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Crete's Educational Program

In designing our educational program, we took into consideration the skills and attributes that we believe are necessary to be an educated person in the 21st century. These skills and attributes include:


  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  2. Personal Attributes: Character, Responsibility, Equality, Teachability and Excellence

  3. Mastery of the Core Academic Subjects (Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science and Social Studies)

  4. Collaborative Learning and Diversity Appreciation


Our instructional framework is grounded in alignment to the California Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and aims to prepare our students for success in secondary school and college. The CCSS and NGSS have embraced the notion that developing students’ abilities to solve problems, to invent, to create, to think critically and analytically, to communicate effectively (in writing and orally) are essential. Crete also believes these skills are essential if our students are to be successful in a world that demands higher-order thinking and problem solving skills. Moreover, Crete’s curricular resources align to the CCSS and NGSS in all core subjects. We believe that our curricular resources, which are detailed below, will support students’ development of 21st century learning skills.


Finally, Crete’s instructional strategies reflect our belief of what it means to be a 21st century learner and support mastery of the content standards and the development of higher-order and metacognitive thinking. These instructional strategies are further expanded upon in the Instructional Methods and Instructional Strategies Section.


  1. Differentiated Learning: Through a combination of direct teaching, small group instruction and one-on-one support, students are provided instruction in various ways

  2. Targeted Intervention and Response to Intervention (RTI): Through a tiered RTI system, students are closely monitored and provided support strategies to improve their learning.

  3. Development of Metacognitive Skills: Through the modeling and support of critical thinking skills, students will access curriculum that directly teaches critical thinking and reasoning skills and teachers will model and demonstrate throughout lessons higher-order thinking.


Learning at Crete

​At Crete, we believe that learning best occurs when students’ basic needs are met. We also believe that learning occurs best when personalized, through the gradual release of responsibility from the teacher to the student, and when students are motivated to learn based on positive school culture and positive feelings of self-efficacy, not when they are not overloaded cognitively and when they are able to understand and reflect on their own learning. Activities and assessments at Crete are aligned to these learning theories and guide teacher instruction. The following theories are the foundation of how we believe learning best occurs:


  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs, and that some needs take precedence over others. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on.

  2. Personalized Learning: Student learning experiences – what they learn, and how, when, where and by whom they learn it – are tailored to their individual needs, skills, and interests, and their school enables them to take ownership of that learning.

  3. Gradual Release of Responsibility: Supporting student learning through gradual independence from the teacher

  4. Motivation: This theory asserts that individuals learn when they are influenced by their sense of self-efficacy and other factors.

  5. Cognitive Load Theory: The belief that learning best occurs when the working memory is not overloaded

  6. Metacognition: The development of critical thinking, higher-order thinking, and problem solving skills

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