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“You are never too small to make a difference.”
Greta Thunberg, Environmental Activist

Leadership Scope and Sequence at CSS

Our leadership curriculum and social and emotional learning programs are based on cutting-edge research and trends, and supported by the following strengths, which continue to distinguish The Colorado Springs School from its peers:

At CSS, we aim to put each student on a path toward becoming an emotionally and socially adept leader, prepared to help others define and achieve their goals. Our leadership curriculum is founded on the belief that empathy and courage are essential to overcoming challenges, and is informed by best practices from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute, Yale’s RULER program, the NAIS Schools of the Future project, and The Colorado Springs School’s Walkabout curriculum.

Leadership and Teamwork
as defined by the NAIS Schools of the Future Project and CSS Digital Portfolio standards

  • Initiate new ideas
  • Lead through influence
  • Build trust, resolve conflicts, and provide support for others
  • Facilitate group discussions, forge consensus, and negotiate outcomes
  • Teach, coach, and counsel others
  • Enlist help
  • Collaborate sensitively and productively with people of varied backgrounds
  • Coordinate tasks, manage groups, and delegate responsibilities
  • Implement decisions and meet goals
Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Lower School

Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Lower School

  • Taking pride in their work while completing assigned classroom jobs;
  • Leading classroom activities and sharing with groups as the Star of the Week;
  • Overcoming the challenges of camping and group tasks during Colorado Expedition (e.g., setting up tents, cooking/cleaning, creating skits, and leading songs);
  • Engaging in conversation with older or younger students during the Book Buddies program;
  • Serving as the Reader of the Week;
  • Completing independent projects that require ownership (e.g., writing a bill);
  • Serving as a student monitor in the lunchroom;
  • Acting as a student leader during Lower School assemblies.
Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Middle School

Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Middle School

  • Serving as an elected Student Council representative;
  • Acting as an advisee representative;
  • Being assigned Leader of the Day during one of three annual Middle School Seminars;
  • Touring prospective students as an Admission ambassador, or serving as an ambassador for school leaders and visitors of the community on Shadow Days;
  • Serving as an elected or appointed sports captain;
  • Teaching individual peers or a class;
  • Leading discussions/debriefs in the classroom;
  • Facilitating student-to-student conflict resolutions;
  • Organizing games or initiatives;
  • Supervising the handling of class equipment, etc.
Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Upper School

Leadership Challenges & Opportunities in the Upper School


  • Facilitating student-to-student conflict resolutions;
  • Touring prospective students as an Admission ambassador.


  • Serving as a peer tutor in the classroom;
  • Creating and delivering “student expert” lessons;
  • Leading a section in a band or providing lessons to younger band students.

Student Council

  • Serving as a class officer (grades 9-12) formally mentored by faculty class sponsors;
  • Serving as an executive officer formally mentored by faculty forum sponsors;
  • Leading an ad-hoc committee for special events such as fundraisers or prom.


  • Serving as an elected club officer;
  • Carrying out Carnival booth planning and execution;
  • Serving as a manager for concessions via Kodiaks in Community Service (KICS);
  • Leading a small committee for KICS;
  • Acting as an elected representative for a National Honor Society executive committee;
  • Being a presiding officer for Model UN;
  • Sharing clubs and activities with younger students on Founders’ Day.

Experience-Centered Seminars (ECSs)

  • Serving as Leader of the Day tasked with completing specific jobs during ECSs;
  • Leading an important post-trip assignment (e.g., presentation, video, iPhoto book, poster);
  • Interacting with younger students through the ECS and Book Buddies program (e.g., planning a lesson for younger kids).

Extra-curricular (Sports, Drama)

  • Assisting coaches with Middle School teams and summer camps;
  • Helping to lead the production of a play as Stage Manager.

Full Steam Ahead

  • Earning the role of Mentor in CSS's Full Steam Ahead summer program, serving as a Teaching Assistant, Lead Elective Teacher, or General Mentor for Middle School children.