Cornerstone of CrystalVisionary Beginnings

Legacy of Scholarly Distinction

At the heart of Crystal lies a story of profound vision and determination. One evening at their dining table in 1948, Aylett and Martha Jane Cotton, driven by a keen sense of purpose, envisioned a school that would become a haven of learning for girls in San Mateo County. Seeded that evening, their dream blossomed into a reality that would become the school we are today.

Blueprint for the Future

The founders' mission was clear: to create a private, non-profit, non-sectarian day school that would provide an education of the highest caliber. This would be a space for excellence in learning, arts, music, and athletics. They aspired to cultivate a place where intelligent discussion and the liberty to think and act freely would be encouraged and celebrated—a direct response to the era's challenges to democratic principles and academic freedom.

Their foresight and resolve drew together a community of parents and led to the school's incorporation on the eve of Christmas in 1952, marking the formal beginning of a journey toward educational distinction. The Founders' Committee's proposal was setting a new standard for education where students would be nurtured to become responsible citizens, free from fear or prejudice.

Past to Present

The legacy of that founding vision is a cornerstone of Crystal today. The founders' commitment to an environment that fosters open dialogue has evolved into our current mission and core values. We are a school where students are happy, challenged, and successful as they grow into kind, curious, and compassionate global citizens. Our commitment to providing financial assistance for students continues, ensuring that the opportunity for excellence in education is accessible to all.

We take pride in our history, which has led us to become a community where students thrive academically and personally. We stand as a testament to the Cottons' vision, continuing to embrace and expand upon their ideals, ensuring that each student's journey is filled with growth, success, and the joy of learning in a community that looks towards the future while honoring its past.

From our past totheir future

For over 60 years, individuals just like you have given their time, knowledge, and funds, enabling us to bring education of the highest caliber to the peninsula. Whether through volunteering, participating in events, or donating, all of these forms of support have helped us maintain our scholarly distinction.

Crystal Key Moments

Founding of the School

On January 1, 1953, the Founders' Committee announced Crystal Springs School for Girls as a private, non-profit, non-sectarian day school in San Mateo County. The school aimed to be a high-caliber institution with a curriculum and faculty equal to the nation's finest, including art, music, and athletics.

Acquired Mansion

Once at risk of demolition, the school acquired the opulent Uplands Mansion and its more than five acres of land. Thanks to the generous donations of stock and cash from the Crocker family, the school became the owner while keeping much of its funds.

Curriculum Expansion

In response to the increased educational needs of students and as a reflection of the school's dedication to providing a comprehensive, well-rounded education, the school broadened its curriculum and extracurricular offerings throughout the 1960s.

Inclusion of Boys

Integrating boys into the student body promoted gender diversity, enriched classroom discussions, and prepared students for real-world social dynamics.

Plan for Athletics

The strategic focus on athletics demonstrated the school's commitment to providing a well-rounded education, recognizing the role of physical education in developing not just the intellect but also the physical well-being and character of students.

New Middle School

After nearly a decade of meticulous planning, collaboration, and dedicated effort, this state-of-the-art educational facility emerged as a testament to the community's commitment to academic excellence and sustainability.

This is the start of Your Journey


Admission Questions:

Middle School

10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002

Upper School

400 Uplands Drive, Hillsborough, CA 94010
Nondiscriminatory Policy: Crystal Springs Uplands School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Website Accessibility Statement: Crystal Springs Uplands School is committed to making this website accessible to visitors with disabilities and is continually working to increase its accessibility and usability. We are on a regular basis seeking opportunities to bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. If for any reason, you cannot access any of the material on our website, please email and we will work to resolve the problem as soon as possible.