Our Approach to Education

Crefeld believes that all students can learn and that all people learn differently; therefore, all students must work to discover their own learning styles, build on their strengths, develop compensation strategies for their weaknesses, and become advocates for themselves as learners.

Our program is designed to create a supportive, nurturing environment where students develop the skills of individual students. Teachers work to incorporate a variety of instructional approaches, assessments and support strategies to accommodate different learning styles and challenges. Courses generally demand a greater volume of work and independence as students move into the higher grades, but the system of advisories, learning support, and emotional support serve throughout to help students manage the academic, personal, and social demands of the program. As a culminating experience, students complete fourteen exhibitions in their senior year, which are requirements for graduation. Through this process they develop a variety of skills, both traditionally academic, such as research and persuasive writing, and also more broadly applicable skills such as self-advocacy, time management and long term planning.

Core courses are grouped by grade-level team and by theme, and team faculty meet frequently to discuss curriculum. Themes generally reflect and support the larger philosophical mission of critical inquiry and global awareness. Math and Spanish courses are grouped by ability, and the math program has recently returned to a more traditional sequence of courses after deciding this served student needs better, particularly for placing new students into appropriate courses. Some curricular coordination between disciplines is achieved more on an ad hoc basis due to schedule conflicts or difficulties aligning grade-level groupings with ability-level groupings of students. Supplementary activities, such as grade specific X-Block classes or spring mini-courses, are designed to enhance and amplify the core goals of the program.

The content of the program is geared toward creating a “critically engaged citizenry.” Course content, community service, supplementary activities and interpersonal relationships are all intended to encourage an awareness of and respect for other cultures, points of view, beliefs and ideas. Students engage in weekly community serviceprojects, which help them gain an understanding of and appreciation for their place in the larger community. The emphasis on trust, respect and appreciation of diversity results in both students and faculty who feel appreciated, known, supported and safe. This environment is further enhanced by the high level of collaboration among faculty, staff and administration.