Academic Excellence Driven Learners

Education as a Transformative Journey

Your close-knit and collaborative community at Crystal motivates you to chase your passions, discover new interests, increase your confidence, cultivate empathy, and flourish in a setting of academic excellence. This well-rounded academic journey prepares you to confront obstacles with creativity, critical thinking, and a compassionate perspective.

Foundation of Academic Excellence
At our center lies a celebration of scholarship. In departments like English and History, you cultivate analytical and reflective thinking to express clear and compelling ideas. At the same time, you learn to interpret and contribute to your surroundings as you practice close reading, critical thinking, and empathy.

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  • 9:1

    Student:Teacher Ratio
Embrace Challenge
You are encouraged to embrace growth challenges. Creativity and innovation take center stage in the Fine Arts, Math, and Sciences. To foster a mindset where problem-solving and creative thinking are vital, you are urged to explore, experiment, and express yourself. Beyond the classroom, challenges are seen as opportunities for growth and discovery, equipping you to navigate and succeed in evolving environments.

Striving for Balance
To highlight the importance of your mental, physical, and cultural health, Crystal prioritizes a holistic approach to well-being. The Mind & Body Program and World Language Studies aim to nurture you as a well-rounded individual who understands the significance of resilience, mindfulness, and global empathy.

Your education is a transformative journey where you are challenged, supported, and inspired to own your development process to be prepared to lead a meaningful life in rapidly changing conditions.

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  • Celebrate Scholarship

    Surround yourself with people who Celebrate Scholarship

    As a student, we strive to ensure that you benefit from innovative programs, dedicated faculty, and strong core values centered around a community-focused approach. This is a unique experience in a nurturing and stimulating environment where academic excellence is achieved and celebrated.

    If you seek an educational experience that genuinely values and uplifts scholarship, then Crystal Springs is your place.

Unite with a global community Step Outside

Embrace diverse cultures and gain a comprehensive understanding of the global narratives that shape our world.

Our Crystal Academic leaders

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  • Photo of Kelly Sortino

    Kelly Sortino 

    Head of School
  • Photo of Dot Kowal

    Dot Kowal 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Jess Dang

    Jess Dang 

    Head of Middle School

Academics FAQs

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  • How is the curriculum developed and how often is it updated?

    The curriculum at Crystal is a collaborative effort between the department chair and the director of teaching and learning. Our world-class teachers actively review and update the curriculum annually, ensuring that students receive a high-quality and current education.
  • How much homework will there be?

    Homework is intended as a meaningful opportunity for practice, application or previewing of content. In the Middle School, the average weekly homework load per subject is 45 minutes per week in 6th grade, 60 minutes per week in 7th grade and 90 minutes per week per subject in 8th grade. The average homework assignment per class should take approximately 30-45 minutes for Upper School classes. Students in Honors or Advanced Topics courses should expect longer assignments up to 60 min per class period. 
  • What are the typical outcomes for students after they leave Crystal?

    The College Counseling Office's (CCO) goal is to empower students to make independent, informed decisions about their college choices. We view the college application process as the beginning of a journey, emphasizing self-reflection, self-discovery, and personal growth. We celebrate the diverse paths to higher education, recognizing success in aligning graduates with colleges that meet their educational, financial, and personal goals.
  • What if a student struggles academically, what support is available?

    Crystal ensures equal educational opportunities for students with learning differences, making accommodations unless it poses undue hardship or alters the educational program's nature. Requests are handled case-by-case, and students can work with the Director of Academic Support on either campus.
  • Which AP courses are offered and how often are new courses added?

    Advanced Placement (AP) exams: Crystal does not restrict its teaching to prepare students to take standardized tests, including Advanced Placement exams. This resolve allows our excellent faculty to create rich, rigorous, and student-centered courses.

    We do recognize, however, that there are some advantages for our students in taking these examinations.  Depending on the college or university’s policy, students may earn college credit, exemption from college distribution requirements, and/or exemption from lower-level requirements of specific disciplines.  Though AP scores, like SAT and ACT, test scores, can confirm the strength of your preparation for college-level work, AP exam scores are not required for U.S. college admission; reporting your scores is optional.  Consult with your college counselor about whether to include your AP scores in your college applications.  If you are seeking college credit for your AP score, you must send the official AP score report from the College Board to the college where you enroll.

    Typically, juniors and seniors take AP exams after completing disciplines in which subject exams are offered, and while our teachers do not explicitly teach to these examinations, much of what students encounter on these exams is reflected in many of our Honors and Advanced Topics courses.  We do not offer AP exams for courses that don't explicitly prepare students for those exams

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.