Elementary school is a key part of any student’s education, as it lays the groundwork for what will hopefully be a successful academic career that spans a few decades, from the first day of kindergarten through the last day of an undergraduate, graduate, or even professional degree program. With so much riding on a student’s early experiences with their elementary teachers and curriculum, it’s important for parents to pick the right school from the start. A student who is allowed to learn, interact, and flourish, will be well-prepared for future success in both middle and high school, as well as in post-secondary settings.
The Public Elementary Schools in Aspen: A Great Option for Parents
While private education remains a strong contender for parents’ loyalties in the Aspen area, the public elementary schools offered by both the Aspen School District and Roaring Forks School District offer some really strong programs for young learners. Aspen Elementary School, which is part of the Aspen School District, starts standardized testing at grade 3 — in line with state requirements — and has experienced great success among its students in this area. The elementary school’s level of proficiency is, on average, as many as 15 to 20 points higher than elementary schools in neighboring districts, or those elsewhere in the state.
Of course, that’s not to speak ill of the two elementary schools serving the Roaring Forks School District. Both Crystal River Elementary School and Sopris Elementary School are strong options for parents in the area who either prefer public education, or can’t afford a private alternative. Both schools traditionally perform quite well on state standardized testing, leading to well-rounded and highly capable students in the higher grades.
Going Private: Secular and Christian Options in the Aspen Area
Because elementary school is such a formative time for so many students, many parents aren’t willing to take a gamble with public schools in the area. That’s not to say that these schools are unworthy of parents’ students; instead, it’s an indication that some parents prefer a specific set of values to be paired with their child’s education. Public schools may not have the right combination of values and educational instruction for some parents’ preferences.
The best example of such a balance between values and educational instruction is the Alpine Christian Academy. Its name gives away its moral compass as a Christian institution, making it perfect for those parents who deeply value an education that is backed up by faith-based values and instructors who can properly convey the right mix between faith and learning. Students in all grades are treated to the right balance of Christian values and traditional educational instruction, preparing them for success throughout their academic careers.
The Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork is another great option for parents, providing a private education between grades 1 and 8. Students are treated to a balanced approach that focuses on the arts and sciences, as well as other subject areas as part of the “main lesson.” Students are then adequately prepared for a number of excellent high schools in the Aspen area.
Lots of Great Options for Parents
Private, public, and charter middle schools are all available to parents in the Aspen area, and each option enjoys a number of strengths. Whether that strength is based on its values-based approach, its balance of the arts and sciences, or its accessibility to the wider public, each school does a great service to Aspen-area parents.
Aspen Elementary Schools
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