Growing Pains

We have grown quite a bit in four years. Growing pains are part of the process.

Growing Pains are part of growing. They are uncomfortable and sometimes painful but they are part of the process of becoming; becoming bigger, becoming stronger, becoming more of who you are.  CSI is now in its fourth year. We have had a somewhat disrupted journey along the way. Before the pandemic we were learning with about 450 students on campus. We returned to campus this fall with 650 students and for the first time, we are getting a true sense of a TK-8 community and some of its challenges. 

The pandemic has had an impact on things we previously may have taken for granted. Our students are all trying to figure out how to integrate themselves back into school playgrounds and classrooms and in-person friendships. Our teachers are navigating Covid protocols while also increasing our social emotional work with students and staying focused on academic learning. Many of our parents have had a direct look into digital classrooms and getting to see all of the students in their child’s classroom and are now asked to be outside of the campus with much less information about what is happening inside our gates. Our middle school students are working to discover who they are as they adjust to new friends and social circles and puberty. It’s a lot. And the biggest impact of the pandemic is that CSI was not able to slowly move through some of these growing pains in building our community, but were abruptly dropped into the center of many of these changes. 

Fortunately, we are a school that is built on an innovation and design model that values adaptability and creative problem solving. What makes this work however is a focus on respect. When we are experiencing a rapid change cycle, we need to remember that perspective taking and taking time to understand each other is a key piece to solving the right problem and moving us forward. We are continuing to work with our students in building this base of respect and we encourage our entire community to come into our conversations with that same respect. We love how our social emotional curriculum, Character Strong, defines respect.

From Character Strong:

Respect: seeing good in people and things (and treating them with care).

Respect is both a perspective and a practice. What does it mean to “see good” in people? Oftentimes this requires us to learn more about who they are, where they come from, and why they believe and act the way they do. Respect is about understanding people! Respect is also about action; how we speak to and treat one another (and ourselves) respectfully is a constant practice.

Respect is about resolving conflicts peacefully, without violence. It requires listening to each other. How do you make sure that you’re really listening when you’re talking to someone? How do you listen to people when you are in conflict?”

Growing pains are a part of our journey, but we know we can move through them with courage and respect.