Crossroads is a school with a unique vision for the Longmont area. Their mission is to assist middle and high school students who have experienced academic and/or behavioral struggles in traditional schools, to reach their potential through an individually distinctive, learner-appropriate program.  

Barb Bulthuis, the Executive Director provided a brief historical review of academic models in the US.  As the growth in American cities rose, the early American learning model centered on a factory-style learning of the 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic). Classroom sizes comprised 30 students, of the same age learning the same material.  While this model proved effective for many, some differentiating began to develop. Ideas such as “No child left behind” arose as the discovery that children learn differently and more academic individualization offers more success for students.  Charter schools, magnet schools, vocational trade schools and certificate programs now offer successful paths for many students.

About 12 years ago, Barb began brainstorming a model that was “mastery based”.  Crossroads school opened its doors in August 2010. They offer smaller classroom size (8-10 students) and students advance only after they have mastered their current learning material.  While this might seem to slow down a student’s learning, a mastery-based focus can ultimately move a student forward quickly.

Barb shared a few stories of students at Crossroads and their transformative experience and resultant career success.   Crossroads has a plan to reshape the future of at-risk teens:  to offer an alternative source for solid education, to offer a second and sometimes third chance to students who need that extra support to provide an educational experience that gives students the foundational tools for a successful future.