Cross Schools is the best in Bluffton. My children have been attending school there since age 2. The preschool is hands down the best and the elementary school can't be beat. The small class sizes are an amazing benefit. My children have had many classes that have one teacher, an assistant AND less than 20 children in the class. The more advanced students can be challenged and those that need extra help can get it. The teachers know all the students, not just the ones in their own classes. It is a wonderful family atmosphere! All the students are well behaved and respect the teachers and administrators. I've never walked down the halls in the 6 years my kids have been there and seen any students acting up. Unlike public schools they are allowed to teach Christian values at school which I think helps eliminate behavioral issues like bullying. When I pick up the kids early when we are traveling or for a doctors appointment they actually complain because they don't want to leave early! It couldn't be any better!
My review on Cross is based on my experience with 4 other schools and 3 school districts. As a parent transferring in from another part of the country 2 years ago, it was very stressful trying to learn about the schools in the Savannah area. We found Cross Schools after a horrible experience with a public elementary in Guyton GA. We actually moved to Bluffton from Georgia so our kids could go to Cross. The public schools in this area are good about keeping class sizes small but the schools themselves average 800-1000 students and neither my kids or I liked that. Coming from a very high performing school district that expected kids to be able to read before kindergarten and having children that love to learn, I have been very happy with the academics at Cross. I am familiar with many different curriculums and feel my kids are being challenged. For example, before each new math chapter the kids take a pre-test to see how much they already know of the subject. They are willing to look at new curriculums and change. In the time we have been here (1.5 years) they have added more clubs and sports. They also are adding in support for kids that may need some academic help. I also love that they give the kids tons of opportunities to speak, make presentations and perform in front of their class and the entire school. Being comfortable with public speaking is an important skill that is best taught early and my kids are much better at it than I was at their age being in such a supportive environment. I watched my youngest (now in 2nd grade) go from refusing to do anything on stage at the beginning of first grade to singing his heart out at the end of school performance.
The test scores that Cross uses to purport it's academics as superior to the public schools are an entirely different set of standards. The administrators are manipulating unknowing parents into believing their children are performing at a higher level when in fact they are using a different set of tests to reach the conclusion.
To be fair, I did only tour Cross in my search to find the best education for my kids but that was enough. It was a disastrous experience. Kids sleeping in class, science class was a joke and teachers who I asked couldn't even explain what their instructional plan was for science, computer lab had kids passing notes and goofing off, overflowing trash cans, a tiny library, high schoolers pushing and calling names in the stairwell before they realized a tour was coming.
Friends whose kids go there love the school and I get it---it's an insulated universe and has a great community. I've heard fantastic things about its preschool. But, it's elementary, middle, and high school strength is its small size NOT the academics.
Cross Schools Parent Advisory Committee held a parent night to help the parents with the topic of integrity! As Christians we are called to live public lives of integrity. However, we find ourselves in a
culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to all matters of faith. How do we live a life of Public Faith that impacts our community and honors God? How do we teach our children that? This message was shared with our parents. The students participate in character education working on integrity and many other character traits.
We have had a wonderful experience at Cross Schools for both of our children. Our son began at Cross as a two year old and is now in the second grade our daughter began as an 18 month old and is now in Pre-k. Both the Preschool and the Lower/Middle School prepare spiritually and academically for whatever life will through at them. The teachers are caring and the classes are smaller giving students more attention. Teachers have an assistant to help in the classroom as well! There are many sports and clubs to be a part of for students and many ways for parents to volunteer and participate in their child's schooling like family chapel and Flag Pole Friday. Cross Schools feels like an extended family we look forward to many more years at Cross for our children.
We love Cross Schools! Choosing the best school for your children is one of the most important decisions parents will ever make. We are thrilled with our choice! The teachers and staff are wonderful, and our children have grown spiritually and academically. We highly recommend it!
My family's experience with Cross schools, was both good and bad. The students seem to be well behaved and overall good kids. However, some of the teachers come off as insensitive at times, especially in the lower grades. Also, this school is not very accommodating for students who struggle academically. Ultimately, we decided to go with another school that offered more individual support.
My pre-k students (twins) love going to this school. This is a great environment to kickstart my children's passion for learning. They will be prepared for kindergarten and seem to know how to function properly in a school setting. Let's hope this continues into their teen years!