My kids will have attended CSS through 3 Heads of School, 4 if you count the interim. We have been supportive parents, and paid tuition with little assistance. There are certainly many families with much greater means. I have always kept in the back of my mind that the "tail wags the dog" when decisions are made at CSS. Unfortunately the line between board and faculty has been blurred to the point that the tail of the dog has become more than just those who write the checks. The faculty members I am close with feel the same way. If not for the attachments my kids have with peers and with teachers, we would move on.
CSS is an excellent school that has helped our son develop on multiple levels. The opportunities are unparalleled and the academics are very strong. Of course such a focus on achievement comes with a lot of sacrifice - kids have to work hard, parents have to become heavily involved, there is a financial sacrifice too ... but for the right child and the right family the reward is an excellent education and opportunity to do pretty much anything they want in life. There are many good educational options in the Pikes Peak area and most don't require the same level of commitment as CSS so this school isn't for everyone but if you're prepared to dream big and make the necessary sacrifices this school is worth it.
This is an amazing school. My kids are in their 11th year at CSS, and we feel so fortunate to have found this wonderful place. They have been challenged and engaged, and CSS has given them the love of learning. Experiential learning is a hallmark of the CSS education and my kids have travelled with their classes beginning in the first grade. As high school students, they have travelled and studied in Ireland, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Florida, and Peru. The school community is very close knit and parents can be involved at many levels. The faculty are outstanding. I would not send my kids to any other school.
My daughters have attended CSS for 11 years since preschool. They thrive here as independent thinkers taught by strong teacher mentors. We chose CSS because of the multitude of experiences they offer. My girls excel academically, are in theater productions twice a year, play a variety of sports, participate in before and after school clubs such as archery, play in the band, go on experiential learning trips such as photography seminars in New Mexico, take field trips to a lab at the local hospital, have in-class presentations by inventors, authors, artists, doctors, lawyers - people who can share real-world experiences with them. All of this is in preparation for yes, college but more so for life. I want my children to be leaders and have a thirst for knowledge. This is the path that my children are on at CSS.
My 3 children have attended CSS for 11 years. It has been our best choice for our family and every penny has been worth it. My children have flourished academically, as responsible individuals, in the arts and in their sports. Small class room sizes are excellent and the extra personal attention is valuable as the academics are rigorous. The campus is one of the most beautiful sights in Colorado Springs and has much history as it was previously an estate, settled in a well established and highly valued real estate neighborhood. At the younger grades, they receive excellent instruction and are exposed to many areas of learning with many learning experiences outside of the classroom and field trips around Colorado. At the higher levels, the academic preparation for college is excellent. One of the unsung values of this school is the college admissions counselor who works with every child to find the right college for them and assist in every detail in getting them to that college, with the added bonus of assisting in obtaining scholarship and grant money. Last year, he assisted the graduating class of of less than 30 in receiving over 2 million in scholarship money.
When we interviewed at CSS for kindergarten, I was so nervous. Being a middle class family, I felt that we weren't going to be "good enough" for the school. We were accepted and once my daughter started school, we felt like a part of the family and have never stopped feeling that way in the 8 years she has attended CSS. I could talk about all the great things about CSS classes and teachers, but many of the other parents have already done that for me! Instead, I want to encourage parents that think they may not be able to afford it, to look into CSS. Trust me, you find a way to make it work because these are the most important years of your children's lives. CSS is worth the money! The children learn to respect adults, and peers alike. My daughter explored different sports and finally found the one she liked. The arts/theatre department is amazing. With smaller classes, they get so much individual attention that you don't get with 35+ students in a class. If I knew then what I know now, I still wouldn't have done it any other way!
My child has attended The Colorado Springs School since pre-school and for my family there is not another choice. This school excels on so many levels. The teachers are welcoming, understanding, compassionate and bright. My child has learned to be an independent thinker and knows this school is a place to learn through experiences. This school has an excellent music program, art program, as well as an excellent theater program. The kids learn to get on stage and preform from kindergarten on. These activities help to round out a child's educational experience, which is top notch at CSS. The children get home cooked hot meals at lunch made by our Chef that are healthy and nutritious. This school offers so much in terms of preparing children for college and beyond. For most parents considering a private school education, cost is always a concern. The school offers great financial aid awards as well as scholarships to families. The school will work with families and their budgets. Everyone should tour this school and see the sparkle in the eyes of the students who attend The Colorado Springs School.
CSS makes my family happy. My children are thriving in the individualized, hands on learning environment. My oldest daughter has already begun the art of advocating for herself. My middle child realizes the importance of working hard to be successful. She is confident & independent, and she makes all of the projects and time on stage look so easy! My youngest loves going to school. He knows it is his home away from home. Everyone on campus knows him and loves him, and most importantly he loves them. This school is like a big family-they offer high academics, performing arts, sports, expeditions, and so many life skills needed to survive in the 21st Century.
The Colorado Springs School is an amazing school. We moved our children to CSS from a public school and have been impressed and thrilled with the level of academic rigor, the nurturing educational environment, and the small class sizes geared toward individual learning. Moving our kids to CSS is one of the best decisions we have made as parents.
CSS is a community in which children are valued and taught as individuals. My child's teachers really know and care about my child and they take time to help, push, and guide her everyday. The quality education is superior. Having two other children go to college after graduating from CSS and get straight A's, know how to advocate for themselves, and be confident in college made my choice to send all three of my children to CSS a no-brainer. I LOVE this school!
CSS has one of the most supportive and warm communities I have ever experienced. The teachers care about my children and work to bring out their best qualities. The character of the students is a true reflection of the school. My kids love to learn and love all the resources they are given. I can t imagine sending my children anywhere else.
What hooked me was my first visit to the classroom. What happens in there is absolute magic. Except it's not magic. It's the way the teachers interact with the children. The small class size allows for deep and meaningful learning experiences. We are preparing these children for the challenges of our ever-changing world. You have to see it to truly understand the concept! Visit CSS and see for yourself. :-)
One of the things that has made CSS so special all these years is the relationship teachers have with their students! Students who might not thrive in larger schools, find a voice at CSS. The unfortunate reality is that these students will find themselves looking for a new place to be heard in a few years when CSS runs out of money and closes the doors:(
My children together spent 26 years blossoming and growing at CSS. Although they are now graduated from college (Dartmouth, Vassar and University of Chicago), I see CSS imbued in everything they do. They are adventurous and bold in where and how they live and the careers they have chosen to pursue. They are confident in their interactions with colleagues, even those who are senior to them in age or position. And the friendships that they started at CSS continue to provide them support and an example of the importance of other people in our lives. I have read some of the negative reviews on this website. Given my familiarity with the teachers, administrators and programs at CSS, I can only assume that the people making those posts have a personal ax to grind. I encourage anyone interested to visit the school and draw their own conclusions.
As an alumna of the class of 1990, I ve now had quite a few years to gain perspective on the education I received at CSS. I attended CSS for my junior and senior years of high school (after having been to public school), and I lived on campus in a dormitory. I can honestly say that CSS prepared me well for college, both academically as well as socially and in maturity (i.e., I found the college experience to be MUCH easier to handle having gone away to college two years early). I found that I was more prepared academically, and that I had better organization and time-management skills than my peers at college. Teachers at CSS not only taught us subject content, but they taught us how to learn, how to study, how to research, how to examine, question, discuss and create, all of which were skills that served me very well through college and to this day in my career. This is a truly fantastic school! I will concede that it may not be the right fit for every student, but it most certainly provides a challenging, supportive, and focused environment for students who do fit to flourish. I highly recommend it!
I have been at CSS for 6 years. The school was a great choice for me because not only did it challenge me, it helped me reach my full potential. CSS is a little expensive, however I can assure your child will get a fantastic education. CSS is different from other schools in the sense that they offer a variety of programs that help your child not only in academics, but also in arts. Many colleges these days not only look at a students GPA, but also their involvement in extra-curricular programs. CSS does an exceptional job making sure every child is involved in at least one arts class as well as all standard academic classes. Thank you CSS for helping me be the attentive student that I am today.
This is really education for the whole person. We've had our children enrolled at CSS for the past 11 years - and it keeps getting better & better! Currently, our two older kids are in middle school and our youngest in elementary. The middle school curriculum is challenging and pushes the kids in their writing and critical thinking skills. The teachers are amazing - they truly care about the students, love their subjects, and expect a lot from the kids. Self responsibility & variety of experiences is emphasized. The seminars and experiential learning are balanced by rigorous academics. Active learning and participation are expected from a young age, so it comes naturally to the kids. Well-coached sports teams, with unparalleled opportunities to be involved and be mentored by the older kids on the team. Great atmosphere. The arts at the school are fantastic, with great opportunities in art and photo, as well as being involved in the middle school musical and the fabulous middle school band. An amazing place for kids to thrive - a lot of families have made big sacrifices to send their children here. Lots of wonderful people here, from faculty & staff to parents and kids.
As a single parent of children who have attended this school since PreK, I can honestly say that this school has been an incredibly positive experience for both myself and my children. CSS has MUCH to offer children of all ages. Not only have we found this school's grade teachers qualified and kind, but the "specials" teachers are outstanding and contribute so much to the quality of a child's education at CSS. CSS offers amazing Seminar and ECS experiences that really foster a child's awareness of community and experiential growth. There are plenty of families that attend CSS who are not wealthy. As one of these families, I can say that my children have plenty of friends that do not judge them for having less money and that CSS has been incredibly supportive in doing all they can to help our family achieve its goals. It is my hope that anyone considering this school for their children will arrange a visit to CSS to see for themselves what this school has to offer. In doing so, you may discover why so many families invest in a CSS education.
PART 2 of 2: CSS leadership does not encourage its students to excel in any courses. And yes, in their Mission Statement they say that they care, but don't believe it, it's not true! CSS bottom line is M-O-N-E-Y! CSS does make sure students do go to college but the colleges are less than impressive (anyone can get into CU Denver or PPCC) and attendance to top ivy-league universities like Harvard, Stanford, or Princeton are hardly on their radar. Yea sure, they may get that one students that makes it into MIT or that one that gets into the Air Force Academy but it has NOTHING to do with CSS "Great Style of Learning" and has everything to do the motivation of that student and their family "connections" they have. DO NOT let CSS fool you into thinking it was all them! So, If you have money to burn and you do not want your kid in a public school and you know that your kid lacks the motivation to succeed in a REAL hard-core college prep high school and you don't expect your kid to go to a great college, then CSS is the PERFECT (Not) school for you!!
While the education is good, the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired. The teachers are focused and provide insightful learning. The administration is worried only about money, so much so that it interferes with them running the school in an appropriate manner. Money talks and it is clear that families who donate large sums are given preferential treatment. I would not reccomend the school to people for that reason among others. The ECS program is something to content and one of the few strong points of the High school As a student, I would not reccomend this school to students looking.
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