The Croft School Experience: Key Attributes
Rigor and Spark. We hope that boredom is the antithesis of the Croft student experience. Our goal at Croft is not simply to sustain the curiosity that many young children naturally possess when entering school. It is to brighten each child’s spark even further and enhance a child’s love for learning more and more as she or he grows older. To do so, we utilize teaching strategies that ensure that each child’s academic work is on the edge of her or his knowledge and skill level, we over-invest in connecting lessons and projects to the interests of our students, and we hire teachers who bring a natural and contagious zeal to a profession they love. We never shy away from challenging our students, helping them strengthen their core skills while also broadening and deepening their knowledge. In doing so, we are creating pathways for our children to soar academically, both within and beyond The Croft School’s classrooms.
Student-Centeredness. The Croft School is anything but “one size fits all.” We know that 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 creates opportunities for students to dive deeply into what matters most to them. In math and literacy, we leverage small, flexible groupings to ensure that each child is receiving the right lesson at just the right time. This allows students who are able to accelerate into advanced skills to do so, while it affording students extra time and support, as needed, to master grade-level fundamentals.
Balance. We know schools that are obsessive about testing and standards. We know other schools that choose to forego explicit teaching of critical literacy, math, and other foundational skills. We pride ourselves on being thoughtful about balance: the right dose of core academic focus mixed with the right dose of other types of progressive learning, discovery, and fun! We’re often asked: Are you Montessori? Are you Waldorf? Are you traditional “Direct Instruction”? Our answer: we respect all of these program types, and employ our favorite features from each of them. But ultimately, we are a new type of educational model that transcends traditional labels. We offer a balance between structured academic time and choice-based purposeful play; a balance between academics and social-emotional learning; a balance of both active and quiet time; and a balance of both indoor and outdoor learning.
Small, Relationship-Driven Environment. The Croft School is a small school. To us, small is a beautiful thing. Small allows school to be personal for each child, where individual students become known personally and form the nexus of each decision that our teachers make. Small ensures that students never get “lost in the crowd” and get individual attention every day. Small allows students’ social development and friendships – and the parent community – to 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.
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.