Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Noozhawk Article
Mary Lee Wren

Many of Crane Country Day School’s current programs evolved from curricular concepts that existed when the school was founded in 1928. These pedagogical pillars continue to guide the school 90 years later.
 
Crane’s educator-in-residence, which is integral to the K-8 independent school’s professional development curriculum, is one example. Each year the school brings experts in their respective and varied fields to campus to inspire students, parents and teachers.

Many of Crane Country Day School’s current programs evolved from curricular concepts that existed when the school was founded in 1928. These pedagogical pillars continue to guide the school 90 years later.
 
Crane’s educator-in-residence, which is integral to the K-8 independent school’s professional development curriculum, is one example. Each year the school brings experts in their respective and varied fields to campus to inspire students, parents and teachers. Past speakers have included Jules Zimmer of UCSB's Department of Education; Chick Moorman, director of the Institute for Personal Power; Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, associate professor of education, psychology and neuroscience at the Brain and Creativity Institute; and child development authors Wendy Mogel, Michael Thompson and Rachel Simmons.
 
The school has also welcomed artists to imbue the classroom with creativity. That’s how painter Ray Strong came to Crane with his masterful murals and Dale Chihuly shared his exquisite glasswork to inspire student sculptors. This year Crane welcomed artist Alyssa Goss DeLaBruere, who’s been on the road the past 18 months painting pictures of 32 national parks. It is Goss DeLaBruere's intention to capture every national park in the U.S. by 2021, so she was the ideal visiting artist to teach during Crane’s annual Spring Study Week, which examined National Parks as its theme.
 
Each year the school picks one unifying concept for its Lower School students to focus on during the week before spring break.
 
In her week at Crane, Goss DeLaBruere, a national park activist, spoke to students about her mission as well as the importance of protecting public lands. DeLaBruere is working on a series called Postcards from the Parks, a multi-year project she hopes will serve as a model for younger generations to show that one voice can impact change. Equipped with blank canvases, dozens of tubes of paint and experience from her time on the road, Goss DeLaBruere instructed students on the art of plein-air painting (painting outdoors). “An amazing thing happens when you set up an easel outside,” Goss DeLaBruere said. “It seems to break down barriers and provide a platform for sharing and hearing stories, many from the park rangers themselves.” Goss DeLaBruere worked with Lower School students to create two oversized collage murals of the Channel Islands, one of which is on display at the building adjacent to the Santa Barbara Public Market.
 
While artists and educators share their expertise with students, the students in turn share art, music and literature with the broader Santa Barbara community. Service learning has been a pillar of Crane for nearly 90 years and continues with outreach to local nonprofits including the Unity Shoppe, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Foodbank of Santa Barbara and the Friendship Center. The school’s musical group VIBES can be heard jamming at local events and student artwork graces the walls of select downtown galleries. Crane also hosts a community-wide Country Fair nearly every autumn. “I don’t think we could have thrived over the last nine decades if we didn’t partner with our community,” said Joel Weiss, head of school.
 
Perhaps this was expressed most profoundly in January 2018 after the debris flow, when the campus took in neighbors who had been displaced during the night, and served as the base of operations for first responders. In return, when Crane had to evacuate due to road closures, four community sites opened their doors to the students and faculty. “We plan to be around for another 90 years and we recognize the importance of community to extend learning beyond our classrooms,” Weiss said.
 
Crane will officially celebrate its 90th anniversary with an all-alumni reunion May 3 and a formal gala May 4 themed Crane Coming Home.
 
For more information on the celebration or to register as an alumnus/alumna, contact Anne Perkins at aperkins@craneschool.org. For admissions information or to schedule a tour, contact Erin Guerra, 805-969-7732, ext. 106, or visit www.craneschool.org.
 
— Ann Pieramici for Crane Country Day.
 

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