Crossroads hosts picnic, open house to kick off school year

CROSSROADS: The Gallentine-Walters family enjoys hot dogs at the Crossroads Charter Academy open house. Students in their family are going into kindergarten, third- and sixth-grade.

BIG RAPIDS – Crossroads Charter Academy hosted a pre-class picnic and open house Wednesday to welcome students and parents for another school year.

While the PTO served hot dogs, parents and students picked up schedules and toured the schools to meet their new teachers.

CATCHING UP: Kindergarten teacher Heather Zocco (left) chats with Jamal, Jayla and Okai Strickland (right) in Crossroads K-6 building. (Pioneer photos/Lauren Fitch)

The K-6 building welcomes three new elementary teachers. There are still waiting lists to get into K-6 classes, Principal Kendall Schroeder said.

Literacy will be a focus for students as soon as they start class with kindergarten teacher Erica Sinicropi.

Sinicropi, who has taught for three years at Crossroads, is starting a new literacy station program this year. Students will rotate through 10 literary stations that cover concepts in word study, writing, science and social studies.

“It lets them have independent practice with kindergarten concepts,” she said.

Kindergartners should come in with a basic understanding of colors, shapes and knowledge of the letters in their names, Sinicropi said.

“I’m looking forward to learning from them,” she said. “They teach me something new every year.”

ACADEMIC AIMS: First-grade teacher Sarah Cook talks with some of her students during Crossroads’ open house on Wednesday.

Amanda Tate, mother of first-grader Jacob Baker, said she wants to see her son improve his reading skills this year.

Small class sizes, curriculum and the community within each classroom drew Tate to Crossroads for her son and her fifth-grade daughter.

“The staff is really close-knit and works well together,” she said.

Sixth-grader Kiran Kaur is excited to get to know her teacher. She said she’s worried math will be hard, but looks forward to reading.

“I’m sad that summer’s over, but I’m excited school’s starting,” she said.

Hear what Crossroads students, parents and staff are looking forward to this year:

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from the picnic and open house.

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