Clark Daggett, Former Head, on Why Crossroads?

Zoe ConnerUncategorized

All independent schools, including Crossroads, offer significant advantages to their students when compared with other public and non-public choices. Smaller class sizes, an admissions program that seeks to enroll students who will benefit from and contribute to the school, curricular freedom with little or no state mandates, and the ability to define their own mission and core values that guide decision-making. When independent schools go through the periodic re-accreditation process, they are evaluated by how closely their programs—academic, athletic, extra-curricular, guidance, college placement—align with the school’s mission and core values.  Having served in six independent schools over nearly 50 years, I have not encountered a school that “lives” its mission and core values to the degree that Crossroads does every day.

Since the gap between theory and practice, or mission/values and implementation, is so unusually narrow at Crossroads, students experience clearly articulated expectations for their academic engagement and effort, clear expectations for their behavior and clear expectations for their responsibilities as members of the school community. Everyone knows where the boundaries are and what happens when they encounter them. This clarity helps create an environment in which students are free to explore their world and their evolving selves with the confidence that even if they, at times, lose their way, both peers and adults will be there to gently move them back to the right path for them. What’s more, that guidance is most likely to come without judgment, but with understanding and compassion. Sound ideal? Well, it is. Crossroads helps students and adults understand what can be, what ought to be, when a community is able to unite around and be guided by a thoughtful mission and meaningful core values. 

Very few independent schools have a student body with the socio-economic diversity present at Crossroads. That is by design, to reflect the community and world in which graduates will ultimately live as adults. Daily interaction with such a diverse peer group helps erode stereotypes and strengthen genuine understanding of each other. There is little, if any, evidence of the kind of social hierarchy among students that exists in most schools. That’s simply not important to the vast majority of the school community. Who you are, how well you support your fellow community members, how much you contribute to the school culture, how well you navigate your journey of self-discovery, those things are important. The result is a culture of encouragement that is rare if not unique.

So, here’s the bottom line for “Why Crossroads?” Crossroads provides all the advantages of an independent school education without the trappings of wealth and privilege that characterize so many of them. It will not get any better than that for your son or daughter. After they collect their diploma at Commencement, they will have what they need, empowered to move forward through college and the rest of their lives in their chosen direction. You can count on the fact that, at the very least, they will consistently make life a bit better for those around them because they have experienced exactly that.