“Increasingly, we are learning about how we must not view any particular
part of life in isolation but, rather, as part of an interdependent
system of roles with the potential for mutual enrichment.”
– Stewart D. Friedman
Admission season has begun, and I’ve met with several prospective families so far this month. One of the joys of these conversations, besides getting to know the young person who is interested in Crossroads, is explaining how our week works. Parents often comment on how good the school feels, how comfortable our students seem to be with one another and with adults, and how well-rounded everyone is. This makes perfect sense to me. We are a college preparatory institution that gives time to other experiences and student interests.
I explain this as a series of concentric circles. Wrapped around our academic core are opportunities for electives. These are valuable learning experiences that provide students an opportunity to transfer their learning (whether it be skills or content) to other academic and creative situations. Our activity periods, all-school announcements, extended advisory, and community time create other opportunities for students to build relationships with one another and with teachers. They also allow students to explore other interests. All of this is within the context of the school week because all of these provide an opportunity for learning. Learning is both distributed over experiences and social, so Crossroads provides space and time for both to occur, from more formal core academics to very informal community time.
This flexibility, along with all of the encouragement and opportunity in athletics, the arts, chess, and community engagement, provides for mutually enriching experiences. What goes well in a student’s academic life contributes to what goes well in other aspects of life better (and vice versa). This flexibility provides balance. This flexibility and balance contribute to the overall school experience and the overall personhood of our students.