Crane Country Day School Established 1928



A Crane education balances intellectual rigor and creative expression

A Rigorous Education
with the Joy of Hands-on Learning

For over 90 years Crane has embraced the value of combining rigorous academics with hands-on experiential learning. Our long standing traditions and new innovations in education maintain this philosophy. Crane teachers implement curricula that go beyond traditional classroom teaching and embrace the experiential value of hands-on learning.

Here you will see just a few of the many examples of Crane's hands-on learning experiences throughout the school and in each grade.

8th Grade Civil Rights Trip


Focusing on events and themes studied in the eighth-grade humanities courses, students travel to Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, Tuskegee, and Atlanta. The tour visits include some of the following historic locations: Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham Art Museum, Edmund Pettus Bridge, National Voting Rights Museum, Rosa Parks Museum, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Tuskegee Airmen's National Historic Site and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.
To round out the trip, students experience an outdoor adventure along the Alabama River in Columbus, GA. Of course, there will also be plenty of authentic dining experiences, with stops at Dreamland BBQ, Odessa's Blessings Restaurant, and Mary Mac's Tea Room.   
Along with the adventures experienced on the trip, the goal of the trip is to help eighth graders find their voices and use them for the greater good.

7th Grade Yosemite Trip
7th Grade - Yosemite Trip

Our early trip weeks are so important - they let students bond and challenge themselves outside the classroom.

~ 7th Grade Teacher

Seventh graders gain a multitude of unforgettable experiences during their week in the fresh mountain air of the Yosemite Valley and Yosemite National Park. Students work closely with skilled guides from Nature Bridge, an environmental education program. Through team-building exercises that include the human knot and blindly leading one another through Spider Caves, students are challenged to communicate as a team and to take on a wide array of leadership responsibilities.

Physical challenges fill the week as well, with hikes to Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, and Mirror Lake, rock climbing, night hikes, and top-rope climbing. Inspired by John Muir's writings previously read in English class, students also spend time on the trail journal writing.

Crane sixth grade Catalina trip


6th Grade Catalina

One of my favorite adventures was the night scuba dive. I loved seeing the bioluminescence - it was like swimming in fairy dust.
~ 6th Grade Student

Sixth-grade students travel to Catalina Island for trip week each fall. They attend CELP - Catalina Environmental Leadership Program. Jean-Michel Cousteau founded the camp to show students how all living things are connected.

Students learn about ways to positively impact and made a difference in the environment, and about the ocean, tide pools, composting, and gardening. They also learn and grow, think and reflect, and have opportunities to push themselves out of their comfort zones. Adventures include snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, climbing a rock wall, traversing a high ropes course, and more.

5th Grade Boston Trip


As a teacher, I love how this trip culminates all our colonial studies and brings them to life for the students.

~ Fifth Grade Teacher

Every spring, the fifth graders journey to Boston to visit historical sites that have been studied throughout the year. Balancing education with fun and lots of exercise, students visit locations such as: a Gristmill where they see wheat seeds turned into flour; Plymouth Plantation where students make their own lunch using colonial foods and cooking tools; Minutemen National Park to explore the history of early rebels; the Tea Party Museum where they learn about tea and taxes; Sturbridge Village where they participate in a Town Hall meeting; Walden Pond where students can rest and journal; the Freedom Trail walking tour to learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad.

Students also visit college campuses and museums including Harvard, MIT, the Science Museum, and the Museum of Natural History. Students enjoy Quincy Market and have the opportunity to see a show, such as "Shear Madness," or a Red Sox Baseball game.

Kindergarten Day & Night


I would take my rocket to the planet Saturn because I want to see its rings.

~ Kindergarten Student

Kindergarten students discover a rocket ship launching out of the cubby room entryway as they start their "Day and Night" theme. The kindergarten classroom is transformed to represent day and the cubby room to represent night. Students cover concepts such as time and daily activities, nocturnal and diurnal animals, and the objects we see in the night sky (space, planets, stars. During math time, students learn to reflect on their daily activities and create a time book about all the activities they complete in a day. After students are taught to fill in the time and hands on the clock, they are also asked to write or copy the sentence of the activity they did at that time. This is a chance for students to practice their handwriting using mostly lowercase letters.
Kindergarteners let their imaginations send them into space as they make a list of the items they would take on a trip to the moon. In art class students use recycled items to make their own rocket ship and dream about where that rocket could take them! Using iPads and the "This Is My Story (And I'm Sticking To It)" app, students try their hands at writing their own story, and are able to listen to their friends' stories. Students fill their minds with facts as the class reads non-fiction literature on space. In Spanish class, students learn related day and night vocabulary to compliment the unit. Students culminate their "Day and Night" unit with a cozy pajama day, celebrated with parents, where students share their new knowledge and read books about day and night.

4th Grade Mountain Men and Women


7th Grade - Yosemite Trip

What a fantastic experiential leap into history.  
~ Fourth Grade Parent

Before the Gold Rush, an exciting time in California history is the "Mountain Men Era" when men, and some women, left their families to seek fortunes in the wild back country of the mountainous west and faced hardships at every turn. Fourth-grade students learn about the challenges these explorers faced. They compose farewell letters describing their reasons for heading west into the wilderness and share their hopes and fears.

Much of America’s westward expansion was propelled by a desire for fur. Students consider the pros and cons of joining a fur trapping company versus being a freelance trapper. They write their decisions and pour their thoughts into detailed journal entries. Using Crane's gardens and culinary facilities, fourth graders learn about the resources and strategies mountain men used to collect and preserve food, and they even preserve some for themselves.

In collaboration with art and science, students create scientific sketches of western fauna and animals. What characteristics made animals such as the beaver so well suited to life in the western wilderness, and why were fur pelts so valuable? Integrating Mountain Men into literature and writing studies, students read historical fiction and American folklore from the era including tall tales, a delightful collection of fictional legends and stories about life in this era. They discuss various characteristics of the genre, such as hyperbole and humor, and students learn that these stories often originated from the time period in which mountain men would spin yarns to entertain each other during the long nights spent in the wilderness. Students then create their own stories to present to the class.

Fourth graders also choose a notable mountain man and research information for a paper which includes diagrams, poems, an expository paragraph, and illustrations. Students complete their studies with a “Mountain Man Rendezvous” where parent volunteers help with a cook-fire in the garden and fourth graders participate in dancing, music, storytelling, “Mountain Men Challenges,” and a feast.

1st Grade Skyscrapers


Santa Barbara does not have any skyscrapers--not yet, anyway! First graders begin this unit by researching existing famous skyscrapers and their locations around the world. In teams, students pick a skyscraper to research, write a report, and then present their findings to the class.
Students explore questions like: who designs and who builds these structures, and how do engineers design and construction workers make the skyscrapers? Integrated with the science and math curriculum, students learn what materials are used to make skyscrapers and how to measure a skyscraper. 
In studio art classes, first graders design their own skyscraper and think about design decisions regarding structure and aesthetics. First graders then set out to build 5 of the 10 tallest skyscrapers of the world out of cardboard boxes. These skyscrapers end up towering over all of us, creating a mini-city in the classroom. Parents come and help paint these tall towers, and then students present them to the entire Crane community at a daily assembly; each first grader announces a fun fact about the different tallest buildings in the world.

3rd Grade Chumash


My favorite part was singing Chumash songs.
~ Third Grade Student

What was life like for the Chumash people in Santa Barbara long ago? Third graders take on this challenge as they create a Chumash village right in their own classroom. Students begin by asking the question: What do we need to know to recreate an ancient Chumash community? Students generate a wall of additional questions, including: How did they communicate? What were their traditions? How were their structures made? Did they play? Where did they get food? When did they live? What kind of music and art did they make? What kind of clothing did they wear? What were their tools and weapons like? How did their economy work?

Students research the answers to these questions and more, and learn note-taking strategies to record what they discover. They visit Chumash Hall at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Wishtoyo Discovery Village in Malibu. There they see what we have read about, and find additional answers to their questions. Then, students transform their classroom to match this earlier era and build Chumash huts in the Crane gardens.

5th Grade Famous Americans


Fifth graders become experts on famous Americans. Then, donning costumes and props, students present their research in a living history to an audience. This research project allows students to hone their research skills, utilize the Crane library holdings, and write a scholarly piece showcasing the writing skills they have learned in the last few years of school.

One goal of this project is for students to go forward with a general curiosity of how individuals, either famous, infamous, or ancestors, led their lives. For some students, biography becomes a favorite genre to read.

Famous Americans who have visited our campus recently include: Julia Morgan, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Muhammad Ali, Michelle Obama, Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Blackwell, Harriet Tubman, George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., The Wright Brothers, Ulysses S. Grant, Dr. Seuss, Lewis and Clark, Harry Houdini, Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, Maya Angelou, and many more.

8th Grade Independent Art Projects


As a culmination of their art career at Crane, eighth-grade students learn how to write a grant proposal and then create a focused body of work in the art studio. This project is known as the i@pp or independent art project and presentation. Students choose media, subject, and course of action. Emphasis is placed on the artist’s process, time management, problem solving, and perseverance as well as their final presentation and exhibition.

7th Grade QED


Seventh-grade students find their voice and pursue their passions through Crane’s QED (Quests, Explorations, Discoveries) Project. QED is a chance to explore an interest, pursue a dream, embark on a quest into a future career, or discover a new hobby. 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 the mentor work together outside of school for sixteen weeks and then students present their results, discoveries, and final projects to parents and students. Past QED topics have included journalism, radiology, sushi making, ukulele construction, computer coding, and theater make-up.

2nd Grade Immigrants


My child was so inspired to ask about our family history and hunt for old family photos. We had so much fun!
~ 2nd Grade Parent

The second-grade community unit culminates with a coast-to-coast train trip that highlights every classmate's ancestors who immigrated to the United States. The class steps back in time to 1928 and boards the United Coastal Express heading from California all the way to New York City! Each student will have a chance to take on the role of a passenger as well as a train employee during the journey. Students have a chance to pick out some accessories to wear on the trip, as they prepare to dress up for the big adventure.
On the journey, students will be making several stops to see the landscape, hear more about special landmarks and national monuments, and take in the beauty of our country. Students will calculate the distance of the trip in math, paint the window scenes for the train ride during art studio, and make signs and paint the wheels for the train during social studies class. The design & engineering space is utilized to design and cut out wheels for the train.

All aboard! The train is waiting at the station when students arrive on campus. Parents wave and send them all off, students check in to buy tickets, and finally set off on their grand adventure!

1st Grade Birds


First-grade students dive into the study of birds by exploring bird habitats, behavior patterns, flight patterns, migration, and human influences. Students also spend their time in our natural surroundings. The classroom is transformed into an aviary paradise and the theme is woven into math, writing, reading, and poetry lessons. Students read great stories such as "Make Way for Ducklings."
First graders are introduced to 20 local Santa Barbara birds and are asked to find similarities and differences comparing beak size, feathers, feet, body size, and the environment each bird might live in. In collaboration with studio art, students paint birdhouses or use a variety of patterned paper to create stunning bird habits. Design and sewing skills are explored as first graders create their own stuffed bird animals.
No study of birds is complete without a nature walk where students examine the diversity in our own ecosystem. With the help of binoculars, first graders quietly explore Crane's campus and beyond as they learn to identify the birds they are studying, such as woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and black phoebes. A live rescued owl has been known to visit campus to further enhance the learning experience.
As part of the culminating unit, each first grader researches one particular local bird and writes a report of that bird's unique characteristics. They present their research to all of the first grade parents in the form of a "What Bird Am I?" poem and guide a parent and student nature walk sharing what they have learned.

6th Grade Hooverville


Sixth-grade English students bring one setting from the book Bud, Not Buddy to life. To introduce the text, students review the life during the Great Depression and the 1930's. One part of this unit includes an overview of Hooverville. After taking a look at and reading about these makeshift cities, students construct their own Hooverville in the Oak Tree Quad. The goal is to get everyone in the "family" inside the house and covered with a "Hoover blanket" (newspaper). 
When asked about the challenges of building a house out of cardboard and tape, students had this to say:

  • "Everything is frustrating!"
  • "My 'kids' were so annoying!"
  • "We didn't get the big box. That was unfair."
  • "The bark is in my clothing!"
  • "I'm so uncomfortable; there are too many people in here!"
  • "Snuggle up!"
  • "Having to work in a team was both good and frustrating."

No doubt, students get a better perspective on what it felt like to face living in a Hooverville.

3rd Grade Ranchos


Third-grade students experience life on the historic Spanish ranchos that used to exist in California. History comes alive as students have to figure out how to get what they need to thrive on remote ranch land. They quickly learn the value of bartering and purchasing items from other ranchos. The classroom becomes a lively place as the young rancheros negotiate deals and learn the benefits of working with others to create win-win situations.
At a Fiesta culmination, third graders cook, make cascarones, dance, break piñatas (each rancho makes a piñata), and eat a delicious Mexican meal to celebrate the study of the rancho period.

Kindergarten Garden


Each fall, the kindergarten classroom is transformed and decorated with trellises and fall leaves to kickoff their Garden Unit. There are even scarecrows, small bales of hay, and pumpkins inside and outside.

Kindergarteners become botanists as they study plants and flowers. They learn about the parts of a flower such as the root, stem, leaves, petals, and seeds. They learn that in addition to being beautiful, a flower has the job of attracting pollinators (bees) to help other plants grow. As botanists, they learn about some of the things that plants need  to grow like water, sun, light,  time, and space.

Students embrace the season and turn real leaves into “leave art.” Pumpkins are used to assist in math as kindergarteners count the lines on the outside of the pumpkins, measure the height of the pumpkin with cubes, and hypothesize whether a pumpkin would sink or float. There are always surprised faces when the pumpkin floats  in the large tub of water!

And no Garden Unit is complete without planting the official “Kinder Garden” with little seedlings that the students will tend to and watch grow as their year progresses.

4th grade gold rush


What a fantastic experiential leap into history.

~ Fourth Grade Parent

The discovery of gold and the initial rush to California over land and by sea is an important part of Californian history. The journey was treacherous and life didn’t improve much once the miners arrived. Finding gold was challenging, and food and supplies were scarce and expensive. As fourth graders explore this history, they complete a research project. Using a variety of resources including books and internet sources, students learn to take notes featuring main ideas, supporting details, and visual representations used as a basis for proper expository paragraphs.
Topics range from life in a mining camp, the Pony Express, and San Francisco in the 1800’s to the role of African American, Chinese, and Native American people during the Gold Rush. Students also write in journals in which they record and reflect on the people, influences, and events of the era. In art studio, students design and create their own gold pouches.
On the culminating Gold Rush Day, fourth graders are placed in "mining teams" and work together panning for gold. They enjoy a "Miner's Camp" celebration of songs and activities, make their own hand-pies, and perform a melodrama.

2nd Grade Musical


Throughout the year, second grade students take an active role in performing arts classes through singing, acting, and creative movement.  The music curriculum focuses on pattern recognition, dance and song with participation in xylophone and ensemble percussion, and the Orff Schulwerk approach. The acting curriculum focuses on physical and vocal expression to create characters, exploring emotions and feelings, and story-making skills including characterization, dialogue, and story sequencing.  

A culmination of what is learned in performing arts is showcased in the Second Grade Musical with speaking parts for every student, solo and group singing, as well as a full-scale production with costumes and sets.

Kindergarten Musical


Kindergarten musical

All of Crane’s youngest students take an active role in the Kindergarten Musical. A classic story, such as Stone Soup or The Rainbow Fish, is brought to life through acting, singing, and creative movement. As kindergarteners learn to focus on physical and vocal expression to create characters and explore emotions, they also learn the importance of community and creativity. This experience encourages students to grow in self-confidence, as well as in social-emotional, communication, and memorization skills. A full-scale set production and musical accompaniment supports them. In full costume, each student has an opportunity to shine in their featured role!

2nd Grade Community Businesses


My business plan made sure I met the needs of my customers.
~ 2nd Grade Student

Second graders learn about goods and services, and talk about how communities provide for the needs of all citizens. The class creates a mural of a town with businesses, homes, places to play, and places to learn. Then, students work in teams to open a business of their own. Perhaps the town needs a pet shop or a toy store? 

Students learn about advertising to ensure people will visit their stores. Students study vocabulary about goods, services, prices, profits, customers, marketing, and sales. In math, second graders learn about managing money and making change. They grow into store owners, writing up a business plan in language arts, designing their storefronts in art studio, and business cards and advertising signs in technology class. 

This unit culminates with a Main Street, USA celebration where students transform their classroom into their town. The Crane community and parents are invited to visit and shop at all the stores.

7th Grade Social Stand Up


In seventh grade English, students complete a unit highlighting social influence, personal agency, and decision making in the face of wrongdoing. Students explore examples of both action and inaction in short stories about bullying, in stories about social media use and misuse, and in the lives of historical figures. 
Middle school is infamous for its drama, social struggles, and bullying. The Stand Up unit begins by exploring the immense power that choice can have on peer groups and the Crane community. Students brainstorm various ways they can use that power to make campus a better, kinder, and more giving place through both action and words. 
The combined class effort to improve campus is displayed on the windows of the English classroom in the Oak Tree Quad. Students created a “Take What You Need” station, where students, teachers, parents, and other Crane community members could stop by and pick up a pep-talk paper to add a little confidence, encouragement, hope, kindness, or peace of mind to their day.
Students then take a deep dive into global activism. Each seventh grader selects an activist, or a “Stand-Upper,” from a selection of 40 change-makers from more than 20 distinct countries, who support a myriad of causes. Some are historical figures, some are modern-day heroes, and others are children themselves. Each student designs and produces a punchy piece of graffiti that represents the mission of their Stand-Upper, and then present their art during a stencil walk in the Oak Tree Quad and encourages the entire school community to visit.

8th Grade Speeches


The eighth-grade program culminates with a speech delivered during all-school assembly and followed by a Q&A session. Students explore all elements of building and performing a speech, including research and citation, writing and revision, illustration, rehearsal and audience awareness, and reflection.

6th Grade Physics


6th grade physics

The focus of sixth-grade science is threefold—environmental science, human biology, and physical science. Physical science is explored through labs illustrating Newton’s three Laws of Motion.  And the stick bridge project is perfect for acquainting students with basic physical forces like tension and compression.

Students design, test, build, and learn to collect data as their bridges are put to the test under increasing levels of weight.

4th Grade Musical


The first semester of performing arts classes for the fourth grade focuses on preparation and rehearsals for the first musical production of the school year.  In addition to being cast to sing, dance, and act their part, students are also involved in all phases of the show, including set painting, making props, and designing costumes.  They develop team-building, problem solving, and creative skills as they prepare for their performance in a full-scale musical production.

5th Grade Native Americans


Fifth grade students explore links between “people and place” with the exploration of six distinct geographical areas of the United States and the lifestyle of a Native American group who lived in each of those regions - from the eastern woodlands of the Mohawks to the arid southwest of the Navajo, from the northwestern coastal Haida to the southeastern Cherokee people, from the upper Dakota plains of the Sioux to the basin and range badlands of the Shoshone. Fifth graders are asked to connect geography to the adaptations humans have made to take best advantage of a region’s unique climatic and physical features.  
Students work together in groups and research their region and associated tribe. The task set for them is to create a museum quality display of their tribe’s culture and include some handmade artifacts. Teamwork is an important element, and students practice working together academically with a common goal as they produce some amazing exhibits. On museum day, parents and students from all grades are invited to see their exhibits and ask the students questions about the teams’ regions and tribes.

3rd Grade Beat Poets


Poetry and song go well together, and third grade students use their literary, music, and public speaking skills to create poetry in song. They become “Beat Poets.”  

They delve into the unique beauty of poetry-for-change and the musical history and individualism of jazz. As a culminating project, students write their own poetry accompanied by song. They then present them to their parents when they host a “Beatnik Cafe.”

1st Grade Famous Artists


Students at Crane are often introduced to famous artists and their work - even in our youngest grades. And what better way to learn and remember someone than to make a portrait of them!  And what about using an egg carton as the art media?

After learning about many different artists and their work, first grade students study a photo of their artist of choice. They are taught to study the planes of a face and discuss all the ways in which an egg carton could be manipulated to create facial features. They are challenged to try to capture a likeness of the artist by adding identifying details such as hats, eyeglasses, and jewelry. Finally, students choose a piece of the artist’s work to recreate on a mini canvas to accompany their artist’s portrait.

These engaging pieces bring these artists to life for our young students and continue to act as a teaching tool when new artists are introduced.

Upper School Sports


Athletics has always been an important component of a student’s overall experience at Crane. The program offers student athletes the opportunity to experience a variety of team sports in a competitive environment. A large percentage of the Upper School student body participates in the after-school program with many students playing more than one sport.  With emphasis on building team skills while increasing their knowledge and ability, students are being taught what it takes to compete at the next level. 

Junior-Varsity and Varsity teams are offered for boys and girls in soccer, football, and volleyball. In the spring there is a co-ed flag football season. Practices are three times a week after school with games typically once a week competing with other local schools.

Lower School Spring Study Week


Each year during the last week before Spring Break, the Lower School devotes an entire week to an in-depth study of a theme, culture, or time period. Traditional instruction is replaced by experiential opportunities for students to gain knowledge and learn a variety of skills while working in cross-age groups. Lower School Spring Study Week immerses the students in an interdisciplinary theme, and the week ends with a half-day culmination.

Lower School 100 Days


Every year our kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students celebrate the 100th day of school. Using their creativity and budding math skills, students are asked to collect 100 small and lightweight items, AND they must also design a way to carry or wear their showcase collection of these 100 items!

Many 100th day celebratory events happen that morning in class. Then, each student presents their collection on stage to the entire student body during assembly on that special day.

Upper School Musical


Every year, Crane’s Upper School presents a full scale musical production such as Annie, Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, Peter Pan, and more.

Throughout their time at Crane, students develop theatre arts skills, as well as explore their musical and vocal abilities. The Upper School Musical allows students to showcase their theater talents both on stage and off. 

All School Daily Assembly


Assembly is a central ritual that has taken place daily since the founding of Crane School. Each morning, the entire school gathers to hear announcements, celebrate student accomplishments and birthdays, and be enlightened by a presentation or performance led by an individual student, group of students, or a Staffulty member. Crane has also been honored with appearances by guest speakers, some of whom are internationally acclaimed experts in their fields of study. Beyond the valuable routine, assembly is also a time to expect the unexpected and to celebrate being together as a community.

All School Art Project


Every year Crane’s art department plans an extraordinary art project in which each student creates a mini piece to be included in an all-school art installation on the wall of the head of school’s office. In the first month of school, each Crane student completes the themed project in their own unique way. Then the Crane art teachers create the installation, which is proudly displayed all year. It is always fun to walk in and see the 250 variations on a theme created by students who vary in age from 5-14 years.  
Come visit the head of school’s office and check out this year’s installation!

Lower School Track Meet


For over 20 years, Crane has hosted a “Track, Field, and Fun Day” meet in the spring. It has a lovely “grass roots” appeal that allows students from many local schools to comfortably participate in a variety of fun track and field events in a safe environment. Events typically include the 100 yard dash, 75 yard hurdles, high jump, softball throw, 400 yard run, and the 4X100 yard co-ed relays.

For many students, this event is their first exposure to trying new skills and challenges. Participating schools are typically Howard, Montessori Center, Laguna Blanca, and Marymount. The event is always a fun and exciting day where students meet new people and learn the enjoyment of friendly competition.

Upper School Vibes!


Vibes! is Crane’s Upper School xylophone/marimba music group. Syncopated African-style music is one of the best types in the world for developing musical ability in students. Zimbabwean-style marimba music is high energy with the complex multi-layered rhythm. Concentration, cooperation, and listening skills grow as the players focus on their parts and hear how they fit into the larger pattern. Students in Upper School learn the rhythms on various sized marimba instruments in music class. If students want to continue to learn and perform outside of class, they can join Vibes!

Over the years, Crane’s Vibes! groups have performed at local schools in Santa Barbara County as well as Los Angeles.

All School Design & Engineering


Crane's Design and Engineering Program aims to empower students to build what they can imagine. The program blends the creativity of art and design with the precision of science and engineering. Using traditional tools alongside technology of the future, Crane students have the opportunity to design and build their own creations--experiential learning at it's best!
Using the dedicated Design and Engineering Center on Crane's campus, all students have the opportunity to participate in design projects. Either as a designated class, or an integrated project with an existing curriculum, students are encouraged to use their design thinking strategies to create, build, test, analyze, and build again.

All School Thanksgiving Feast


The Thanksgiving Feast is hosted the week prior to the one-week Thanksgiving break. Crane students and Staffulty sit with their Crane Families to enjoy a catered Thanksgiving feast that is coordinated and served by Parents for Crane (PFC) volunteers. It is a joyful celebration for Crane and is a time to reflect on the many things our community is thankful for.

Lower School Winter Sing


During the last week before winter break, the entire Lower School participates in the Winter Sing. Programming includes a medley of choreographed songs, including holiday favorites. Students prepare for this show during regular music classes following the Thanksgiving holiday. The program is shared twice—during school hours for the Upper School and Staffulty, and at an evening performance for parents.

Upper School Student Leadership


Each year the Upper School student body elects five eighth-grade students to represent them for the new school year as Student Council members. The group addresses student-life issues, plans social events, coordinates fundraising efforts for student activities, and participates in community decision-making. The officers are also responsible for leading announcements each morning during assembly.

All School Field Day


What is the best way to celebrate the last day of school? How about a Field Day! 
Field Day at Crane is a long-standing, last day of school tradition. All students participate in friendly sporting events and competitions that allow everyone from kindergarten through eighth grade to enjoy together. Teams are typically organized by Crane Families, allowing older students to help younger students in the competitions. And the day would not be complete without a delicious snack of watermelon and lemonade before students depart for summer break.