An independent day school for grades 6-12

Welcome to the Upper School

Kelly Sortino, Head of Upper School
Kelly Sortino, Head of Upper

Welcome to the Crystal Springs Upper School!  I’m Kelly Sortino, the Head of the Upper School, and I’m thrilled that you are interested in learning more about us. Like our students, I wake up every morning excited to come to Crystal, energized by inspirational students, passionate faculty and dedicated parents who are all committed to helping students become their best selves. At Crystal, you are championed and challenged. You get to:
 
Own Your Education. Like one of those “choose your own adventure” books, Crystal provides multiple academic paths to pursue while you are a student here. Want to be like Kent K who found his passion in STEM and took every advanced math and science course his junior and senior year?  You got it!  Or imagine following the path of Becky B who has a knack for languages and pursued both French and Spanish through our Global Program for Scholars. Do you consider yourself a well-rounded Renaissance scholar who wants to double up in Fine Arts?  No problem!  We offer a robust array of engaging courses not tied to the AP Curriculum, allowing students and teachers to collaborate on depth, pace and content. We are only bound by our own imaginations!  

Flex Your Leadership Muscles. Over 80% of our graduating seniors say that they have had a meaningful leadership experience during their four years at Crystal. These opportunities are bolstered by our Emerging Leaders Institute -- an annual workshop for Upper School students that helps develop the competencies needed for effective leadership. Size matters. Because we are smaller than many of our peer schools but are committed to offering just as many extracurricular experiences, we actually have more leadership opportunities available to our students. Whether captaining a Varsity sport, founding a new club, serving in our Student Government, directing the school play, or arranging a school-wide community service outing, every student at Crystal has the chance to both lead and be led by their peers.

Fuel Your Passions. Both inside and outside of the classroom, our students are encouraged to take risks, explore the world and inspire one another. Take James E, for example, who decided to try out for the Spring Musical his senior year without any previous dance or singing training. Or Hannah W, who stopped by the Robotics Lab on a whim one afternoon and ended up discovering a passion for engineering while leading our Robotics team to Regionals. At Crystal, we are a school of And, not Or. James E not only got a role in the musical but also was a nationally-ranked squash player AND captain of our Quiz Kids team. Hannah W got to lead the Robotics team AND our Student Government as Student Body President. By helping you pursue the passions you already have and nourish those you have yet to uncover, Crystal provides the flame to help spark a fire for self-discovery.

Be Known, Be Valued. Crystal is a small community where it is impossible to fall through the cracks or get lost in the shuffle. Through close advising relationships, intimate class settings and a well-connected web of student support services, our faculty, staff and administrators know our students well -- from who needs a hand to who deserves a pat on the back. Most importantly, we value you for simply being you.

If you like what you see, I encourage you to come visit our campus in order to witness the “magic” of Crystal firsthand.

Academic Support

List of 3 items.

  • Philosophy

    “CSUS 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.”
    [CSUS Board Statement, March 2007]
  • Formal Education Plan (FEP)

    The annual Formal Education Plan (FEP) meeting involves the student, his or her parents, teachers, school counselor, division head, and Director of Academic Resources. 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.