Crestmont Alumna Luma Cortez, reflects on Crestmont’s early days and Crestmont today.

In 1969, a group of concerned parents came together to develop a school that emphasized the social and emotional development of children as well as a social justice-infused curriculum. These parents joined together in a collective endeavor that mirrored the spirit of local activism of the times.

The early years were tumultuous as parents struggled to find teachers and to work out their ideas about what their alternative to traditional education would be. The average life of alternative schools in 1970s was only two years, so it is a tribute to those parents and teachers that Crestmont flourishes to this day.

After extensive research, the concept of open classrooms and the ideas from British Infant Schools were instrumental in forming Crestmont’s developmental, multi-age, and hands-on approach to education. These foundational elements remain the backbone of our educational philosophy today. In 1973 the Bus School program for the upper grades was added with the idea of holding classes “on location” in an old converted school bus. Over time the Bus School was retired and replaced with traditional field trips for all grade levels.

In the 1980’s many of Crestmont’s beloved traditions were formed, through the collaboration of children, teachers, and parents. They include Stone Soup, our annual Thanksgiving celebration; the flea markets, which raise money for charity; and the talent show, one of Crestmont’s most creative and exciting annual events.

Over the years, hundreds of parents and dozens of staff have worked cooperatively to keep the school fully functional and fiscally sound. For over 50 years, Crestmont’s educational philosophy and traditions continue to be lovingly upheld. History shows that Crestmont is a place where involvement and initiative make a profound and lasting difference.