Colorado Rocky Mountain School - Review #1

Colorado Rocky Mountain School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Colorado College
Home Town, State (Country) Rifle, CO
Years Attended Boarding School 4
Activities During Boarding School While at CRMS, I participated in cross country running, kayaking, bike team, alpine ski team, telemark ski team, and girl's soccer team. I pursued my passion of playing my violin easily at CRMS, being offered many opportunities to practice and to play throughout my career there. I also was enticed into participating in a musical, an exciting change of pace. When the aforementioned ten day backpacking trip came back around my senior year, I applied and was accepted to be a Wilderness Assistant Volunteer, whereby I happily sacrificed three weeks of my summer to train for this trip and take eleven new students out into the Colorado Wilderness.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
CRMS provides unique experiences throughout all disciplines offered, however what the average Joe might not suspect is that, aside from college-preparatory-level academics, CRMS also provides life experience and alleys to express your artistic self, inner dramatic, worldly explorer, and energetic sports enthusiast. Every day after school, students can be found expanding such horizons as glassblowing, rock climbing, white water kayaking, blacksmithing, mountain biking, and in the winter they have Tuesdays and Thursdays to shred the gnar on the incredible local ski resorts in and around Aspen. CRMS also offers various trips throughout the year including a ten day service-oriented backpacking trip for all incoming students. Fall trip and Spring trip, five and seven days respectively, provide time for students to further immerse themselves in their active pursuits such as backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, or even canoeing. Interim consists of anywhere from five to ten days in February where students have another opportunity to forgo everyday academics for something they are passionate about, be it fly fishing, robotics, ecology in Mexico, language immersion in Costa Rica, and a whole host of other incredible options.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
CRMS was the best experience I have ever had the immense pleasure of having. I entered a shy home schooler, unsure socially yet confident with herself. CRMS succeeded in building me up to someone who is still confident with herself, yet also has the wherewithal to be outgoing and sure of every step I make. I feel entirely ready for college and excited for the life ahead of me.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I personally wouldn't have changed anything about my experience, however, for incoming students I would say just be yourself in its purest form, for there is nothing better you could possibly offer to people you have yet to meet. CRMS will guide you along the way, but be excited and confident in building your own path to your heart's desire.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I honestly, not just for the sake of this survey, cannot pick just one aspect or experience about CRMS that I cherished the most. It needs to be taken as a whole, and as such it was by far the best experience I could have possibly had in high school.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
If you have the time, hike our mother mountain, Sopris, check out our new library and science facilities, and meet all the teachers you can, because they're the absolute best!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The academics offered at CRMS are often intense and harrowing, however each student has an adviser to assist them through the process in any way possible. AP classes, however, are in rather short supply with only five official offerings, and one class with the option of taking the AP Exam in the Spring. For students looking to impress colleges and get ahead in high school, don't be discouraged about this, however. Colleges see that you attended CRMS and if you pursue what you're interested in and keep your grades up, they will know that you're a very competitive applicant, just as with any other high school student. However, CRMS students have a leg up in that they graduate with a heightened awareness about themselves and others and also the world we live in. The majority of teachers live on the 300-acre campus, providing the students with ample support academically and socially, as well. Students form close bonds with their teachers as a result of having them in class earlier in the day and then having them as coach later the same day. You will become fully immersed into the CRMS family, for that is what it truly is: a close-knit family, willing to embrace and support any students willing to uphold their end of effort.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletic program is unheard of in the high school realm, as described previously. Offerings are bountiful and unique and closely tie into the natural facilities surrounding campus: in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. Rock climbing and kayaking in Glenwood Canyon, mountain biking and cross country running at the base of Mount Sopris, skiing in both the epic backcountry and the one-of-a-king frontcountry, canoeing in both rivers and the campus pond, all while supporting the boys and girls soccer teams in the fall and spring. The coaching staff consists of your everyday teachers which provides opportunities to get to know each other both inside and outside of the classroom.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The instruction provided for the Music and Theatre programs at CRMS are outstanding, with beginning through advanced music classes, drama classes, and two play productions a year. The arts are also strong at CRMS, with classes such as blacksmithing, silversmithing, glassblowing, ceramics, and drawing and painting. Almost all students participate in the arts in some form or another, so the artistic body present is larger than expected for a school of just above 150 students.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
CRMS provides two mandatory volunteer days, one that benefits the campus and one that benefits the surrounding community of Carbondale. Extracurricular activity is highly encouraged and supported, but is more of an aspect that students need to initiate.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
CRMS is a boarding school, however about forty percent of students are day students, and I fell into this category. Day students are encouraged to be on campus as long as they can, barring interference with dorm life such as dorm check or dorm clean. However, day students are also welcome to sign into the dorm on weekends to stay for a night or two in a friend's room. Boarding students, on the other hand, are welcome also to sign out to a day student friend's house on the weekends as well, as long as permission has been provided from both parents and the school administrators. Dorm life is very close-knit at CRMS, with seven dorms across campus. Rooms are most often doubles with each dorm having, for the most part, two halls with about four-eight rooms on each hall sharing two separate bathrooms.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The cafeteria, or Bar Fork, provides three meals a day plus a snack on weekdays with access to a snack room any time during the academic day or weekends. Weekend meals consist of brunch and dinner, however students are welcome to cook/bake/prepare food for fun in the kitchen with the friendly staff. The Bar Fork has one open room with round tables for the community to dine in, with picnic tables outside for spring and fall dining options.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Carbondale is a small yet culturally vibrant town at the base of almost 13,000 ft Sopris. There are small yet extremely popular restaurant hangouts where you will most likely find CRMS students during the school year. Life will mostly focus you on campus, however when venturing out most students walk or bike from campus to town, eating Senor Taco show's incredible tacos, Pepinoes amazing pizza, or just having a small outing to City Market to stock up on dorm food.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life at CRMS is very intimate as a result of so many resident students and teachers and day students that remain on campus from eight until often late at night. The classes are also very small, giving the students time to thoroughly acquaint themselves with both the teachers and their fellow classmates.

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