Through a diverse range of programmatic offerings, the Upper School strikes a healthy balance of academic, social, and emotional development.
Crefeld’s academic program is built around its mission to graduate self-aware, empathetic, lifelong learners, who possess an appreciation for diverse perspectives, their role in society, and their ability to act as agents of change. Academic departments include English, history, science, mathematics, Spanish, visual and performing arts, and physical education. Two grade level teams (9/10 and 11/12) work collaboratively within their teams to integrate the curriculum across disciplines. Many units of study include cross curriculum lessons and / or culminating projects. The English, history, and science teachers of grade level teams meet once a week to discuss curriculum and individual students with reference to their academic, social, and emotional development.
Student learning is differentiated through varied course offerings and individualized attention within the classroom. Students have the option of taking Intensive courses that move at a faster pace or go more in depth than a regular course. One period per week, X-Block, is also devoted to reinforcing skills and concepts that are addressed within the broader program; for example, X block areas of focus include leadership development, wellness, self-advocacy, and transition planning. In addition to classes, students have other opportunities to connect with their peers and teachers through advisories, community service and activity periods. Technology is also important to Crefeld students. All upper school students bring in their own devices on a daily basis.
Crefeld’s intentionally different approach to education is most evident through the Graduation by Exhibition program. In addition to passing their junior and senior classes, students must complete sixteen graduation exhibitions.
Feedback regarding the Graduation by Exhibition program from faculty and students is overwhelmingly positive. Students report that teachers serve as cheerleaders, mentors, advocates and quality control inspectors throughout the process. The exhibitions prepare students for the independent work they will experience in college, and reassure teachers that students are leaving Crefeld well-prepared for the next phase of their lives.