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The Library and the Commons

“Whatever we do at Crescent, it is with the commitment to excel and improve. We aspire to create quality educational experiences for our boys. And right now, the Library and the Commons project is the most important thing we can do to drive academic excellence.” — GEOFF ROBERTS Headmaster

CRESCENT SCHOOL Great Boys Campaign

A DRIVE FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Nothing is more important than our commitment to building the best programme and learning environment for our boys. Crescent’s Centennial Strategic Plan lays it out clearly: our focus is on achieving academic excellence and character development. Thanks to the incredible support of our community through the Great Boys campaign, we are making terrific headway into providing the crucial support to meet our goals. We are seeking funds to advance studies into boys’ education by sustaining the work of Crescent Student Services, offering bursaries for International Outreach, building Crescent’s signature Robotics and Technology programme, and increasing funds available through Student Financial Aid so that we can continue to attract and retain boys of great promise  The Great Boys campaign has also allowed us to embark on a campus renewal that will provide the space, flexibility and resources our exceptional teachers need to help each of our boys reach his potential.  The recently completed Lau Family Wing is the model for a contemporary boys’ learning environment and the physical manifestation of how we approach the intersection of space and the academic programme.  Important work remains. Crescent requires a first-rate library and optimum learning spaces across all levels of the school. We must ensure our library is able to meet the needs of our scholars, and bring together the essential services for their post-secondary preparedness.  That is why we are launching the next phase of the Great Boys campaign: to raise $13 million to re-imagine the Library and create the Commons, a place that will bring students, faculty and parents together to access important support and enrichment services.


CRESCENT SCHOOL Great Boys Campaign

HOW BOYS LEARN BEST Our teachers know how boys learn best. They know that boys flow through the school like a river – waves of boyhood exuberance in perpetual motion, never still. They know boys need a variety of spaces to suit their individual needs, from traditional classrooms to small, non-hierarchal seminar-style rooms. Our boys also need non-structured human space where they can connect with each other and with teachers, and where conversations can unfold or work can be done in companionable silence.  We have relied on insight from our community, and have done extensive research to understand what we must do to bring out the best in teaching and learning. We have learned that boys respond to differently shaped and sized spaces to facilitate interdisciplinary learning, foster collaborative skills, and develop synthesis and integrative skills. This thinking drove the design of the Lau Family Wing, where there are seminar rooms for roundtable discussions, non-programmed space for students to gather in groups or work on their own, and traditional classrooms for presentations and more formal teaching situations. This mix reflects the many ways in which our teachers want to teach, and meshes with our inquiry-based educational approach.  Now, we need to ensure this kind of space is available across the school, to all our students, as in each grade they prepare for the next phase of their academic journey, and confront different demands on their learning and research skills.  By building a new Library, we will be able to create these spaces for Middle and Upper School students, while strengthening the academic core of Crescent.

“Our ambition here is to stretch – to be a school that’s capable of excellence in a constantly changing environment. As a school, we need to have the flexibility and the resources to take advantage of what the future brings, to be both strategic and nimbly responsive, and to ensure we are always focused on developing the intellectual curiosity of our boys.” — COLIN LOWNDES Deputy Headmaster



The Library. The new 5,400-square-foot library will maximize one of Crescent’s greatest assets, the Glendon Ravine, letting in light, connecting students to the outdoors, and creating an environment that is not limited by walls.

CRESCENT SCHOOL Great Boys Campaign

OUR NEW LIBRARY: THE ACADEMIC HEART OF THE SCHOOL A library forms the academic heart of a school, and the new Library at Crescent will be a place where boys can learn higher-level research skills, have greater access to resources, and recognize the importance of individual and focused work. It will also be inspiring architecturally, making the most effective use of our existing space while capitalizing on our magnificent ravine setting.  It will be a centre for information, for synthesis and for big ideas. While it will integrate digital and non-digital  resources, it will be a library in the classic sense of the word: a place where our boys can step out of the stream of noise to think, explore ideas and contemplate life’s big questions. It sounds like a conservative approach, but in today’s wired world, it’s actually quite radical.  Our plan is to build a larger, brighter, smarter library – where space and flow are meticulously planned for ideal learning and research.  It will replicate a university library with its resources, structure and setting geared to learning selfdirected study and research. Here, our boys will develop the skills they need to navigate and synthesize a myriad of research, preparing them for the demands of higher learning beyond Crescent’s walls. Along with the traditional stacks, the Library will include increased space for classes and groups, areas for specialized research, project-based and individual work, ready access to the teacher librarian, and an environment that gives our students the ability to connect with the world. The Library will also provide the much needed flexible space for our Middle School and Upper School. Teachers will be able to reserve space in the Library, and request specific materials and assistance in advance from the Head of Libraries and Information Literacy.

“Information literacy is one of our most important responsibilities as educators. We need a library where boys can gather to do group work, where we can teach digital and information literacy skills to an entire class, and where students can find a quiet study zone. The new Library will be ideal because it will allow these three things to happen simultaneously.” —TRISH CISLAK Head of Libraries and Information Literacy


CRESCENT SCHOOL Great Boys Campaign

THE COMMONS: PREPARING FOR LIFE BEYOND CRESCENT In the last decade, Crescent has introduced important services that help our boys be more prepared for their future. Crescent Student Services and University Counselling are fundamental supports to our students, especially in the Upper School. As part of this project, we will create the Commons, an accessible, dedicated area overlooking Innes Field. The Commons will bring together our University Counselling and Crescent Student Services to encourage their integration. Our rationale for creating this new space is simple: students need to be prepared for the challenge of gaining entrance into their preferred university. We want them to be successful and to thrive there, and to be ready to take on the complexities of the academic and working worlds. The services of the Commons are essential to that preparation. We wish to develop and enhance our students’ literacy, numeracy, and organizational skills in Student Services. We also hope to enlighten our boys as to the broad range of post-Crescent university options available to them, and prepare them for their post-secondary academic life. And, as parents are essential partners in these conversations, they too require easy and welcoming access to be fully participatory. By placing Crescent Student Services and University Counselling front and centre in our students’ lives, Crescent will gain the ability to be more pro-active in offering support and guidance to the boys throughout their years at Crescent.

“The services in the Commons are all about developing the skills necessary for our boys to be emotionally self-aware, contributing members of society. Whether it’s developing the skills of responsible self-advocacy, or fostering the abilities that support analytical thinking, research and literacy, the Commons will provide the environment in which contemporary collaborative relationships can be intentionally nurtured.” — DR. MICHAEL LEATCH Director of Crescent Student Services



University Counselling and Crescent Student Services will come together to form the Commons, situated in the centre of student life and accessible to all.

CRESCENT SCHOOL Great Boys Campaign

JOIN US IN BUILDING THE LIBRARY AND THE COMMONS Crescent’s momentum is palpable. Our boys are thriving, our programme is attracting international attention and a record number of applicants, and our community is engaged, looking to the future with optimism and anticipation. The Library and the Commons project will not only cap this important phase in our history, it will also ensure we are better equipped and prepared to seize the opportunities of Crescent School’s next century. More than ever, we will be a school that inspires Men of Character from Boys of Promise.


Men of Character from Boys of Promise

For more information, please contact: John Lynch Chief Advancement Officer, Crescent School 2365 Bayview Avenue Toronto, ON M2L 1A2 416-449-2556 ext. 242 Crescent School Charitable Registration Number 11922 9052 RR0001 The Crescent School Foundation Charitable Registration Number 89212 8471 RR0001

Great Boys  

The campaign for our second century. The Library and the Commons