Academic Success & Innovative Learning: A Message from Mark & Sarah

Zoe ConnerUncategorized

We have two weeks until winter break, and each week seems to grow more busy as we approach the end of the semester. Our ninth graders are preparing for their first round of exams, and while our faculty does an exceptional job of getting them ready, some nervousness and worry remain. Using togetherness as an antidote, StuCo (Student Government) has planned an evening study session. When the emotional load of exams is shared, all benefit, including test scores. Finding greater academic success thanks to communal encouragement, challenge, and support is the most Crossroadian of paths.

Our faculty and students earned an AP Platinum Honor Roll! This year, for the first time, the College Board is honoring schools for their AP programs, and Crossroads received the highest possible distinction.

From classic academic success to our new innovative learning program, 5th Day, Crossroadians are being prepared not only for traditional exams in college but also for graduate school. Learning in 5th Day is similar to evening classes in college that meet once a week for three hours and is remarkably similar to graduate studies. As students complete work in their second quarter 5th Day classes, they prepare for the 5th Day Exhibition, which starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, December 14. Please join if you can.

As Upper School students take three-hour exams in each subject, the Middle School Team, freed from the regular schedule, plans a week of projects bringing closure to the first-semester curriculum with analytical writing, skits in world languages, Hip Hop history at the Saint Louis Art Museum, data analysis from their Fitbit project, and work with Civitas (founded by Arthur Lieber!) on the Model United Nations.

These weeks will be full, and students will leave for winter break with heads full of new ideas and feeling a wee bit tired as well.

Last week, St. Louis hosted the People of Color Conference, bringing 8,000 people from independent schools around the country to downtown Saint Louis. It was the largest group ever to attend, and Crossroads was there, represented by Ariana Thomas (’25) and Lennox Turner (’26). They made deep connections with students from around the country. Ariana’s favorite quote from the conference: Focus on the dreams, not the nightmares.

In the new year, you can see the work of three of our photography students who were accepted to the Beginnings 2023 exhibit at Webster University’s Kooyumjian Gallery! Check out the work of Sanai Todd (’24)Yeshara Reznikov (’24), and Miles Woodbury (’25) in the gallery until January 7.

While we are marketing Crossroads in many new ways, word of mouth remains the best form of advertisement. One new talking point:  Like 80% of four-year colleges in the U.S., Crossroads’ application process is test-optional! This simple change in admissions policy makes the process more equitable and supportive of a multiplicity of student needs. Please consider spreading the word!

We hope you all get some time to slow down, relax, and gather with family and friends over the next month, and we will see you again in 2024 when Crossroads will be celebrating its 50th year!!!

As always, thank you for everything you do for Crossroads,
Mark & Sarah