October 8, 2021

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Middle School Division Director

Mr. Ron Hamilton

Dear parents,

CSS is a magical place to be in the fall, with bright colors warming our beautiful campus and leaves swirling around on the Quad. The sunlight is changing and the air is now crisp each morning. Our students love the cooler weather, particularly around lunch time, though the basement classrooms in the Trianon can be chilly in the early morning hours. I find myself saying, “It’s time to wear layers!” to our children when I see them each morning, yet smiling at the thought that they’re still hanging on to shorts and summer for as long as they possibly can. This is one of the things I love most about Middle School students; their desire to make independent decisions, while still looking toward their parents and trusted grown-ups for reassurance, is constantly endearing.

In my time as an educator, the best strategies  – I’ve found – for helping tweens and young adolescents navigate this time of turbulent change is to offer our students multiple opportunities to take the risks and experience the novelties craved by their developing brains. When we show them the route to discovering positive moments of learning that satisfy their needs for grouping with and observing peers, we help them become the young adults we know they’re destined to become. At CSS, we devote a significant amount of time and energy to making sure our experiential education programming is robust and aligns with our high academic expectations. Our teachers find ways daily to engage and enrich students’ learning through action, exploration, and reflection. Their dedication and creativity is inspiring.

Another element that truly sets CSS apart from other educational institutions is the trips and experiences students encounter through our signature Seminar programs. Earlier this week, our Director of Student Programs Ann Petit reviewed with Middle Schoolers our plans for this year’s Seminar I trip. On Thursday, as I welcomed students to School at carline, I asked certain individuals how they were feeling about the trip. Some said they were nervous. Others said they were excited. I’m in agreement with them all

The promise of learning in a zone that presents us with the unknown and requires courage can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing. I feel that frisson of energy every time I prepare for an outing with our students, and I relish the opportunity to help them find their own courage while maintaining their preferred level of comfort. Our faculty, after taking this same trip to Lathrop State Park in mid-August, is ready to have adventures with our students and to model the appropriate expansion of personal boundaries through new experiences. Together, we will return with stories to tell for the remainder of our lives. In my mind, those stories are the most important aspect of being in Middle School. 

At CSS, we help our students build confidence, skills, and trust that we can ALL do hard things; that soliciting help from friends and mentors can play an integral part in our individual growth. Thank you for your partnership in allowing us to help these amazing young people grow

Happy Autumn,

Ron Hamilton, M.A.Ed. Leadership

Middle School Division Director

Middle School Selfie Station

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I love carline! This is my time to connect with students and to get them pumped for the rest of the school day. I value the brief conversations we have, no matter whether chatting about the results of a recent soccer match or cross country meet, or simply saying "happy birthday" or "have a great day."

Last week, our students and faculty brought fun and excitement to Middle School Spirit Week, a lead-up to our annual outdoor Revue. I, too, enjoyed partaking in the fun, as I sported my best hat, pajamas, and more throughout the week! Thanks to everyone who participated in Spirit Week, and who attended Friday's Revue. Not sure about all of you, but it was "drop dead" fun for me.

Not only is carline a great time to connect with students. It's also a wonderful time to greet our parents before heading off to run their errands or go to work.

It wouldn't be Monday Morning Celebration without dancing and bears at the Trianon! This week, I joined fellow Kodiaks in celebrating The Colorado Springs School's Annual Fund kickoff. There's excitement in the air, as we aim to earn a $25,000 challenge gift. To meet this challenge, the School has been tasked with securing 60 gifts at the Claremont Society level of $1,962 or more by no later than October 28, 2021. I've made my gift. How about you?

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On Wednesday, our sixth grade students attended a meeting in the Trianon Terrace Room, where they learned details of all they can expect to experience during Seminar I.

They clapped and cheered, and "oohed and aahed," as we discussed opportunities to participate in sports like archery as well as reviewed the menu for the trip. By no later than Monday, October 11, please remember to return your child's signed waiver and behavior contract in the basket on the table directly across from Ms. Runte’s office in the 1st Floor, Trianon. In addition, please notify Ms. Petit of any menu restrictions as soon as possible.

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The Colorado Springs School

21 Broadmoor Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Work: (719)434-3537, ext.550

rhamilton@css.org | www.css.org