As some of you may not have known, but most who read my blog regularly should know, I’ve been in a year-round school (Crosswinds) for the past 5 years. It is now the very final day of 10h grade for me and therefore also the final day that I’ll ever be in the school as a current student at it.
I vividly remember my 6th grade year here, and what first strikes me when thinking about that year is how much of the school has changed since then. In this year’s yearbook there’s a page that has just a short line that says something like “…original 4 houses…”, that line would likely send a lot, if not all, the current 6-9 students questioning what that means, simply because they were not here when it was like that. When Crosswinds had just 4 houses everything was more open and we had twice the space that the 6 houses of today have. At the end of 6th grade the Water House had been beginning to transition over to the second half of the Earth House’s space (I was in Earth House from 6-8 grade) and it became clear to me that the Crosswinds that I had first been enrolled in had died somewhere in those last weeks of July 2004 and was now replaced with a school that felt a lot like a “traditional” school.
Looking back at 6th grade brings back all these memories that are almost like a really really good dream. This is partly because of how long ago it was (5 years, 2008 back to 2004), but also because of the changes that have occurred since. Of course, if it weren’t for all those changes then I would’ve already left Crosswinds two years ago because there would be no high school program if they didn’t compress the middle school program to allocate for the needed space to run a high school program.
Also, fairly silently, Crosswinds had to change it’s name after the add of the high school program from the original name of “Crosswinds Arts And Science Middle School” to the simpler “Crosswinds Arts And Science School”, so as to eliminate the word “Middle” from the name as the high school program won’t make sense under the old name.
The school also got rid of the original 3-year looping that it had once the high school was implemented and switched to a 1 to 2 to 1 to 1 (2-year looping) system, with 6, 9, and 10 separated and only 7th and 8th grade being in the looping. I was part of the final 3-year looping class the school will ever see. This transition was in part due to the high school program/ IB certification (more on that in the next paragraph) and partly due to stricter Federal and State school regulations on what and how schools teach.
The one really nice thing about Crosswinds, and part of the reason that all these changes (including the high school addition in the first place) had to occur was to get itself in line with the International Baccalaureate school standards. The IB program is a worldwide set of curriculums that teach students not only the basics, but a lot about (world) culture as well. The diploma students get after completing the program (in Crosswind’s case the Middle Years version) is one that will look really good on a transcript and as part of a college application.