Overview

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The Upper School program supports students in finding their own voices and caring for one another and the world around them.  The rigorous academic schedule balances the traditional courses of English, math, science, social studies, and Spanish with learning strategies, performing arts, studio art, and technology. Crane’s daily assembly allows Upper School students to shine through Current Event presentations, Spotlight performances, and participation in our marimba xylophone groups.

Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders are natural leaders on campus through programs such as Families, Compost Heroes, Hot Lunch Helpers, Student Council, and Tech Crew.  A robust service learning program introduced in Sixth Grade is completely student driven and empowers students to creatively support non-profit organizations both locally and globally.

The recent adoption of a one-to-one laptop program  enhances learning, increases productivity and communication, and provides students with necessary technology skills. The laptop is an ideal instructional tool to promote creative thinking, problem solving, project based-learning, and collaboration.

Crane’s Upper School teaches kids responsibility, leadership, and about themselves in ways that are educational and enjoyable.
-7th Grade Student

Sixth Grade

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In Sixth Grade, students are introduced to the Upper School through classes that balance academic rigor with creative expression in a program that provides a wide variety of courses. Exclusive to Sixth Grade are Geography, Study Skills, and World Cultures.  Sixth graders hold a leadership role through the school wide composting program and running assemblies with Tech Crew.  Sixth graders enjoy the Upper School programs including Literary Contest, Advisories, Days of Service, Dances, and MATHCOUNTS.

We have very interesting long term-projects like drawing a map in Geography or writing a children’s book in Spanish.
-6th Grade Student

Language Arts

Reading: Developing reading comprehension and critical thinking skills through the study of novels, stories, and poetry. Writing: Using writing strategies to develop coherent paragraphs and essays. Writing in narrative, creative, analytical, and persuasive modes; parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation; spelling and vocabulary development. Listening and Speaking: Informal presentations based on student research and reading.

Math

Sixth Grade Math: Development of skills and concepts related to multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, and percents; exploring topics in measurement, geometry, and probability; pre-algebra concepts and tools including integers, ratios, proportions, functions, and equations. Pre-algebra: integers, order of operations, use of algebraic formulas, graphs and tables to represent patterns and functions; solving linear equations (including the use of fractions and decimals); ratios and proportions; percentage and percent change; properties of real numbers; geometry and measurement of three-dimensional shapes; Pythagorean theorem.

Social Studies

World cultures and geography. Tandem courses teach physical world geography and world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism). Students develop an understanding of world geography, interdependence, social and political structure, and cultural literacy. World religions fosters tolerance of the many religious traditions.

Science

Physical science: laws of motion and simple machines; designing and building roller coasters and catapults; reporting monthly on science in the news; research of the life and work of a famous scientist. Life science: six kingdoms of living things (Animal, Plant, Protist, Fungi, Eubacteria, Archaebacteria); designing experiments using the scientific method.

Spanish

Developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Spanish; aspects of Hispanic and Pre-Columbian geography and cultures; noun-adjective agreement; pronouns; definite and indefinite articles; ser/estar contrast; present and preterite tenses; written and oral reports on Spanish-speaking countries and communities; dialogues, games, and discussions on cultural topics.

Library

Study skills course including note taking, time management, and reading for information and more; introduction to digital and media literacy; laptop care and usage; advanced research and works cited instruction using print and digital materials. Encouraging a love of books and reading.

Studio Art

Study art practices throughout time and across the globe, dovetailing into social studies, world geography, and religions. Understand cultural significance of art around the world and integrate personal experiences to reinterpret these practices. Emphasis on self-evaluation, critique, collaboration, communication of ideas, and creative problem solving. Media includes traditional crafts and standard art media.

Drama

Understand use of effective vocal expression, gesture, facial expression, and timing to create character, demonstrate the use of blocking (stage areas, levels, and actor's position) in dramatization; some scene work and beginning text analysis of scripts; may participate in the Spring Musical.

Music

Review of rhythmic skills and concepts, moving towards syncopation; odd meters, polyrhythm, cross-rhythms; revisiting pentatonic and diatonic scales and modes; major, minor, and chromatic scales; reviewing drone accompaniment, introduction to functional harmony; integration of dance styles and instruments of various cultures, creative movement, body percussion and movement games; advanced techniques using Orff instruments.

E-Block Electives

Integrating experiential learning and choice, E-Block Elective classes go beyond text book learning and allow students to delve into a topic with active hands-on exploration, interaction with professional experts, and multiple field trips. Students have a choice of three different elective classes each year.

Computers

Entry into Crane Digital Media and Arts program; creating and manipulating images using Adobe Photoshop and iPhoto; continued use of iMovie; multimedia presentations; internet research; production of movie projects and videos. Upper School 1:1 laptop program.

Design and Engineering

Physical making of projects incorporating the STEAM educational components (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) into their grade level curriculum projects with an eye on design. Utilizing the Design and Engineering Center facilities and teachers, students have instructed and age appropriate access to wood and metal working tools, computer design technology, and electronic and robotic building components for curriculum projects.

Physical Education

Competency in advanced movement skills; describing and using offensive and defensive strategies in modified game settings; achieving and maintaining a healthy fitness level; participation in the President's Fitness Challenge; demonstration of responsible social behavior during game play; study of the bones of the human body.

Service Learning

This is a yearlong course in the context of seminar class that meets once a week in which students choose and direct their own projects based on interest and research. Past projects have included: working with pre-school children; raising money to build a well in Africa; collecting shoes for victims of earthquakes and tornadoes. All Upper School students also participate in a “Day of Service” twice a year.

Character Development

Transition to Upper School and organizational/time management issues; self-exploration; kindness, respect, rumors, and “put downs”; decision making, peer pressure, and ways to negotiate difficult situations; changes during early adolescence and AIDS education.

After School Programs

  • Enrichment Classes: Crane offers multiple after-school enrichment classes each day after school proving art, science, music, and sporting opportunities. Students can select classes from three sessions per year. Students may sign up for as many classes as they like and classes typically meet once a week for an hour after school. An additional fee is required.
  • Intramural Sports: All Upper School students can also participate in our seasonal intramural sport teams including soccer, basketball, volleyball and flag football.
  • Music and Theater: All Upper School students can also participate in school "VIBES!" xylophone musical group and/or our annual Upper School Musical Theater Show. Daily after school practices for the Upper School Musical are typically from April to May.

Trip Week

One week trip to Catalina Island: an emphasis on marine biology and environmental stewardship; activities include studying the natural history of the island, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and climbing.

Seventh Grade

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In Seventh Grade, students find their voice and pursue their passions through the QED (Quests, Explorations, Discoveries) project. Through QED, students identify an area of study in which they are interested and are then paired with a mentor in the community who is an expert in that field.  The student and mentor work together outside of school for 16 weeks and then present their results, discoveries, or final product to parents and students. Past QED topics have included journalism, radiology, sushi making, ukulele construction, computer coding, and theater make-up.  QED is a chance to explore an interest, pursue a dream, embark on a quest into a future career, or discover a new hobby.

At Crane, we learn skills like math, but we also teach kindness, and how to take care for our community.
-7th Grade Student

Language Arts

Reading: Developing critical reading skills through the study of various genres of literature including short stories, poetry, and novels; evaluation of literature read outside the classroom. Writing: Developing skills in writing expository, narrative, research, persuasive, and analytical essays; rules and correct usage of grammar, spelling and vocabulary study and development. Listening and Speaking: Improvement of skills in formal public speaking, including narrative, research, and persuasive speeches; student evaluations of peer presentations.

Math

Pre-algebra: integers, order of operations, use of algebraic formulas, graphs and tables to represent patterns and functions; solving linear equations (including the use of fractions and decimals); ratios and proportions; percentage and percent change; properties of real numbers; geometry and measurement of three-dimensional shapes; Pythagorean theorem. Algebra: formal work with algebraic notation; solving and graphing equations and systems of equations; solving and graphing inequalities; working with polynomials and rational expressions; solving absolute-value equations; solving quadratic equations through factoring and use of quadratic formula; simplifying radical expressions and solving radical equations.

Social Studies

Western civilization with an emphasis on Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greeks, and the foundation of European civilization; themes of science and technology, communication and trade, art, means of survival, authority, language, and city; links to primary source literature, art history, geography, current events, and modern politics; emphasis on civics, citizenship, and development of tolerance.

Science

Physical chemistry principles; quantitative analysis of substance (boiling point, density, melting point); scientific interpretation of data; designing, building,and testing various devices (model skyscraper, sailboat, water turbine, trebuchet) with a focus on applied physics and engineering.

Spanish

Communication and writing in Spanish oriented around practical information and real life situations; aspects of Hispanic and pre-Columbian cultures; regular and irregular present and preterite tenses; reflexive verbs; affirmative commands; direct and indirect object pronouns; preparation for Eighth Grade Costa Rica class trip; language acquisition through studies of art, literature, music, and food.

Library

Making full use of materials for information and enjoyment; advanced digital and media literacy instruction; laptop care and usage; advanced research and works cited instruction using print and digital materials.

Studio Art

Introduction to the DIY movement integrating the science department. Development of creative skills in recycling common materials while working in collaborative "labs" to analyze and generate ideas. Use of traditional art materials to make functional objects and designs. Emphasis is placed on real world application, innovation, analysis, and the inherent interdisciplinary nature of creativity.

Drama

Theatre games with emphasis on character, scene building, and story-telling; in-depth work with scripts; learning to develop the characters from the text; may participate in the Spring Musical.

Music

Focus on Western Classical music through performances on Orff instruments, voice, and recorder with elements of personal creativity. Review of rhythm concepts through Western lens. Renaissance and historical European dances and creative movement, experience with elements of classical ballet and modern dance; experience in ensemble singing, percussion ensemble. Elected participation in Mallet Masters xylophone ensemble.

E-Block Electives

Integrating experiential learning and choice, E-Block Elective classes go beyond text book learning and allow students to delve into a topic with active hands-on exploration, interaction with professional experts, and multiple field trips. Students have a choice of three different elective classes each year.

Computers

Crane Digital Media and Arts program; video camera techniques; script writing; Flash animations; advanced integration of still images and video in Final Cut for final screening of QED movie production. Upper School 1:1 laptop program.

Design and Engineering

Physical making of projects incorporating the STEAM education components (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) into their Engineering Class projects with an eye on design. Utilizing the Design and Engineering Center facilities students have a class with instructed and age appropriate access to wood and metal working tools, computer design technology, and electronic and robotic building components for their engineering projects.

Physical Education

Competency in advanced movement skills; application of basic offensive and defensive strategies in non-complex settings; achieving and maintaining a healthy fitness level; participation in the President's Fitness Challenge; working cooperatively in groups to accomplish a set goal; study of the muscles of the human body.

Service Learning

This is a semester course that meets once a week in which students choose and direct their own projects based on interest and research. Past projects have included: working with pre-school children; raising money to build a well in Africa; collecting shoes for victims of earthquakes and tornadoes. All Upper School students also participate in a “Day of Service” twice a year.

Character Development

Building healthy peer relationships; working as a team; making sound decisions in the face of peer pressure; substance abuse education; media literacy and criticism; body image and eating disorders; tolerance; training for Eighth Grade leadership.

After School Programs

  • Enrichment Classes: Crane offers multiple after-school enrichment classes each day after school proving art, science, music, and sporting opportunities. Students can select classes from three sessions per year. Students may sign up for as many classes as they like and classes typically meet once a week for an hour after school. An additional fee is required.
  • Intramural Sports: All Upper School students can also participate in our seasonal intramural sport teams including soccer, basketball, volleyball and flag football.
  • Music and Theater: All Upper School students can also participate in school "VIBES!" xylophone musical group and/or our annual Upper School Musical Theater Show. Daily after school practices for the Upper School Musical are typically from April to May.

Trip Week

One week wilderness trip in the San Bernardino Mountains: group-building activities, outdoor living skills, experiential field science, sustainability, and emphasis on adventure and personal challenge.

Eighth Grade

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Crane’s eighth graders are the esteemed leaders on campus.  In the Families program, they are the “parents,” leading discussion and activities in the cross-grade group lunches.  In assembly, they lead announcements as the student council members.  And through public speaking class, each eighth grader prepares and presents a current event speech in assembly, an audience of more than 300, spanning ages 5 to 75.  The Eighth Grade experience culminates with a formal graduation ceremony, which individually celebrates each student through a personal vignette highlighting his or her personality and achievements.

Whether you are working on the courts, or in the math room, Crane will help you achieve you goals with great success.
-8th Grade Student

Language Arts

Reading: Developing reading comprehension and critical thinking through the study of novels, plays, essays, and poetry; books read together and chosen independently. Writing: Developing skills in writing essays, both personal and analytical; studying and writing formal poetry, including sonnets; sentence structure, including phrases and clauses; advanced punctuation and usage; vocabulary study of Latin roots. Listening and Speaking: Practice and improvement of public speaking from informal extemporaneous presentations to formal all-school Current Event speech.

Math

Algebra: formal work with algebraic notation; solving and graphing equations and systems of equations; solving and graphing inequalities; working with polynomials and rational expressions; solving absolute-value equations; solving quadratic equations through factoring and use of quadratic formula; simplifying radical expressions and solving radical equations. Geometry: proofs; properties of triangles, polygons and circles; constructions; area, surface area, and volume; Pythagorean theorem and special triangles; similar shapes and proportions; trigonometry; algebra in geometric applications.

Social Studies

Evolution of American nation and its people; themes of freedom, rights, responsibility, authority; pre-Columbian cultures; settling the New World; independence and revolution; the U.S. Constitution; roles of women and people of color; slavery; westward expansion; the Civil War and Reconstruction; industry; immigration; civil rights; a survey of the 20th century events and issues; and students learn the importance of their roles as world citizens.

Science

Preparation for the class field trip to Costa Rica, including an overview of rainforest ecology and marine biology; identification of local plant and animal species. General chemistry; writing formal lab reports based on experiments; introductory biochemistry including a review of important molecules, food chemistry and nutrition, cellular functions, genetics; astronomy.

Spanish

Synthesis of existing knowledge and in-depth focus on Hispanic and Pre-Columbian geography, history, and cultures; thematic vocabulary; imperfect/preterite contrast, formal commands; subjunctive; future; further preparation for Costa Rica class trip; written and oral reports; listening and reading comprehension; practice speaking through skits, games, dialogues, and conversations.

Library

Graduates have skills needed to research in any setting; advanced information literacy instruction helps find and evaluate the best print and digital information; advanced media literacy instruction encourages responsible digital citizens, making good choices with social media and online tools; encouraged to be lifelong readers for pleasure and information.

Studio Art

A culminating investigation of personal voice and application of appropriate techniques, materials and cultural implications to build a cohesive portfolio. Freedom to develop and build on a theme of personal significance. Critique, self-evaluation, personal motivation, and exhibition are emphasized as well as sustained investigation and development of an idea, theme or practice. All media including digital, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and multi-media are available.

Drama

Perform character-based improvisations, scene work, and monologues, using voice, blocking, and gesture to enhance meaning; the program culminates with the largest production of the year, the Spring Musical, in which the eighth graders generally play the leads.

Music

Vibes! xylophone ensemble repertoire expands to jazz focus. Use of Orff instruments, voice recorder, piano–keyboard, trap set, assorted percussion and band instruments. In-depth study of jazz rhythm; increased use of chromatic Orff instruments and professional marimba and vibraphone, keyboard and piano, drum set, Latin percussion, integration of band instruments from private study.

E-Block Electives

Integrating experiential learning and choice, E-Block Elective classes go beyond text book learning and allow students to delve into a topic with active hands-on exploration, interaction with professional experts, and multiple field trips. Students have a choice of three different elective classes each year.

Computers

Crane Digital Media and Arts program; advanced video production using Photoshop, Final Cut, and iPhoto; web design; introduction to programming. Upper School 1:1 laptop program.

Design and Engineering

Physical making of projects incorporating the STEAM education components (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) into their Engineering Class projects with an eye on design. Utilizing the Design and Engineering Center facilities students have a class with instructed and age appropriate access to wood and metal working tools, computer design technology, and electronic and robotic building components for their engineering projects.

Physical Education

Competency in advanced movement forms; use of offensive and defensive skills in team sports activities; more advanced game strategies; achieving and maintaining a healthy fitness level; participation in the President's Fitness Challenge; study of the brain and heart of the human body

Service Learning

This is a semester long course that meets once a week in which students choose and direct their own projects based on interest and research. Past projects have included: working with pre-school children; raising money to build a well in Africa; collecting shoes for victims of earthquakes and tornadoes. All Upper School students also participate in a “Day of Service” twice a year.

Character Development

Leadership training — how to be a “parent” of a Crane family; making good personal decisions; gender issues; human sexuality; navigating the high school selection process; celebrating the end of Upper School.

After School Programs

  • Enrichment Classes: Crane offers multiple after-school enrichment classes each day after school proving art, science, music, and sporting opportunities. Students can select classes from three sessions per year. Students may sign up for as many classes as they like and classes typically meet once a week for an hour after school. An additional fee is required.
  • Intramural Sports: All Upper School students can also participate in our seasonal intramural sport teams including soccer, basketball, volleyball and flag football.
  • Music and Theater: All Upper School students can also participate in school "VIBES!" xylophone musical group and/or our annual Upper School Musical Theater Show. Daily after school practices for the Upper School Musical are typically from April to May.

Trip Week

Seven day trip to Peru: students appreciate the geographical and biological diversity of the country as they focus on outdoor adventure, service learning, cultural immersion, environmental stewardship, and Spanish language.