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Crosswinds Arts And Science School1
Posted June 13, 2014
- a parent
This USED to be an amazing school. The switch in administration and most of the staff in September 2013 has resulted in dramatic changes - and not for the better. There are very serious core issues, especially involving bullying. Administration is not welcoming to parent or student input either. Sad.
Crosswinds Arts & Science has it all! First the focus on the arts and on environmental-related sciences. The integration of disciplines. The integration of many different kinds of kids--and it's a real integration that doesn't break down at the lunch tables or after school. It's an integration that enfolds kids with different learning abilities, different races and ethnicities and different economic classes. The middle-school IB program is well-established and provides the foundation for everything else. The orchestra is nationally recognized. The school works with community collaborators such as Master Gardeners and many others to enrich the curriculum and provide extensive opportunities for the students. The teachers and the staff are totally dedicated to this school's mission and vision. The architecture of the building was specifically designed to meet the needs of the school's innovative programming. Crosswinds has worked hard and successfully to raise achievement levels for all of its students. No one has been left behind. Now that the school is being managed by Perpich Center for Arts Education, I believe it will have an even more amazing future.
My two sons were fortunate to attend Crosswinds from grades 6-10. Each of them excelled academically, artistically, and socially. The IB curriculum and the arts and science magnet program helped them develop effective critical-thinking skills and an ability to work effectively in team environments with a diversity of students. The teachers at Crosswinds are skilled in working with students with different abilities and learning styles ensuring they reach their academic goals. The integrated learning environment provides the opportunity students to develop friendships with students from a variety of backgrounds. Attending Crosswinds has prepared my sons to be effective in a global world. As they enter their college years I know they are doing so with a strong foundation and are prepared for future success.
Crosswinds Arts and Sciences IB World School was originally developed to be a magnet school through the East Metro Integration District in St. Paul, MN. As such it has focused on creating a deeply integrated school culture which values each and every student's gifts. Both of my children completed this school, and we loved it! It was equally supportive of kids with disabilities, and kids with high intellectual gifts. The orchestra program was the best I've ever encountered, and the year round calendar is an important element of the school's success. I have not found a more creative or innovative public school in the area.
My second son is now finishing his 10th grade year at Crosswinds and will miss it very much. He had great teachers there at every level, but especially these past two years. He has become a cellist with the wonderful orchestra, an actor in a school play, and very active in his community. The year-round schedule has been great for family vacations. Free bussing was provided from St. Paul to Crosswinds' stunning Woodbury campus. The only downside has been a collaborative school board that saw Crosswinds as competition for other area public schools, but that is now resolved as the Perpich Center for Arts Education has taken over the program. Crosswinds now has a future as bright as its past. Our first son finished at Crosswinds years ago and is now entering his last year of college. He, too, remembers Crosswinds fondly. Crosswinds did a very good job managing his IEP. Don't let the odd 6-10 grade span deter you. First of all, if you really insist on a four-year high school experience, you can treat Crosswinds as a middle school and leave after 8th. But those who stay find their kids are ready to make great choice when moving on to new schools for 11th grade.
Crosswinds has help my student turn flip the switch to "on" when it comes to education. He was always so ho-hum about school (in the years it should still be fun). He doesn't lose learning (only one month in the summer off - August- with other breaks that make more sense for our family). He can more quickly move forward with his learning. The arts/science and the integration model maek for a rich and welcoming environment. He'll be back next year!!
Crosswinds has been such a terrific option for my kids and I am so relieved that it is staying open! The teachers are top-notch, the integration is a great thing for all the kids and the International Baccalaureate focus provides a unique and helpful viewpoint to shape growing minds. I would recommend Crosswinds to all my friends and family. Also, the building is beautiful and the year-round schedule has proved to be great for our family. The continuity of learning throughout the whole year works really well for my kids and the Intersession options are always fun and interesting.
Our daughter hit the ground running at Crosswinds and has further developed her musical gifts in addition to her academic gifts. Whoever heard of a teenager who LOVES middle school? Highlights for us are the award winning orchestra program and the ambitious drama program (both musical theater and theater) which stand with high school level programs. The year round calendar, IB program, science focus and especially the emphasis on considering other perspectives and experiencing other cultures help build 21st century thinkers and citizens of a global economy. Special needs students thrive. Teachers are engaged and passionate. New pricipal hitting it off with kids. Great place for a kid who doesn't identify with the "crowd" in traditional school settings or families who place value on arts above sports. Parent group is very involved and proud of the school.