In “Altering Courses,” Senior Education Policy Analyst Ross Izard describes his time at Crossroads School in Longmont, Colorado. Described lovingly as the “island of misfit toys where everybody fits,” Crossroads is a private, faith-based alternative school for at-risk middle and high school students.
Started in 2010 with the specific goal of serving children whose needs could not be met by existing educational options, the school looks very different from most traditional schools. Its highly personalized approach to education eschews traditional classroom lectures and grades in favor of meeting students where they are academically. A heavy focus on relationships and individualized support helps Crossroads students persevere and achieve success in the face of academic, behavioral, and family-related hurdles.
Crossroads’ small size and dedication to serving children regardless of income—it charges only $100 per month in tuition—have required its leadership team to overcome a variety of obstacles. The school’s leaders have displayed remarkable ingenuity in solving these problems, often with the help of the community they serve. The result is a home for at-risk students that can provide the services and support those students need through a variety of strong community partnerships.