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FAQs

1. What is thematic learning? Imagine a world where deep, expansive learning is fun, exciting and leaves a lasting impact on students past the time they spend at CRS. Sound awesome? It truly is. Read and hear more about it here.

2. What is your average class size? or What is your teacher:pupil ratio? Class size is small and there are always two experienced co-teachers in each grade from PreK through 6, with instructional groups of 10-12 students. Specialist teachers for music, art, science, library and computers also teach in half-groups. 73% of our teachers have master’s degrees.While class size may vary slightly from year to year, typically we have:

Grade # of students
PreKindergarten 16 students Always 2 teachers/class
Kindergarten 20-21 Always 2 teachers/class
Grades 1-5 22-23 Always 2 teachers/class
Grades 6 24 Always 2 teachers/class
Grades 7&8 44-46 students combined Team of 7 teachers

Read more about PreK-Grade 5 at CRS.

Read more about Grades 6-8 at CRS.

3. How do you challenge bright children? Our small classes with two teachers ensure that children receive individualized attention. The thematic curriculum encourages children to think without boundaries, to ask deep questions, to take academic risks, and to take projects in unique directions. A flexible curriculum and a preponderance of teacher-generated materials enable teachers to challenge students who can go further or conversely, to re-teach and reinforce when needed.

Our graduates enter many of the region’s finest high schools and continue to excel in college and beyond.

4. How much homework do children have? Homework relates directly to what is happening in the classroom and is not assigned as busy work. It is engaging, challenging and developmentally appropriate to a child’s age. It is also a means to help children develop their organizational and time management skills and encourage them to take some responsibility for their learning.

Typical Nightly Homework Assignments
Grades 2 & 3 20-30 minutes/weeknight
Grade 4 45 minutes/weeknight
Grades 5 & 6 1 hour/weeknight
Grades 7 & 8 30 minutes/subject/weeknight

Get to know every teacher at CRS in our CRS People section.

5. What kind of credentials do you require of your teachers? We hire experienced teachers, most of whom have a master’s degree. The school is committed to a strong professional development program for teachers. Every teacher has $800 a year to spend on professional work. Teachers regularly take courses, attend workshops and participate in in-house professional development. In addition there is a summer grant program for study, travel, or other work-related projects and grants for curriculum development.

6. What is the CRS community like? CRS is a community bound together by community agreements regarding how we treat one another and guidelines for student behavior. It is a vibrant, diverse, creative community in which children look after each other and adults see educational and social issues through the eyes of children.

Check out the Community section to see and hear more about the CRS community.

7. How are parents involved in the school? Parents at CRS are directly involved in the daily life of the school. A Board of Trustees sets policy and hires the Head of School. Most Trustees are parents. The Parent Council assists the Head in non-academic issues such as community service, volunteer coordination, admissions tour guides, and assemblies. Many committees are open to the parent body. Parents are encouraged to volunteer in classrooms, work in the library and share a hobby or a vocation.

8. How do you assess children’s progress? We give lengthy and detailed written reports on a student’s progress twice a year (December and June) and a shorter version in March. We assess children using a narrative and checklist format in the place of letter grades. We also make use of anecdotal records, portfolios and tests and quizzes in older grades.

Parents are informed of how their child is doing in each curriculum area as well as socially and personally. There are two scheduled Parent Conferences a year, one in October and another in March, but it is not unusual for parents to be communicating with teachers every week or more often. Teachers are always available for special conferences to discuss their students’ progress.

Our small classes and teacher:pupil ratio allow teachers to constantly assess progress and monitor students who may need reinforcement or enrichment. Older children have tests and quizzes on which they may receive a numerical grade.

Beginning in Grade 5, children take the ERB (Educational Records Bureau) achievement tests every year. Our students experience a different level of testing and grading at the 7th and 8th grade level as they prepare for secondary school. Students in Grade 8 take the SSAT in preparation for the secondary school admission process.

9. How do CRS students do academically and socially compared to children in other schools? CRS is not a feeder school for any particular secondary school. In fact, every year we send our graduates to a wide variety of schools, and they distinguish themselves in secondary school and in college. They are comfortable with leadership roles and know how to connect to the larger community. They know who they are as learners. They have learned how to budget their time and take responsibility for scheduling and learning.

For almost 100 years we have been sending children on to secondary schools and we are confident that our students have been prepared for whatever school is right for them. We receive feedback from secondary schools that our students are leaders, well qualified academically and are active members of their new school community.

10. What kind of after-school sports programs do you offer? The after-school sports program begins at the 5th grade and takes place Monday – Thursday until 4:30 pm. Students can choose between field hockey and soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and lacrosse and tennis in the spring. The teams play teams from other independent schools.

Sports information for each grade is located on their Grade page.

11. What is your after-school care program? Children at every grade level are welcome to join our Extended Day Program, where activities continue until 6:00 PM. The schedule and curriculum varies according to age. Registration is by the year, or with 24-hour notice if space is available.