels to different areas of St. Louis to study how these issues and forces play out in real time and space. We may also study the house-purchasing process to examine how we would encounter these questions and issues on a personal level. The course will culminate in student-directed projects that respond to this learning and offer some vision for future action. For their creative projects, students might: practice journalism by interviewing community members, design a solution to a neighborhood issue or housing problem, create artwork to protest unjust housing practices, or research a topic in more detail and present their findings to the St. Louis Planning Commission.

5th Day Exhibition

What Is Exhibition?

Imagine the hybrid of a science fair and Double Rainbow, where students are independently presenting their growth and projects to their peers, faculty, parents, trustees, community partners, and press. The building is bustling with excitement, color, and buzz. There’s music, food, and special scheduled events like MLP presentations and demonstrations. That’s 5th Day Exhibition.

Why Exhibition?

Exhibitions are an important event for celebrating learning, sharing 5th Day experiences with the wider school community, and encouraging student ownership over, accountability for, and pride in their work and growth.

When is Exhibition?

Exhibitions take place in the final week of each 5th Day quarter. Often they are aligned with other seasonal full-school events, like Double Rainbow and All-School Skating; on these days a special schedule will be used.

Special Thanks!

Crossroads would like to thank the following organizations and schools for their inspiration and support of 5th Day.

NAIS Strategy Lab  |  The Mastery School of Hawken  |  Delmar DivINe  |  Startland Education  |  Transcend Education  |  Korda Institute  |  Millennium School’s Quest Curriculum  |  Summit Learning  |  Innovative Technology Education Fund