Inspired Learning. Masterful Teaching. PreK – 12.

Gratitude and Planning

April 22, 2020

Dear CSS Families,

Please join me in thanking our donors and volunteers for a highly successful e-Gala & Auction on Saturday night. It was a great pleasure to see so many smiling faces and celebrate the mission and strength of this fine school. Click here for a recap of the e-Gala program and DJ Dumplin’s dance party set.

As many of you know, Governor Polis announced Monday the upcoming shift to the new Safer-at-Home policies and offered forecasts on the lifting of further restrictions later this spring and early summer.  As part of this plan, all schools, both public and private, are not allowed to return to on-campus instruction this May. Our hearts are heavy for all of our students, performers, and athletes, as April and May are particularly stimulating and joyous times of the year. We are especially empathetic toward our Seniors, 8th graders, and 5th graders who are celebrating important milestones this year. Later this week, we will send an Open Letter to CSS Seniors to publicly celebrate the Class of 2020’s positive impact on the school. Also this week, other members of the CSS Leadership Team and I will host video conference calls with 5th, 8th, and Senior parents, as well as the Seniors themselves, to discuss our plans to honor their accomplishments online and in small, meaningful, but staggered groups on campus, should parents choose to do so. As is our tradition, slideshows and personal remarks from faculty and advisors, and 8th-grade speeches will be part of the programs. Though we will mark the end of the school year on May 21st with preceding online events for all divisions, we are holding out hope for a Commencement Ceremony on our beautiful Quad and Trianon Terrace later in the summer as soon as it is allowed and logistically feasible.

Here are some details about the close of the year:

Master Calendar
Please consult the school’s online master calendar as it will accurately reflect our new structure for the end-of-the-year. Unfortunately, due to the unique health circumstance this spring, Colorado Expedition, Seminar III, and Walkabout will not occur as scheduled. As a result, Middle School will have class on May 8th (previously an in-service day).

May 1st Head’s Holiday {Day Off}
In the spirit of digital detoxification and celebrating the accomplishments of our students, parents, and faculty, I’m proud to announce a well-earned Head’s Holiday on May 1st! Like a serendipitous spring snow day or Blue and White Day (a long-standing Upper School tradition) - this day off will give us all a break from our screens and routines and give kids a chance to go outside and take an optional trip to campus (see below).

For the Head’s Holiday, we have created a parade loop route through campus, and you are encouraged (within your comfort zone) to come through in a carline fashion between 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 1st. Please stay in your car, wear a mask, and maintain social distances. We will have distinct highlights along the route.

Carline Cookies
Location: Front of the Trianon
In the spirit of community and safer-at-home practices, we encourage you to stop by campus for a pick-me-up. Chef Lori is preparing her famous chocolate chip cookies (gluten-free available too) in a to-go box for your family and a box to gift to a neighbor, a senior citizen, a first responder, or a friend. Cookies will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Let’s share kindness!

Middle School Faculty Waves
Location: Sidewalk in Front of Louisa
Cruise by and wave hello to Middle School teachers.

Upper School Faculty Waves
Location: Sidewalk in front of Field House and El Pomar Academic Center / Sundial  
Cruise by and wave hello to Upper School teachers.

Class of 2020: Senior Honk
Location: Upper School Parking Lot
Seniors will be invited to “hang-out” six-feet apart in staggered parking spots between the Field House and around El Pomar Academic Center. Drive past and give them a honk of support. Music will be playing and cars will be decorated! 

Auction Top Bidders Pickup
Location: Behind Maytag Dining Hall 
During this same carline pickup, we will distribute winning auction items and gift certificates to top bidders. You can pull your vehicle up to the backside of Maytag Dining Hall. You can either pop the trunk to accept your winning items or roll-down your passenger’s side window.  

Children’s School Faculty Waves
Location: Sidewalk in front of Children’s School Carline  
Cruise by and wave hello to Children’s School teachers.

 
May 1st Head's Holiday: Campus Parade Route
 
Exams and Celebrations
Look for detailed communication from Divisional Directors in the next few weeks on finals and the conclusion of academics.  
  • Children’s School classes will wrap-up on May 19 and families are invited to tune into the 5th Grade Continuation ceremony (online), also on May 19th.

  • May 15th will be the last day of instruction and review in the Middle School and Upper School. Finals in Middle School and Upper School will be scheduled the week of May 18th. A Middle School Awards Ceremony and 8th Grade Continuation Ceremony (online) will be held on May 20th.

  • Senior Diplomas will be conferred on May 21st and additional ideas to bring celebration and closure to their experience at CSS are being explored.

Next Year: 2020-2021
After reviewing Governor Polis’s statements and reflecting on subsequent conversations with El Paso County Health officials, we are looking at the 2020-2021 school year with a renewed sense of optimism and very careful attention. Though we do not wish to return to e-Learning, we are planning our programs to be nimble and capitalize on the lessons learned this spring. Our size, our ability to control our own schedule and calendar, and the quality of our teachers are assets that set CSS apart from other educational options available to parents. It’s no exaggeration to say that CSS’s approach to e-Learning has followed a wide variety of educational best practices and has quickly earned a reputation as the best in the city. It is our mission to engage each and every student academically and interpersonally, and we now know that we can do so remotely, again, if called upon. While we do not know what the future will hold, we do know that investing in a CSS education, now more than ever, is the best way to protect against a lost year for your child and keep them engaged in academics, supported by expert faculty and enriched by our broad curriculum in the fine and performing arts and athletics. 

I look forward to seeing you soon, either online or at an appropriate distance. Know that we will get through this challenge together.

Warm regards,

Aaron Schubach
The Colorado Springs School
Head of School

 

 

 

 

 

 
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