By Smarty guest bloggers Ashley Helgeson, upper grades English teacher at Crosland, and David Wallace Creative and Performing Arts teacher at Crosland
In 1978, Dr. Mary Dore established North Carolina’s first accredited school dedicated to the education of students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. That school grew to become The John Crosland School in 2012. In celebration of Dr. Dore’s innovation, and in recognition of our 40th Anniversary, our school committed to focus on the principles of student-leadership this year by reminding students that at Crosland, they belong, believe, and succeed!
At Crosland, we welcome diversity. Students are the primary focus of their education rather than the curriculum, test, or dollar amount. Classes such as STEAM, Horticulture, Digital Communications, and Digital Executive Functioning allow students to work as a team to create a bigger picture. Students work on service projects around the school and in the community at all levels. This year, students, staff, parents, alumni, and community members celebrated the school’s Founder’s Day on January 18, 2019.
This event commemorated The John Crosland School’s history through a presentation from our new Head of School, Hallie Rojeski, student presentations on their various service projects, singing of the school song, and a groundbreaking ceremony for our new outdoor classroom. Students reflect on the school’s service portion by saying statements such as, “I feel more a part of the Charlotte community.” Students also feel the projects are important “because they help the community.” Students in grades 9-10 collected books for the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore Shop while grades 11-12 worked in the store for a portion of a school day. Middle School students worked on various Refugee Support Services’ projects at a local organization and Lower School students served at a local retirement community.
One of our tenth-grade students said, “It makes me feel more positive when helping other people who might need help.” The Crosland student body comes together for celebrations of all kind. This year, our Digital Executive Functioning class planned the school’s first Student Annual Campaign in honor of the 40th Anniversary. These Upper School students were in charge of leading all components of the project including school and classroom announcements, emails to parents, staff, and students, the creation of flyers and collection envelopes, coordinating said collection, and meeting with the school’s finance director. The students received 100% participation in the campaign and in turn, planned a school-wide
celebration. The class was so passionate about the project, they ended up donating all of the supplies for the party so the school could use the funds for the aforementioned service projects. The students boosted their confidence not only in their communications but in the work they do at school. A tenth grader reflected that he felt he can accomplish his dreams and help those around him. He also noted that his class has truly learned to make a great team.
At The John Crosland School, we believe students will achieve in a school environment that welcomes them and their families and that all students have the capabilities of being successful. We cater to our students’ needs and abilities using both in and out of school experiences. Students celebrate milestones on all different scales at The John Crosland School and learn to be advocates and leaders of their own educational needs. Not only do students receive individualized and small group instruction in the classroom, with full access to technology, but they also gain life skills such as executive functioning and character lessons. At Crosland, we believe today’s students are our future leaders, and everyone must belong to succeed!
The John Crosland School
5146 Parkway Plaza Blvd.
Charlottte, NC 28217
704-365-5490 ext 709
Instagram: @johncroslandschool and @dogsofcrosland