Crestmont provides an environment that allows children to grow to
their fullest potential. To achieve this, we emphasize the
- Community: At Crestmont, children are
supported in reaching their fullest potential, both academically
and socially, by our close-knit school community. Research has
shown that being known by more than one adult in a school is linked
with greater student success. Because of Crestmont’s intimate
size, the children are known by all of the adults (staff and
parents) who are present on a regular basis. Caring adults are
critical to the students’ success by providing the kinds of
supportive relationships, expectations, and opportunities that help
them thrive at Crestmont and beyond.
- Self Esteem: Children learn best when they are
emotionally secure. One of our teachers’ primary
responsibilities is to do everything possible to nourish a
child’s positive feelings about himself or herself.
- Learning: StylesNo single approach is adequate
to address the variety of learning styles within a classroom.
Therefore, a multi-faceted, multi-modal approach promotes
successful learning for each child.
- Authentic Assessment: Crestmont values
ongoing, authentic assessment. Each child’s progress is
recorded in narrative evaluations that review academic,
socio-emotional, and physical development. After children graduate
from Crestmont, they are able to adjust to the new challenge of
letter grades with confidence and internal motivation.
- Spontaneity and Critical Thinking: We believe
spontaneity is important in the classroom. We maintain the
flexibility that allows organic classroom discussions and
investigations. In this environment, children are given the time to
ask questions, think critically and creatively, and develop
excellent problem-solving skills.
- Inclusion: Children learn that everyone can
play at Crestmont. Excluding others is not an option on our campus.
This helps children experience a sense of belonging, and is also
critical for the development of a safe and trusting community,
which is essential for learning.
- Social Skills and Conflict Resolution: Helping
children acquire social skills is a fundamental part of primary
education and a cornerstone of Crestmont’s philosophy. We
consider positive social interaction and conflict resolution to be
subjects as important as math and reading. While we intentionally
teach conflict resolution skills, we also take the time needed to
address issues as they arise. With steady guidance, the children
develop a strong sense of empathy and the skills to get along with
a variety of people.
- Childhood: Crestmont honors the spirit of
childhood. Encouraging fantasy, play, and imagination allows each
child’s spirit to flourish in his or her young years and
- The Arts: Drama, dance, music, and visual arts
play a crucial role in the development of the whole child. The Arts
provide an outlet for individual expression, bringing joy and
richness to the classroom community. Currently, we offer weekly
music instruction, dramatic productions in every class, and visual
- Field Trips: We believe it is critical for
students to have regular, meaningful opportunities for learning
beyond the classroom walls. Each class goes on one to two field
trips each month. Field trips have included Alvarado and Tilden
Parks, San Francisco mural walk, Fort Ross, Muir Woods, Zellerbach
Hall, Lawrence Hall of Science, Oakland Symphony, Hall of Health,
San Francisco Bay Model, Lindsay Wildlife Museum, the Gold Country,
and dozens of other places.
- Compassion and Service: Helping children to
take developmentally appropriate action allows them to realize
their ability to make a difference in the world. Activities that
give Crestmont students a sense of power have included writing
letters to protest the mistreatment of marine mammals, running
on-site flea markets to raise money to preserve the rain forest,
working on marsh restoration, and collecting recyclables to raise
money for a homeless shelter in Richmond.
- Parent/Teacher Communication: Individual
parent-teacher conferences are held twice per year. As a class
group, parents meet quarterly with their child’s teacher to
hear updates on curricula, field trips, and special classroom
activities. Teachers communicate with parents via regular emails
and are also available for meeting with parents on an as-needed
- Transitions: We believe it is important to
celebrate and help students prepare for school transitions.
Incoming kindergarteners are each visited by their new teacher
during the summer before school starts. Kindergarten families are
welcomed at a summer picnic to get acquainted with their classmates
and new teacher. All new families attend an orientation meeting to
become familiar with school policies, traditions, and nuts and
bolts. The fourth/fifth grade teacher facilitates ongoing
conversations about middle school. Students are able to express
their expectations, anticipations, and fears in a safe environment
in preparation for their next transition.
Profile last updated: 10/20/2013