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From the Desk of Ms. Tyler

June 19, 2020

Greetings CSS Community,

I am very pleased to be the Head of School at The Colorado Springs School. I am thrilled to have arrived in Colorado Springs. I want to extend my pleasure and heartfelt excitement to be a part of this special and unique CSS community. As an educator with a range of experiences in both public and independent school education, I was drawn to the opportunity to lead at CSS for a number of powerful reasons.

The mission and philosophy statement of CSS is based on principles that shape young minds to be prepared for the real world:

  • Experiential and expeditionary learning

  • A supportive and dedicated school community

  • Connected to the global community

  • A mindset of growth and improvement

I am delighted to call CSS my new home, and I look forward to meeting many of you in the days, weeks, and months to come. Be on the lookout for an invitation to attend meet-and-greet opportunities hosted both in-person and virtually toward the middle of July.

The unexpected invasion of COVID-19 in March no doubt has had an effect on the way we all live, work, and socialize. I am very proud of everyone in the CSS community who continued to educate and support students during the most unusual circumstances. We are all adjusting to many changing factors.

As you know, there continues to be concerns and questions related to how schools plan to reopen in August 2020. Although we are in the business of educating, our top priority is the safety of all students and employees. Rest assured, we have been working diligently on our CSS Re-Entry Plans. There are many moving pieces and as COVID-19 issues unfold, our Re-Entry Plan is nimble and adaptive to student and employee needs. Our first foray into social-distanced programming on campus will begin on Monday, June 22, 2020, as Upper School athletes are invited to return for conditioning and training sessions under the direction of Athletic Director, Coach Vaughan. They will follow parameters set by the school and guided by CHSSA. We are also working closely with Theatre Director, Sandy Bray, to roll out a socially-distanced rehearsal schedule for our Upper School thespians to perform an adapted, outdoor performance of Fiddler on the Roof. Additional communications will follow.

We hope to release more formalized plans for back-to-school on or before July 31. Our desire is to return to on-campus learning with enhanced safety and cleaning protocols. However, we must remain flexible and proactive during this unpredictable and shifting time. The CSS Leadership Team and I have begun to plan for various scenarios in order to keep both students and employees safe through active design-thinking sessions.

We are gathering input from parents, employees, community stakeholders, administrators, state leaders, medical professionals, surveys, and a newly developed COVID-19 task force. Administrators and department leaders have begun thinking and planning for increased safety procedures. We are working on the following three scenarios:

1. On-Campus Learning (OCL) - Students engaged in face-to-face learning with teachers and students on campus in synchronous learning. Under this plan, we would continue school with enhanced safety precautions.

2. On-Campus Hybrid Learning (OHL) - If required due to social distancing and space restrictions, we will engage in a combination of on-campus and virtual learning following a schedule defined by school leadership. This can be executed with a variety of configurations. This would be enacted if the Governor’s Executive Order requires us to maintain social distancing and limit the number of people in groups, etc.

3. e-Learning – Students will engage in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning (purely a virtual learning model). This would be enacted if the Governor’s Executive Order closed schools again due to health concerns (or if we have an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus).

We are taking into consideration the multiple concerns of our CSS families. We are actively discussing health and safety, the delivery of e-Learning, the importance of face-to-face instruction, complex schedules and working parents, sibling schedules, transportation, the economy, and all of the other important variables.

It was once said by Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, “that the only constant in life is change.” I am pleased that we are working on comprehensive plans for a return to campus for the 2020-2021 school year. We are working to bring order to chaotic and troubling times with safety as our top priority. I want to compliment all of you parents for managing the end of the 2019-2020 school year with grace and bravery.

We as a community are stronger together. Our shared responsibility to keep each other safe – physically and emotionally — now and always — is what will keep us strong. It goes without saying that I love all children. I have given my life to delivering quality education, bridge building, mentoring, and aiding students to some of the finest colleges and universities. I want all children to excel. I want all children to be safe. I want all children to learn and grow and discover their passions. Mahatma Gandhi articulated to us all with a heart for humanity to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” In these challenging times, we will work together to make our school community stronger than ever for all kids.

This summer, the faculty/staff and I are reading Peter Block’s book “Community: The Structure of Belonging” in order to strategize and plan for our students and CSS family members to come back together. Let’s take solace that our commitment to each other will be a light for all to learn from. We together will live up to our mission: Through superior academics and mentoring, The Colorado Springs School prepares students to think independently and to meet the challenges of a dynamic world with leadership, ingenuity, problem-solving skills, and personal integrity.

Again, I am proud to be your Head of School and look forward to meeting you all in the near future.

In partnership,

Tambi Tyler
Head of School