Crossroads School is a private, co-educational school for students with learning differences. It was founded in 1977 by Ms. Carol Garnett, who holds a Master’s in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in learning disabilities. She envisioned Crossroads as a place where students with learning disabilities could receive the specialized instruction they needed to thrive. With Ms. Garnett’s retirement, Gila Arnoni, Ph.D. succeeded her as head of school. Dr. Arnoni holds her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. She also has many years of experience in education, research, and program development. Dr. Arnoni believes that “every child should have a place where learning is nurtured and individual paths to success are emphasized.” This is the guiding philosophy of the school today. The ultimate goal of the program is to equip students to re-enter the educational mainstream and continue to flourish.
Crossroads School has no religious affiliation and accepts students of all faiths.
Location and Facilities
Crossroads School is located just outside the 610 Loop West between Westheimer and Richmond. The surrounding area includes both residential and commercial buildings. The original 1977 building is still in use, with two additional buildings having been built in the 1990s and 2010s, respectively. The entire campus is undergoing major renovations between 2014 and 2016, with a high school building scheduled to open in 2016. In addition to the academic buildings, the campus includes open land which serves as an athletic field.
To apply for admission to Crossroads School, students must fill out a paper application, which can be obtained from the school’s office. In addition to the application form, prospective students are asked to tour the school with their parents and to participate in a shadow visit day. A parent consultation is also required. No special testing or teacher recommendations are needed. The ideal candidate for admission will be a student with learning disabilities who will thrive in Crossroads’ specialized educational environment.
Academic Tracks and Curriculum
The curriculum at Crossroads is tailored to the needs of students with learning differences. A unique track is designed for each student in order to optimally meet his or her educational needs, and the school maintains a low student-teacher ratio to ensure that each student can have personal attention. The general curriculum includes remedial teaching to fill gaps in students’ understanding, and there is also a focus on teaching “compensatory skills” that can help students work around their learning differences.
In addition to its highly specialized aspects, the curriculum also includes specialty classes such as art, social skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and keyboarding. Students also have the opportunity to expand their horizons through community service, theater visits, and trips to scientific and historical museums.
Crossroads School is specifically intended for students with learning differences. Learning differences which the school can accommodate include dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD, mild Tourette’s, mild autism spectrum disorders, mild developmental disorders, and learning differences stemming from medical or psychological conditions. The school also serves “twice exceptional” students, or Gifted and Talented students with learning differences. This is not an exhaustive list; parents who have questions about accommodations for other learning differences should inquire with the school admissions office.
The entire curriculum of Crossroads School is tailored to optimally meet the needs of students with learning differences. The specific accommodations vary from student to student, according to what is needed.
Crossroads School does not currently offer any foreign languages.
The fine arts are incorporated into the curriculum through specialty classes which deal with visual art, dance, creative writing, and drama writing. Students also have the opportunity to engage in theater by performing in student-written plays which are produced several times a year and attended by friends and family. Two annual exhibitions, the Fall Festival and Spring Fling, also provide opportunities for students to showcase their creative work.
The arts are also incorporated into the curriculum through field trips to local theatrical productions.
Crossroads School uses a variety of technology in the classroom. Students are provided with laptops and tablets for classroom use, and all classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards. Additionally, students in creative writing classes use Co-Writer software, which is specially designed to ease written expression for students with learning differences.
As for personal electronic devices, Crossroads’ policy is that students should not bring them to school.
Crossroads School offers several after-school enrichment classes for an additional fee. The programs currently available are as follows: Sports and Fitness Class, Arts Alive, Science Investigators, Keyboarding is Fun!, and a Homework Club which serves as a focused study hall. The school also provides a summer day camp for students, also for an additional fee. While there are no extracurriculars which focus on community service, it is incorporated into the educational curriculum.
Crossroads School offers one interscholastic athletic program in track and field. Additionally, students have the opportunity to play intramural sports and engage in exercise through the Sports and Fitness Class after school.
Parents who wish to become more involved in their children’s education at Crossroads may join Friends of Crossroads: Understanding and Supporting, or F.O.C.U.S.. The primary goal of the organization is to raise money to support the school’s projects. The goal of FOCUS is to provide a support group of friends and families of Crossroads who work together for the good of our students, the school, and its faculty. FOCUS is involved in coordinating volunteers for field trips, special school events and projects and will also provide a forum for parents to share information and resources. It is also a link for alumni parents to guide current parents through the challenges of raising a child with learning differences.
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5822 Dolores Street, Houston, TX 77057