Music, Drama & Art
The humanities are not an option at Crossroads High School. Every student has a part in the year's drama productions. Every student sings in the choir. Every student is enrolled in art. Why? Because the arts express ideas in a way that reach deep into the soul. Not everyone is equally skilled in executing the arts, but everyone can learn from them and grow.
From Shakespeare to the Civil Rights, from Greek myths to Pilgrim's Progress - key ideas, people, and movements take on a whole new perspective when a student has interacted with the material with their body and emotions in an artistic way.
Our arts programs complement and reflect the time period that the student body is studying each year. This is an aspect of the classical approach to education that brings depth to the students' knowledge.
Part of the mission of Crossroads is to nurture a servant's heart in the students, just as Jesus us taught us by example. High School students are required to complete 25 hours of voluntary service each school year. Some of their hours are accomplished together, as a school. For example, they have done yard work for the elderly in Tiskilwa and given programs at libraries and retirement centers across the county.
Students have volunteered for many different organizations and causes, including their churches, Menno Haven Camp, The Closet, Freedom House, Mt. Bloom Cemetery, the South Side Mission in Peoria and numerous others.
We embrace the classical Greek view of the purpose of education: to develop wisdom and virtue and to teach the student to think truly and act rightly. But just how do we evaluate ideas? What is our standard of wisdom and virtue? For if there is no standard, there is no way to know if we are moving closer to or farther from it.
There is one Truth-containing text that we at Crossroads agree is the standard for all times and places. It is the Word of God, spoken through the prophets and apostles, recorded in the Bible, and preserved through the centuries. In it we see the Ideal man, Jesus Christ, who came as a suffering servant. He calls us to repent, die to self, and live a righteous life of faith in him, the Son of God.
One vehicle we use to promote Biblical literacy among our students is to host a friendly Bible Bowl competition each tear which requires them to learn the content of one book of the Bible thoroughly in order to be able to answer questions quickly. Teams worked together to memorize and study the chosen book.
National Latin Exam
Each year Crossroads proctors the National Latin Exam for our students. All students who have completed Latin I and above are encouraged to attempt the exam in order to earn recognition for their achievement that can be documented on their transcript.
At Crossroads, we're passionate about Latin. Why? What's the big deal?
- Latin develops the intellectual powers of the mind as no other subject can. Think of physical fitness, of a student who is an athlete versus one who is a couch potato. The mind can be developed like the body.
- Latin is the verbal counterpart to math in that it forms the mind of the student to accuracy, logical thinking, and problem solving. Just as math is systematic, organized, orderly, logical, and cumulative, so is Latin. Each skill builds upon the previous one, nothing can be forgotten, and everything must be remembered. The student continues to build a tower of learning block by block, until he has reached a very high level of skills and knowledge.
- By learning Latin, the student really starts to see how his own language works. In fact, on account of its inflected endings, Latin develops English language skills far more effectively than English grammar. The student's own language comes alive.
- Latin creates pathways that can then be used to make future learning easier. According to famous writer and educator Dorothy Sayers in the National Review, "Even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50 percent."
- Latin continues to be used extensively in the sciences, literature and law.
- The English language is filled with words containing Latin roots. Knowing the meaning of those roots expands a student's English vocabulary exponentially. Students who have studied Latin score higher on verbal sections of college entrance exams than those who haven't.
- Latin, when taught to a mastery level gives the student confidence to tackle any new subject, even very difficult ones. What does it take to succeed in learning? Is it great intelligence? No, rather it takes perseverance, hard work, stamina, will, grit. The student now knows, "I have done it once; I can succeed at the next challenge before me."
Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. Crossroads is delighted to be able to offer its students many educational experiences in the region. Each year our interdisciplinary curriculum guides us in choosing quality field trips to augment the students' knowledge and understanding.
Here are some of the trips the students have taken:
Crossroads is a place to develop holistically; mind, body and spirit. We see sports as a great way to establish great habits of exercise, discipline and teamwork. With that in mind, we have PE every day and train for a 5k run/walk race. We offer girls volleyball in the fall and boys basketball in the winter, practicing just two days a week and scrimmaging local teams and community members. This allows our students to have the joy of competition, while keeping in mind Paul's wisdom and perspective on things, "for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8