Last summer, the Aspen School District (ASD) saw 150 student enrollees to schools in Aspen from kindergarten through grade 12th, a surge brought on by families relocating because of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Surprisingly, only about 50 students ended up enrolling as of ASD’s tally last October 1.
Tharyn Mulberry, ASD’s assistant superintendent, explains, “Our speculation is that it might have been second homeowners who put a placeholder in our system while evaluating their home school and waiting to make the determination if they would stay or go.”
Regardless of enrollment numbers, there’s still no clear plan on when the school semester will start.
The district’s initial multi-phase rollout was supposed to start last October 5th but it has again been pushed back to October 26th, according to the announcement from David Baugh, Ed. D, Aspen Superintendent of Schools.
Schooling in Aspen in the time of COVID 19
The school district’s task force has already created a comprehensive plan, which includes mandatory masks in campus and school buses, as well as a hybrid learning model that allows students to attend in-person classes or watch recorded lessons.
Whether the student has to come back to school or study remotely depends on their grade level and health status.
Parents are advised to visit the district and their respective school’s website for updates, as these plans may change according to new government guidelines.
Your Child’s Education in Aspen
Public Schools in Aspen
Aspen School District 1 (ASD)
Aspen’s public school sits at the base of the Highlands ski area, giving it one of the most scenic campuses in the country.
They have a progressive curriculum that also includes experiential learning, a variety of athletic abilities, and art programs.
Aspen School District welcomes students from all grade levels:
- Cottage Preschool
- Elementary school
- Middle school
- High school
Charter Schools in Aspen
Aspen Community School
Aspen’s charter school provides progressive education to K-8 students. Their unique curriculum encourages lifelong learning, personal responsibility, and participation.
The small student to teacher ratio combined with the teacher’s focus on students, makes this a coveted school for many families.
As such, admission is by annual lottery only. Students must file an application every year and they do prioritize residents based in Aspen.
You may submit applications at firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 1199 Woody Creek Road Woody Creek, CO 81656
Ross Montessori School
Ross is a public charter school for K-8 students based in Carbondale. It was initially started as an experimental Montessori program at Crystal River Elementary School, following requests from parents who wanted their kids to continue in the Montessori method.
It was created by the founder of Mt. Sopris Montessori School (MSMS), Mark Ross. Like MSMS, students here will partake in self-paced learning programs that also include a stint in the arts, music, and drama.
Students are also encouraged to participate in conservation programs and community service projects to develop their creativity and problem solving skills.
Address: 109 Lewies Lane Carbondale, CO 81623
Private Schools in Aspen
As one of America’s most affluent neighborhoods, it’s no surprise that Aspen has a variety of private schools to choose from.
Each private school in Aspen has their own approach, but they all take advantage of the outdoor learning opportunities in this scenic countryside.
Aspen Country Day School
This small school combines the joys of mountain living with arts and a rigorous academic curriculum.
Tuition ranges from $8,000 to $32,000 for PreK to 8th grade students. Financial aid is available for qualified students.
Address: 85 Country Day Way, Aspen, CO 81611 USA
Early Learning Center of Aspen
Partnership, play, purpose, and professionalism—these are the four values students learn in this campus.
The early learning center is one of the few schools with a program for infants from zero to eight months of age. Toddler, preschool and Pre-K programs are also available, all of which focus on social skills, emotional regulation, and problem solving.
It’s a popular school among parents in Aspen so there’s always a waitlist for the programs.
Address: 215 N Garmisch St Aspen CO 81611
Wildwood is based in a beautiful piece of land at the White River National Forest Land.
The school’s hands-on approach to learning includes gardening, nature hikes, and an environmental arts program.
Wildwood has two programs or “hobbit” houses as they call it. Younger kids age two and a half to four years old will be in the Younger Dome program, while kids age four to five will be part of the Older dome program.
Address: 0241 Wildwood Lane Aspen, CO
Mt Sopris Montessori Preschool
Perhaps outdoor learning isn’t for you or your child. Mt. Sopris Montessori Preschool might be more to your liking.
As a Montessori school, they provide materials specifically created to ignite the child’s curiosity and desire to learn. Individual tasks are complemented with activities like arts, group singing, and story reading.
Toddler classes accept participants as early as 18 months and they’ll be taught practical life skills, math, and language.
Preschool classes follow the same concept but with the addition of classes in social studies and science.
Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS)
Colorado Rocky Mountain School offers advanced learning programs that combines college-prep classes, arts, and sports for enrollees in grades 9 to 12.
Outside traditional learning, students are encouraged to participate in at least one of the many activities on offer, such as skiing, kayaking, mountain climbing. Non-outdoorsy students may also partake in unique art classes like silversmithing and glassblowing.
Each class has roughly 12 students with a 1:4 student to faculty ratio. Programs cost around $38,000 for day students and $61,000 for boarding packages.
Address: 500 Holden Way Carbondale, CO 81623
Private Tutors in Aspen
School openings are delayed. Remote and distance learning, if it does proceed, will present parents with its own set of challenges.
Challenges many parents aren’t prepared for.
With this in mind, here are several options for private tutoring or group-based lessons parents can avail in Aspen.