Greetings Kodiak Families,
Over the next two months, our division will be hosting two Service Learning Days for students to either venture out into the local community or remain on campus to work in service toward one another and our school. The community partnerships cultivated by CSS throughout its 60-year history allow students and faculty to envision the many ways in which we can support and serve our community in a larger sense.
On Thursday, April 28, the Class of 2028 will be returning to Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado after making its first visit of the academic year there in November 2021 to offer service to those who experience food scarcity. The Colorado Springs School holds a longstanding relationship with this amazing community organization. Whether supporting our shared values at its warehouse, sorting and packaging donated goods, or participating in collection drives in our own buildings, we see ourselves as partners in Care and Share’s core mission: to bridge the gap between hunger and abundance.
Meanwhile this spring, our 8th graders will be teaming up with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute to learn about and actually maintain local, shared open spaces and trails. This partnership signifies a strong commitment amongst students and faculty to not only give back to this land where we work and play but also to focus on restoring and protecting the environment’s natural beauty for all to enjoy. Finally, the 7th grade will be performing the mitigation, beautification, and restoration of our very own school grounds while learning about the resources available across our 28-acre campus. This on-campus experience is the perfect example of our school’s unyielding commitment to promoting service and knowledge in unique ways. Only through dedication and thoughtfulness can we continue to write the story of our beautiful institution.
I, myself, draft this note to you from an off-campus seminar on helping students and teachers tell their own personal stories – in all of their faceted brilliance – with voices that, though distinct, can be harmonious when joined together. While there are many diverse paths that lead our families to The Colorado Springs School, we each are connected by the same mission and values, and the outcomes of our CSS journeys are similar. While I am proud of each Middle School student for their hard work and achievements, the actions of some occasionally extend above and beyond, and warrant our special recognition.
This school year, a group of students – brought together by 6th graders Elina AC., April C., Lexi G., and Naia M. – formed the Rainbow Bears Service Club, which models the individual qualities we aim to instill in all learners. With the support of Admission Associate Brooke Kelly-Rawls P’32, P’30, the Rainbow Bears group has created inspirational posters displaying messages of care and reflection campus-wide and has spread these reminders of kindness to students across all age levels. As I turn every corner of my day, their colorful posters inspire me to be patient and encouraging and to embody the same spirit with which they wrote messages such as “love for each other.”
Another Middle School group – founded by 7th graders Olivia L., Ella L., and Reagan M. under the guidance of School Counselor Heidi Cooper – known as Moxie, has embraced the need for our community to understand the challenges and opportunities that students face each day as they communicate across thresholds of gender and age, and across social groups. By using their voices and working in conjunction with the CSS leadership team, Moxie has helped the Middle School prioritize the practice of checking in with students about their daily experiences.
One of the best services we can provide for our school and the greater community is modeling and elevating the voices of its learners. When we teach students to speak up for what they believe in and to be informed about the world around them – about the circumstances that lead to influences and challenges – we, in turn, teach them to be responsible citizens dedicated to leading our community in future years. I encourage you to find an avenue to join our young people in serving the communities – locally, domestically, and internationally – in which we live. Earth day is coming up and April is National Poetry month! There are needs everywhere we look.
Another opportunity that I wanted to make you aware of as you look to help your child think about their future is the 2nd annual Virtual Statewide Career Fair for Youth! This virtual career fair – a no-cost event open to students age Kindergarten and up – will be offered on April 18-21, 2022, from 4-7 p.m. each evening, and includes guest speakers, and career and special sessions led by industry representatives across 16 different “Career Clusters.” Register to get locally connected and inspired, and to learn more about the career paths and opportunities available to your child in the years ahead.
Have a beautiful month of April and enjoy all the growing!
Ron Hamilton, M.A.Ed. Leadership
Middle School Division Director