09 June, 2023

Words from Secondary

Words from Secondary - Words from Secondary

What a great week for the Secondary School! It culminated with the 57th Commencement Ceremony, a beautiful way to celebrate the class of 2023. The Middle School attended a field trip to Parque Diversiones on Friday. One more week left! 

Upcoming Dates
  • June 13th: Middle School Field Day 
  • June 14th: 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony in the theater (8th graders are dismissed from school after the Moving Up Ceremony) Link to Live Stream HERE
  • June 15th: ½ day for all students (Please note that 8th graders do not have classes)
  • June 16: Report cards are available in iSAMS   

This week, 14 CDS students from 7th to 11th grade took part in the first round of the Costa Rican Math Olympiad. The exam consisted of 20 questions to solve in 3 hours. This is the largest number of CDS students we’ve had participating in 7 years. The results will be published around July or August. 

We are nearly wrapped up with pre-scheduling of students. Once that is complete, we will be able to finish our master schedule and place students into the classes they requested. If students are not able to be enrolled in all of their requests, the office will reach out to the student and the parent to determine an alternative. If a student wishes to make a change to the requests they have made, they should contact the office. 

Daily Schedule: 2023-24 School Year

For the 2023-24 school year the Secondary School will be adopting a new daily schedule. This new schedule will apply to both High School and Middle School.  

A bit of history may be helpful: Before the pandemic, CDS had a secondary schedule that included 7 classes that rotated through the 5 days of school. During the period of COVID virtual learning a schedule was adopted to best serve that mode of instruction – 8 classes that met every other day but were longer in duration. It was determined that this approach was more conducive to virtual learning. That schedule remained in effect, even after students returned to in-person instruction.  

Changing the daily schedule was identified as a need by the previous administration, parents, and teachers going into this year. Throughout this school year, additional input was received from the current administration, parents, teachers, and students about what schedule would best serve CDS students. Here are the key points that drove the development of a new schedule:

  • The need for more instructional time in class. This issue is twofold: the need to spend more of the school day in class and the need to have more frequent class time for AP classes. 
  • Free periods within the school day for upperclassmen in HS to work on AP classes. 
  • The need to have an Advisory program for students to support with organization and time management, particularly in the Middle School. 
  • The value of having some extended periods (like current blocks of 75 minutes), particularly for assessments and labs. 

As a result of this input, we developed an updated daily schedule aimed at addressing some of the state gap areas. Below is a summary of the highlights of the new 2023-2024 daily schedule: 

  • Students will spend more of their school day in class. Each class will meet an average of 50 minutes more per week in the new schedule. 
  • We will continue to allow Seniors to take one free period (per day) and allow one free period (per day) for any student who has 2 or more AP courses. 
  • The middle school will have a daily Advisory class. During Advisory, teachers will support students with organization and time management needed to be successful in secondary school. The high school will meet once a week in Advisory (on Friday). 
  • Every Friday will have an extended periods, with classes alternating between weeks. Teachers will be able to plan longer lessons, labs, assessments, etc. for these days. Please note in the schedule below that on an A-Friday the schedule will include A,C, E, and F periods and on an E-Friday the schedule will include B, D, Flex, and G periods.
  • Flex Period will be a time for student activities: pep assemblies, student assemblies, student clubs, etc.  

Below is the schedule that will be adopted for the 2023-24 school year. Please reach out to the office if you have any questions. 

Middle School

Time  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
 8:00-8:10  Advisory  Advisory  Advisory  Advisory
 8:15-9:00  A  E A E  8:00-9:20  A/B
 9:05-9:50  B  F B F  9:20-9:40  Break
 9:50-10:05  Break  Break  Break  Break  9:45-11:05  C/D
 10:05-10:50  C  G C G  11:15-12:35  E/Flex
 10:55-11:40  D  D D D  12:35-1:10  Lunch
 11:40-12:20  Lunch  Lunch  Lunch  Lunch  1:10-1:30  Advisory
 12:20-1:05  E A E A  1:40-3:00  F/G
 1:05-1:20  Break  Break  Break  Break  
 1:20-2:05  F  B F B
 2:15-3:00  G C G C

High School

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00-8:50 A E A E
8:55-9:45 B F B F 8:00-9:20 A/B
9:45-10:00 Break Break Break Break 9:25-9:40 Break
10:00-10:50 C G C G 9:45-10:00 C/D
10:55-11:45 D D D D 11:25-12:00 Lunch
11:50-12:40 E A E A 12:00-1:20 E/Flex
12:40-1:15 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch 1:20-1:40 Break
1:15-2:05 F B F B 1:40-3:00 F/G
2:10-3:00 G C G C   

HS Environmental Clubs Celebrate World Environmental Day

The HS Environmental Student Leads of Zero Waste, Impacto, and the Bee Lab joined forces to celebrate World Environmental Day with Preparatory students. They conducted an engaging session where they explained the concepts of Recycling and Composting, emphasizing their importance in preserving the environment. Together, they embarked on a creative endeavor by painting a colorful mural in the Recycling Center, symbolizing their commitment to waste reduction. Additionally, the student leads educated the younger students about plant growth, fostering a connection with nature. They planted herb seeds, establishing a new edible garden adjacent to the cafeteria, providing a hands-on experience for the students.   

A message from our Director of Teaching and Learning, Liz Cotter, about Teaching and Learning - Please read here.

Spring 2023 Map Results for Students in Grades 1-8 Available In iSAMS On Tuesday, June 13 

This spring, all students in grades 1-8 took the MAP Growth Assessment. Those results will be available in ISAMS for parent/guardian/student review on Tuesday, June 13. A few notes about what you will see: 

  • MAP Growth is a growth assessment. It is intended to demonstrate how each student progresses in their learning in a variety of subject areas including, Reading, Math and Language Usage.  At CDS, we use student assessment data on the MAP Growth assessment to evaluate trends in student data, set learning goals, and to identify areas for acceleration or reteaching.  
  • CLICK HERE for a short video to learn more about the MAP Growth assessment.  
  • CLICK HERE for a two-page overview of the student report, an explanation of RIT scores and other Frequently Asked Questions. 

If you have questions about the Spring 2023 MAP Growth Assessment, please contact Liz Cotter, Director of Teaching and Learning: elizabeth.cotter@cds.ed.cr  

If you don’t know how to access ISAMS to review your students’ MAP results, below are two resources to help answer your questions.  If you still have questions, please contact Maria Umana at: maelena.umana@cds.ed.cr 


From the College Counselor

Today's post has to objectives. First, I would like to say goodbye to all the senior families leaving CDS for the last time. I hope that life crosses our paths again. Second, I would like to say thank you to all the senior families for allowing me to work with your children. It has been an honor. May life treat our 2023 class with great joy and success!!! Congratulations to the Class of 2023!!!

I have met with 95% of the rising high school population. The wish lists for the courses have been made and schedules are being set up you read these few lines.

We are facing and exciting school year for 2023-2024. Many universities are starting to confirm their visits to CDS. Stay tuned for those.

BridgeU is being implemented and probably, our rising junior and senior classes will be up and running by the end of July. Our rising freshmen and sophomores will be un and running by the end of August.