This message is being written on the first full day of spring, which is also our first day of spring break. Hopefully, our students, their families and our staff members are enjoying some much needed and deserved time off.

On days like this, when the pace slows just a little and things are a little quieter, it is nice to spend a few moments reflecting on the past few months of school, take a breath before the final run to the end of the school year and begin to think about future plans.

Spring is a time of renewed hope and growth. With longer days and some (slight) increases in air temperature, it is easier to feel rejuvenated and excited about what is to come. It also serves as a great opportunity to share with you some of what is happening here at CCS.

As a reminder to our readers, the mission statement of the Crosslake Community School is to: "Grow Environmentally Aware, Community-Conscious Learners of Excellence."

To grow.

Growth comes in many forms. In education, we hope it takes the form of increased student knowledge and achievement, as this is one of our core duties as a public school. We have other opportunities for growth that include the development of maturity, decision-making and problem-solving skills and to even grow the number of students and families we serve.

To grow.

Two and a half years ago, we were a K-8 school with 123 students. Today, we are a K-12 school with a total full-time enrollment now of over 200. Because our 9-12 high school is online, our student enrollment covers an area much larger than Crosslake as we have students from Hibbing to Waseca and many communities in between.

To grow.

With our recent designation as a High Quality Charter School, we have been given the chance to apply for a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education to further expand our existing high school model. This grant could bring improvements in technology and other enhancements and increase our capacity to support the learning needs of those high school students who desire a more personalized, self-paced approach to their learning.

These are exciting times for us as a school community and we encourage folks to check us out to learn more about how we can meet your student's unique learning needs in a smaller setting.

March is also a month when we focus on another character trait to develop in our students. This month the trait is Cooperation. To be successful we must learn to leverage the skills and abilities of others as well as our own. Learning to work together not only helps the workload, it can also have an added benefit of gaining knowledge and insights from others.

Perhaps a lesson some of our presidential candidates can grab onto before it is too late, right?