Head of school Bob Riddle
School color(s) Red, White, and Blue
|Founder Paul Cummins|
Phone +1 310-829-7391
Number of students 1,139
|Publication Etymology (academic journal), Dark as Day (literary arts journal)|
Address 1714 21st St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is a private, K-12 independent, college preparatory school in Santa Monica, California, United States. The school is a former member of the prestigious G20 Schools Group. The Crossroads School has a rivalry with the nearby Brentwood School.
The school was founded in 1971 as a secular institution affiliated with St. Augustine By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Monica. Although the founders, and many of the school's original students, came from the former St. Augustine By-the-Sea Episcopal Day School in Santa Monica, Crossroads School has always been a secular institution. Crossroads started with three rooms in a Baptist church offering grades seven and eight, and an initial enrollment of just over 30 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,
As St. Augustine's grew to junior and senior high school, the founders started Crossroads with a separate board of directors and separate campus, which eventually merged in the 1980s under the name Crossroads.
Human Development is a fundamental part of the Crossroads curriculum, holding equal weight with conventional departments such as Math and History. It is meant to teach students maturity, tolerance, and confidence, important aspects of life that are often neglected in a public school education. Advanced Placement (AP) classes were recently excluded from the curriculum, as the faculty felt the required topics for certain AP classes were too narrow, and taught students to merely pass a test rather than truly understand the subject. Students address teachers by their first names. Some question this untraditional approach, but many at Crossroads insist that this practice fosters friendship and trust between the authority figure and the pupil. Classrooms also have names, not numbers, and are dedicated to important figures in history: Einstein, Mead, Frost, Chavez, and Neruda are examples.
In the media
The 2004 book Hollywood Interrupted, by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner (ISBN 0-471-45051-0), dedicated a large section to Crossroads; it depicted the school (and the celebrities who send their children there) in a negative light, focusing mainly on a handful of high-profile parents and "drug problems" stemming from the 1980s. The school was also featured in a May 2005 issue of Vanity Fair; like Breitbart's book, it also focused on the school's celebrity clientele.