Inspired Learning. Masterful Teaching. PreK – 12.


Our leadership curriculum and social and emotional learning programs rely on cutting edge research and trends as well as the strengths that have always distinguished The Colorado Springs School: small classes, mentorship in our strong MS/US advisee program, and the authentic challenges of our expedition and seminar programs. At CSS, our goal is not to emulate certain leadership styles or actions but to put each student on a path to becoming an emotionally and socially aware person who can help a group define and achieve its goals. Our leadership curriculum proceeds from the assumption that anyone can cultivate the empathy and the courage to work with people to meet authentic challenges.

Allowing students to experience leadership challenges and grow their own personal leadership style at CSS is one of our central functions. Our curriculum is informed by best practices from the National Outdoor Leadership School, 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 our 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

Examples of the leadership challenges and opportunities in the Upper School:


  • Facilitation of student-to-student conflict resolution
  • Leading prospective students in the Admissions Shadow Program


  • Serving as a peer tutor in the classroom
  • Creating and delivering “student expert” lessons, e.g. recently our AP Statistics students taught a section on statistics for AP Psychology; a member of the class of 2015 shared his research on Mayan Civilization to 10th graders in World History.
  • Leading a section in a band

In Student Council

  • Serving as a class officer (9-12) and formally mentored by faculty class sponsors
  • Forum: executive officers (formally mentored by faculty forum sponsors)
  • Leading an ad-hoc committee for specific events, e.g. fundraisers or prom


  • Serving as an elected club officer
  • Carrying out carnival booth planning and execution
  • KICS (Kodiaks in Community Service) serving as a managers for concessions
  • Leading a small committee for KICS
  • Serving as an elected representative for National Honor Society executive committee
  • Model UN: presiding officers; compilation of materials and organizing when we host
  • Sharing club activities with younger students on Founders’ Day


  • Serving as Leader of the Day/Specific Jobs during our Experience Centered Seminar
  • Leading one of the important post-trip assignments (presentation, video, iPhoto book, poster)
  • Interacting with younger CSS students through the ECS and Book Buddies program, e.g. planning a lesson for the younger kids

Extracurricular (Sports, Drama)

  • Assisting coaches with Middle School teams and summer camps
  • Helping to lead the production of a play as a stage manager


  • Earning the role of Mentor in our REACH program, e.g. serving as a teaching assistant, lead elective teacher, or general mentor for middle school children
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