A Message from the Associate Head of School
Dear CSS families,

Tomorrow, families will flock to campus for the annual ritual of fall conferences. This is a wonderful time of year as we embrace change and engage in what renowned educator Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot refers to as "The Essential Conversation." Parent-Teacher Conferences have withstood the test of time, and while I reflect on my own as a child with mixed reviews, I value at the heart of this intersection the notion of sharing on behalf of the academic and social and emotional well-being of your child. Stories will be told, and samples of work will be shared as your child's teacher or advisor paints a portrait of how your child is emerging as a learner and a contributing member of the school community. Areas of strengths and points of pride will be identified. And yes, conversations around areas of growth are just part of the true examination of your child's body of work. In the end, I hope that you walk away from your experience tomorrow feeling that the teacher or advisor knows your child.

For returning parents with students in 4th through 9th grade, you may notice that the traditional exchange of ACT Aspire results have been removed from the conference. After serious consideration and years of experience with standardized testing, it is my opinion that conferences were no longer the appropriate venue to discuss this sensitive and not always accurate depiction of ability. Aspire results are simply a snapshot of what a child does or does not know at that time and not necessarily indicative of the essence of a child and their entire body of work. This is precisely where conferences should be focused. Lastly, while Aspire results are meant to provide some indication of trajectory, they are not intended to be a crystal ball into the future. Testing is not the ticket, but a strong partnership between parents and students is! Following my communication, parents should expect to receive their child's results in the mail. Please contact me directly by email at sgaudet@css.org, and I would be happy to schedule a time to review the results and allay concerns or answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, please feel free to visit the ACT Aspire website at www.discoveractaspire.org to learn more.

Whether you are a new parent beginning the CSS journey in PreKindergarten or a seasoned vet counting down "the lasts," thank you for entrusting your child's education with the teachers of The Colorado Springs School. We are excited to discuss and learn more about your child as we partner together on their behalf.
Warmest regards,
Sam Gaudet
The Colorado Springs School
Associate Head of School
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