Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences

  • CA


Santa Monica
United States

About Us

Crossroads School provides a unique K-12 program built on a progressive, developmental model of education. Crossroads came into being in 1971 to provide a new approach to education. It was founded by Paul Cummins, a small group of educators, and parents as a non-profit, non-denominational, co-educational college preparatory day school. The School was built upon five basic commitments: to academic excellence; to the arts; to the greater community; to the development of a student population of social, economic, and racial diversity; and to the development of each student’s physical well-being and full human potential. As a college preparatory school, we certainly believe in the importance of academic success, yet not at the expense of a child’s emotional or social well-being. While students need to be challenged, we feel that it is crucial to develop and deliver curriculum that is appropriate for the age and ability of each grade level. This is what we mean when we describe ourselves as a “developmental” school.

Crossroads recognizes that there are many ways to learn. Integral to our identity as a progressive school is the notion that our teachers must design instruction that incorporates a variety of learning styles. Equally important is our belief that the curriculum should have meaning and interest for the student. It is, therefore, necessary to create inquiry-based lessons that explore and build upon the students’ knowledge base. In order to accomplish these objectives, teachers must know their students intimately. Therefore, relationship is the key to our educational model. In short, teachers at Crossroads are expected to know their students as individuals, determine how they learn best, and teach accordingly. Additionally, we view education as a work in progress. We constantly review what we do and how we do it with an eye to what needs to be refined, changed, or retained, always committed to the importance of offering a most relevant and meaningful educational experience.

Since our inception, Crossroads’ commitment to all forms of diversity has made it possible for us to be racially, economically, geographically, and culturally inclusive. Even in the earliest days, Crossroads made a major commitment to community service and soon developed a comprehensive program that served as inspiration for many other schools. In the 1990’s we developed a different facet of community service we called “institutional community service” and created a separate non-profit foundation, The Crossroads Community Outreach Foundation, so that the School could model the values expected of our students.

The name Crossroads was suggested by Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” in which Frost writes:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Thus, built into our very fiber is the desire to be on the cutting edge of education. We are dedicated to helping young people make bold and valuable decisions with their lives while acting as a force for positive social change.