Crystal FIRST seeks to engage students and their families in a community of support throughout their independent school experience and as they matriculate to college.
Why Crystal FIRST?
At Crystal we are committed not only to building a diverse and inclusive community, but also to providing equitable access to all students and families at our school. In keeping with these commitments, we created Crystal FIRST, a unique program designed to provide ongoing enrichment and support to students from traditionally underrepresented communities. The program assists students and families as they navigate the transition to Crystal, access the resources and opportunities to meet their specific needs, and reach their educational goals.
Crystal FIRST demonstrates the school’s deep commitment to all of its students and their families as well as to addressing issues of equity and access in independent school education. The program is funded through generous grants from the Edward E. Ford Foundation and private donors.
If you’d like to learn more about the Crystal FIRST program, please contact our Director of Equity and Social Justice, Tait Wade (firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-375-5489)
Peninsula Bridge at Crystal
Crystal Springs Uplands School is a proud partner of Peninsula Bridge, a non-profit, educational access program which supports student from 5th grade through college.
For nearly twenty years, Crystal has hosted Peninsula Bridge’s summer academic program. This five-week program, brings 60 rising seventh and eighth grade students from the San Mateo-Foster City school district to our campus to engage in dynamic and challenging Math, Language Arts, and Science courses. Students also take electives that range from coding to improv, work in small advisory groups, and venture out on college and career-focused field trips.
In addition to working with highly-qualified professional teachers from local public and independent schools, Peninsula Bridge students spend their days with a dynamic group of high-school and college aged teaching assistants. Peninsula Bridge’s TA model allows students to connect personally with role models who make learning both fun and cool. Many of our TAs are CSUS students, many of whom return year after year to continue making connections and providing inspiration for our Bridge scholars.
In early March, 6th grade students visited the Second Harvest Food Bank’s facility in San Carlos where they made reusable tote bags from t-shirts. They were also given a tour of the facility and learned more about hunger in our community. The visit was part of Crystal’s Human Development programming.
The annual Lunar New Year Banquet brought our Crystal community together on the Upper School campus as we celebrated the Year of the Pig. Delicious food and dazzling student performances were the main attraction. The evening was a celebration of the rich cultural identities found in our community and a reminder of how lucky we are to have these varied perspectives.
The Crystal community celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with events on both campuses led by student and faculty leaders of the Diversity Committee, Keep it Real Club, and the Multicultural Leadership Team. View photos here
In early December, the 9th, 10th and 11th grade spent a full day off campus with various Human Development community partner organizations, learning about and assisting with food banks, senior living facilities, beach clean-ups, underserved communities, and more. Click to view photos from the activities.
The Crystal student and faculty delegation to the annual National Association of Independent School’s Student Diversity Leader Conference headed to Nashville in early December to “develop cross-cultural communication skills, design effective strategies for social justice practice through dialogue and the arts, and learn the foundations of allyship and networking principles” (www.nais.org).
For more information about our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion programs, please contact Tait Wade, Director of Equity and Social Justice (650) 375-5489.