Welcome to The Croft School and thank you for taking the time to learn more. We’re building a new, innovative, high-quality independent elementary school in the East Side neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island.
We know that parents have difficult decisions to make when selecting an elementary school program that meets the needs of their children and their families. Below, we’ve tried to identify the top five reasons we believe parents may choose to apply for admission to The Croft School. Or as we like to say: “Education, Reimagined for a New Generation of Parents and Children.”
Extraordinary, Memorable Teachers
What’s the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher? Here at The Croft School, we obsess over the answer to that question because we know it makes all the difference in the lives of our students. We make a deep commitment to the extraordinary, and nothing less, in every teacher hiring decision we make.
You probably remember one elementary teacher above all. Our Founder, Scott Given, is on a permanent quest to find those educators, to study them, to learn from them, and to hire them for our small independent school where they have the freedom to flourish without constraint.
We are excited to introduce you to our all-star teaching team. Read here about Cristina Smith, one of our Founding Teachers.
Personalized, Rigorous, and Fun Curriculum and Teaching
Most schools use a “one size fits all” curriculum. A teacher works his or her way through the standardized curriculum at a standardized pace. But, as a result, most students don’t get to engage in content and skills that are of genuine and personal interest to them, leaving them bored. Even more importantly, given that the teacher needs to “aim” for the median-ability child, typically half of the students are moving too slowly while the other half quickly becomes overwhelmed and confused.
The Croft School is anything but “one size fits all.” Rather, we leverage educational strategies that make learning come alive, that meet students right at the appropriate level of rigor, and that tailor the curriculum in ways that personally resonate with each individual child.
Personalized. We know that the learning is stickier when it is relevant and connected to one’s personal experiences and interests. While we always encourage students to reach beyond the familiar and their own comfort zone, our program allows for opportunities for students to dive deep on what matters most to them. For example, each afternoon kindergarten students (and their families) are able to customize the program in a way that allows each child to “go deep” on the skill area of most relevance and interest (e.g., musical instrument, research on a certain topic, a self-directed online course, etc.).
Rigorous. We hear from many families that they are concerned their children will be, or have been, bored at school. Or that they won’t be able to keep up with the pace of the rest of the classroom. We leverage small, flexible groupings to ensure that each child is receiving, in math and literacy, the right lesson at just the right time. This allows students who are able to accelerate into advanced skills to do so, while it also allows students who require extra time and support to master grade-level fundamentals to receive what they need.
Fun. We never miss an opportunity to make learning at The Croft School as engaging as it can be. Consider, for example, our approach to being in such a great city as Providence, which has rich and fascinating resources. We see the community and the world as part of our classroom, and we see our classroom as an important contributor to our community. As such, every week, every Croft student participates in a weekly community trip to explore a new facet of what the city has to offer: museums, universities, libraries, outdoor spaces, restaurants, nonprofits, theaters, art studios, and more.
You can read more about the details of our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs here.
Small, Friendly Environment. Relationship-Driven Approach.
The Croft School is a small school. We’ll have one classroom per grade level, and each classroom will have no more than 16 students. At full capacity, our school will have just over 100 students. And our student-to-teacher ratio will never exceed 10:1.
To us, small is a beautiful thing. Small allows school to be personal for each child, where individual students become known well and form the nexus of each decision teachers made. Small ensures that students never get “lost in the crowd” and get individual academic, social, and emotional attention every day. Small allows us to foster an intimate community, where students’ social development and friendships – and the parent community – can be thoughtfully built over time. Most importantly, perhaps, small means excellence. By focusing on the quality of our program rather than its size, we can consistently deliver on the promises we make and the high expectations we hope that families hold.
Our environment will be nurturing, particularly in our youngest grades. We want families to take comfort in the love and care that our teacher will provide to their children.
Relationships matter in education – between teachers and students and between teachers and parents. We are passionate about building deep, caring, and trustful relationships with our students and parents, and then working in partnership to customize the program to fit each child’s interests and needs. We hope that the bonds that are built at Croft can last a lifetime.
The 6 C’s: Our Unique Approach to Families
We approach the way in which families experience our school unlike nearly any other public or private school in the country. As you learn more about this part of our program, we believe it may be one of the attributes that you come to value the most.
Our innovative approach to families has roots in the realities of our founder’s family’s experiences. Both Scott and his wife, Sarah, work full time – and work long hours. With two sons, ages 1 and 3, life is hectic! As they started to research the ways in which elementary schools were designed, they realized that no one had built a school to match the realities – and needs – of working parents and busy families. So, they asked themselves: “Why not rethink the way in which schools are designed for families from the ground up?”
The result is The Croft School’s “6 C’s” approach: Customization. Communication. Convenience. Classroom Access. Community. Customer Service.
From empowering families to be in the driver’s seat on certain components of their child’s education, to exceptional communication, to our on-site coffee café or even our dry cleaning drop off service, we have simply one goal: to become the most parent-centric school in the world. We endeavor to delight our families in ways both expected and unexpected, every single day.
Read more about our approach here.
Exceptional Student Experience, Lower Tuition
We get it. The cost of $30,000+ per year tuition, perhaps for multiple children, just isn’t doable – or at least would be a huge stretch. But you don’t want to sacrifice the quality that could come from a top private school education. That’s where The Croft School comes in. By forgoing the fancy facilities of other private schools, we can provide an extraordinary educational experience at 60% of the price of the area’s most expensive private schools.
Read more about our tuition structure here.
Is Croft Right for My Child and Family?
We know that different schools are right for different families. And though The Croft School works hard to personalize the experience in a way that we believe can meet the individual needs, preferences, and values of many families, we recognize it might not be the right fit for every child and every family.
Here are some factors to consider when determining whether The Croft School might be the right choice for you.
Signs that Croft may be right for your family and child:
- You are looking for a high-quality school that only hires extraordinary teachers.
- Your lives are hectic and you would appreciate a school that goes above and beyond to keep you involved in and knowledgeable about your child’s progress, as well as a school that will go to great lengths to make life easier for you as a parent.
- The most expensive private schools in the area may be financially out of reach, but you don’t want to sacrifice the quality that could come from a top private school education.
Signs that Croft may not be right for your family and child:
- You are seeking a large, traditional school for your child. (Not us! We’re small and take an innovative approach to schooling aligned with what is most important in the 21st century.)
- You are seeking a large campus with elaborate buildings. (We don’t have that! And because of that, we deliver an extraordinary experience at a more affordable price. We are nonetheless really excited about the learning space we’ll be creating.)
- You are seeking a school that has many years of tradition and ample evidence of graduates who have matriculated into top colleges. (Nope! We’re brand new. And we realize that with that reality comes some risk. But we are eager to partner with our students and families to start building our own traditions. And we are confident that we will lay a strong academic, social, and life foundation for every child such that they will be well-positioned to pursue their dreams, including admission into top colleges and universities.)