Fountain Valley School of Colorado - Review #3
About the Author:
|Years Attended Boarding School:||2009-2012|
|Sports and Activities:||Western riding, musical theatre, tennis, outdoor education, Global Affairs Forum (president), Girls Select Choir|
|College Enrolled:||Colorado College|
|Home Town, State:||Denver, CO|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
The location in the Rocky Mountain west is unparalleled. The amount of experiential learning that can occur both on campus and in the amazing nature that surrounds our region is unique to FVS. The Western Immersion Program allows students to go out into Colorado and learn about the natural history of the region. Additionally, once a year in the Spring, students participate in an Interim program the week before spring break. Educational trips range from language classes in Mexico to cooking in Paris to ranching in Colorado and much more.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
I recently graduated Cum Laude from Colorado College-- I have been fortunate to travel and do amazing research over the last 4 years. FVS gave me skills to navigate in the world, think critically, and explore creatively while also instilling a deep value for community and service. No high school is perfect, but I would not have done it any other way.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The two best things about FVS are the teachers and the location. Combined, it makes for an incredibly challenging, engaging and immersive educational experience.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
The cheese bagel at the RK cafe is a must--
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Fountain Valley has incredibly passionate teachers and small class sizes which makes for an incredible learning environment. Many of my teachers had been at FVS for years which is a testament to the community. Because we are such a close-knit community, your teachers are invested in your holistic development-- they might be your English teacher, your dorm parent, and your lacrosse coach.I took Colorado Natural History my senior year-- we spent a lot of our time out in the prairie looking at plants and insects indigenous to our region. The experiential learning made that content stick so much better than traditional lectures. All my humanities courses were discussion based, as well as being reading and writing heavy. I could not have anticipated how well this prepared me to succeed in college.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics program at FVS is stellar. It is required that you participate in an after-school activity during each of the three seasons, but it does not necessarily have to be a traditional team sport. While our team sports teams are amazing, that was never really my interest. I was able to get involved with the outdoor education program in which we went on hiking, biking and climbing trips throughout the season. I also got involved in the western riding program, another perk to being located on 100 acres of prairie with its own state of the art riding facility. There is a healthy amount of school spirit-- people want to support their friends and their teams.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Visual arts- Amazing. The "art barn" (yes, it's a real barn) has a pottery studio, a photography dark room, amazing painting and drawing facilities. The two art teachers have been at FVS for a long time, and are so dedicated to the arts program there. I was more involved in the musical/ theatre arts. I was in the school choir, as well as the girls select choir. It's a small school, so the musical community is also small. Our choir director is WONDERFUL. For theatre, there is one show each season. The winter is always the musical-- I was in a handful of shows over my time at FVS. They were always fun, but never as high quality as I hoped. It is my understanding that this has improved since I graduated.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
The extra-curricular opportunities are built into campus life. It is a holistic experience, and there are many opportunities for leadership ranging from clubs to sports to activism and more. I was the President of the Global Affairs Forum, a group dedicated to discussing/ addressing world issues. There are other clubs that focused specifically on environmental causes, or mountain biking, or any other thing you can imagine.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorms are beautiful. Freshman year you get placed with someone in your class, and then after that you get to pick your roommate. There are a handful of triples on campus, but most people share a double. Every dorm has a kitchen-- twice a week the dining hall sends you dorm snacks, but there is always plenty of food around. Study hall is Sunday-Thursday in the evening. Each dorm has a different teacher "on duty" each night, so if you need help with math, there is a good change there is a math teacher on duty in one of the dorms who can help you. There are lots of fun dorm bonding events-- I remember making pies, carving pumpkins, cooking together, and I will never forget the first snow tradition where the boys run around to the girls dorms singing Christmas songs.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
They recently switched to Bon Appetite as their food provider which was a great move. I had Bon Appetite in college and they are much more dedicated to local, high quality ingredients. There are always healthy options and always not-so-healthy options too, so it's really up to you. The dining hall is all you can eat, no assigned seating. The place feels very communal.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
FVS is a little bit removed from town-- we are on 100 acres of prairie south of Colorado Springs. Every weekend there are buses into town-- movie theaters, downtown, and shopping centers, so it's really easy to get off campus and get what you need. Since it is a boarding/ day school, you can also go off-campus with your day-student friends.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
FVS is a small community which lends itself to deep friendships. I often found that people surprised me over the years-- people I never thought I would get along with ended up becoming good friends of mine. People have diverse interests and talents, and I found that there was a lot to learn from my classmates. I also loved how teachers were part of the community-- many teachers live on campus/ in the dorms, so you see their kids in the dining hall, or play with their dogs on the weekends. It feels like home.
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