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Upper School Division Director

Dr. Tila Hidalgo

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March 18, 2022

I have loved the first few sneak peeks at warmth and sunshine, and can’t wait to see what Colorado looks like in the spring. Spring is a time of growth and renewal. As we head into the 4th quarter, our community of faculty, staff, students, and parents is focused not only on ensuring a successful end to the 2021-2022 academic year, but also on preparing for the year ahead

Already, students have informed us of their preferred course selections for 2022-2023. And, the School is hard at work developing a schedule that optimizes the academic opportunities available for students. Though each student’s final schedule may not directly reflect the requests they’ve made, all course offerings in the Upper School at CSS are thoughtfully designed to meet students' basic academic needs while allowing them to pursue their own intellectual interests

Although academics remain our priority, we strive to support students’ personal endeavors beyond the classroom as well. Structures and systems are the first steps toward achieving this goal. Our team of expert faculty and staff looks to develop a structured curriculum that provides time for community-building, and social and emotional learning, opportunities for establishing relationships with stakeholders of all kinds, and a love of experiential learning, service, and leadership. And – perhaps most importantly – we aim to spark joy in every student. Each year for nearly 60 years, we’ve improved upon the systems put into place by our predecessors to better the student experience at CSS

We still have so much to look forward to as we approach the end of this school year! Effective Monday, April 4, our COVID task force has announced that it plans to update the School’s mitigation measures to include a mask-optional learning environment. Though transitioning back to fewer restrictions is a welcome change, transitions can be a challenge for some. To that end, support will be made available via faculty and staff, and during a division-wide assembly on March 31. This assembly, in particular, will cover what mask-optional means for our Kodiak community and stress the importance of respecting others despite our personal differences.

We appreciate parents’ unyielding support and understanding throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and ask that they continue to act in partnership with our School. In that vein, parents will have several chances to meet virtually with faculty between March 29 and April 1 for our next round of parent-teacher conferences. (Learn more below.) Conferences not only present opportunities for faculty to provide parents with feedback on their child. They also drive partnerships among parents and faculty so that students can thrive. On April 5, parents and families are invited to hear about our students’ one-of-a-kind experiences acquired during ECS. This event signifies the launch of a two-month-long tribute to students’ learning and growth in 2021-2022, culminating with our annual Commencement exercises on May 26.

We hope you’ll join us for the many celebrations planned, including Commencement, which recognizes the impact of the Class of 2021 on CSS and inspires others to consider the legacy they desire to leave behind.

Wishing you a wonderful spring break!


Dr. Hidalgo

Upper School Spotlight

Ninth-graders Hayden D., Rowdy F., Malakai W., Sasha WC. & Chase Z.

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Kudos to these five 9th graders on qualifying for the Colorado History Day Competition in late April. They scored the following at the Pikes Peak Regional History Day Competition on March 12: 

Malakai W.

1st place, Individual Exhibit

"Treaty of Versailles and How It Influenced the Rise of the Nazi Party" 

Sasha WC.

2nd place, Individual Paper

"The History of the Sikh Religion and How It Has Been Affected by 9/11" 

Hayden D., Rowdy F. & Chase Z. 2nd place, Group Documentary

"The Afghanistan Pull Out"

Dr. Moulton


M. Frugé

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Dr. Moulton and M. Frugé participated in their first ECSs this year. Their perspective on this signature program demonstrates just how special the experience can be for students and faculty alike. Both Dr. Moulton and M. Frugé commented on the levels of learning that occurred, noting that students were totally immersed in the program. In both ECSs, students were assigned authentic tasks that, when accomplished, would demonstrate their learning. Dr. Mouton stated, “The most memorable part of this ECS, for me, was watching the students pack over 4,000 pounds of food packages for needy families at Care and Share of Southern Colorado.” M. Fruge said, “The totally immersive experience, often 12 hours a day, allowed students to accomplish tasks that were important. Their learning will stay with them because they've successfully accomplished authentic tasks, such as tracking a sick pronghorn.”

Upper School Happenings

Yearbooks Now on Sale

Order your copy of Et Apres by noon today, March 18, to save $10 off your purchase.

Progress Reports

Mid-term progress reports will be distributed via FACTS on April 1. Students with Ds or Fs will receive feedback in the form of a comment to ensure areas of concern are identified and can be improved upon throughout the remainder of the academic year. Parents of students with Ds or Fs will also be contacted to schedule a virtual conference. ECS and Seminar II reports, in particular, will be sent on April 15 via FACTS.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Conference appointments can be made, by request, and will be held virtually with your child’s respective teacher between 3:30 and 5 p.m. on March 29 through April 1. To schedule a conference, please email each teacher directly. If you wish to meet with more than one faculty member, please email me the names of those teachers with whom you’d like to meet so that a mutual time can be arranged.

The Colorado Springs School

21 Broadmoor Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Work: (719) 434-3570

thidalgo@css.org | www.css.org