An Independent Day School for Grades 6-12
Life @ Crystal

Student Support

We provide support for our students at every stage of their development and we also support the parents and guardians who, in partnering with Crystal, help nurture that development.

Academic Support

The Middle School Director of Academic Support, Vernée Martin, and Upper School Director of Academic Support, Alexis Nemer, provide individual assistance for students to develop skills in organization and time management, test preparation, note taking, and study skills.

Support for students with documented learning differences or disabilities (LD) is coordinated through the Director of Academic Support and includes an annual Formal Education Plan (FEP) meeting with the student, his or her parents, and faculty. The FEP meeting results in a signed agreement outlining the academic accommodations agreed upon.

Students, parents and teachers are invited to contact the Director of Academic Support to discuss a possible learning difference. Referrals are made to local, outside agencies when warranted for full psycho-educational evaluation, and/or for professional tutoring.

List of 3 items.

  • Philosophy

    “Crystal Springs Uplands School is committed to helping students achieve their full potential and thrive in a rigorous academic program. To fulfill this commitment we strive to maintain a supportive environment for all students, including those with learning differences.  We provide professional development and consultation with our faculty to help them identify learning issues and better serve the needs of students with identified learning differences and disabilities.  While our dedicated resources are limited, we provide direct support to students with learning differences through our Academic Resource Center.  We provide referrals to outside professionals for testing and additional support, and we provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented learning differences.”
    [Crystal Springs Uplands School Board Statement, March 2007]
  • Formal Education Plan (FEP)

    The annual Formal Education Plan (FEP) meeting involves the student, his or her parents,  and faculty. The FEP meeting results in a signed agreement outlining the academic accommodations agreed upon.

    Available academic accommodations may include:
    • extended time on tests
    • quiet testing environment
    • peer note-taker services
    • use of a computer for in-class assignments, and
    • reduced course load, when appropriate
    • foreign language waiver
  • Peer Tutoring

    Peer Tutoring is a student-run program that connects students having difficulty in certain subjects with peers who have excelled in that subject.

    To apply to become a tutor, students may complete the application at the beginning of each quarter. Deadlines will be announced at the start of each quarter.

    Students in need of a tutor can fill out a tutor request form at any time, and they will quickly be matched with a qualified tutor.

    This year there are three types of tutoring: Regularly scheduled meetings, as-needed, and Bridge Academy.
    • Regularly scheduled meetings and as-needed tutoring are part of the traditional peer tutoring program. Students can decide which works best for them, depending on their needs and schedules.
    • Bridge Academy is a pilot program developed in partnership with Peninsula Bridge. The program connects five high-achieving seventh grade students with Crystal students who serve as their mentors and tutors throughout the year.

Student Counseling

The Middle School Director of Student Counseling, Kirsten Riding Smith, and the Upper School Director of Student Counseling, Tracy Lum, help provide psychological and emotional support for students as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. The counselors are available during school hours for confidential appointments with students one-on-one or to meet with students in small groups. 

Teachers, coaches, parents, or friends may refer students, or they may be self-referred. All students are encouraged to seek counseling to discuss difficulties that arise in school or outside of school. Short-term counseling will be provided on campus; however, referrals will be made for longer-term issues.

In addition, parents may call with questions or concerns they have, or to schedule an appointment to discuss any situation. The counseling program is a resource for all members of the CSUS community.

List of 2 items.

  • Mind-Body Program

    As part of the school's Mind-Body Program, Kirsten Smith teaches the Middle School Wellness curriculum (grades 6-8) and requires each student to have an annual "check-in" appointment in the counselor's office. In the Upper School, Tracy Lum teaches part of the Upper School Fitness Labs (one trimester each, grades 9-11) and encourages regular student meetings as well.
  • Peer Helper Program

    The School Health Counselor also co-facilitates the Peer Helper Program. Students go through an application process before participating in a two-trimester Peer Helper Training Course. Then, supervised by the School Counselor, these trained Peer Helpers can be resources for students and the Crystal community as a whole.


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Tracy Lum

    Tracy Lum 

    Upper School Director of Student Counseling
    650-342-4175 x1506
  • Photo of Alexis Nemer

    Alexis Nemer 

    US Director of Academic Support
    650-342-4175 x1559
  • Photo of Kirsten Smith

    Kirsten Smith 

    Middle School Director of Student Counseling
    650-342-4175 x1006
Nondiscriminatory Policy: Crystal Springs Uplands School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Website Accessibility Statement: Crystal Springs Uplands School is committed to making this website accessible to visitors with disabilities and is continually working to increase its accessibility and usability. We are on a regular basis seeking opportunities to bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. If for any reason, you cannot access any of the material on our website, please email and we will work to resolve the problem as soon as possible.