Colorado Timberline Academy - Review #3

Colorado Timberline Academy

About the Author:

College Enrolled Oregon State University
Home Town, State (Country) Boston, MA
Years Attended Boarding School 3
Activities During Boarding School Ceramics, Whitewater Kayaking, Hiking, Adventuring, Snowboarding, Skiing, Rock Climbing, Backpacking

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
CTA is very unique in that it works on a bloc system. Students take 3 courses per bloc, and blocs are 4-5 weeks in length. Students are very engaged during the long class hours, and courses fly by in the short time period. Teachers are amazing, and there's so much variety in the courses a student can take. Additionally, CTA is very focused on outdoor education and students go on 2-3 outdoor adventures (~1 week long) during the course of the school year, beginning with Wakan, a strenuous journey backpacking through the San Juan mountains. The challenging journey prepares you for the year, and for your life, and it helps students learn that they are capable of completing even the most difficult of journeys
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
CTA gave me an environment where the faculty felt less like authority, and more like people I could trust and count on and like. As a teenager, that really means a lot. It's an incredible place that allowed me to flourish in MY WAY and let me grow into the successful person I am.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Nothing! Best years of my life.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
The location
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Cabin 9! No longer has a loft, but it used to.


1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Because the student-teacher ratio is so low, I was able to receive very individualized attention, and coursework was geared to my abilities and helped me to learn in ways that were most effective to me. I excelled at and discovered a lifelong love of science, and teachers at CTA helped me excel. Workload was light, which can help students with behavioral problems, but also allows students to learn to love learning and academic achievement with less rigorous pressure.


1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
Athletics at CTA are non-traditional, focusing on outdoor sports. Participation in adventures, backpacking trips is required.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
Courses at CTA were very student directed. While there was not official music or theater program, if a student is interested in those areas, the school will find a way to fulfill that student's needs. Art program was not rigorous, but was very enjoyable. I focused on painting and photography.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Extra curricular activities were primarily focused on outdoor sports

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorms at CTA are actually log cabins that accommodate 2-4 students. They are absolutely and totally awesome. The campus/dorm life made CTA really special.


1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Small school, able to accommodate different dietary needs. Students who are interested are able to work in the kitchen too, and contribute, learning to make foods they love. Each student cycles through kitchen responsibilities, and is required to take turns cleaning up meals. Food was good.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Durango is an amazing small town. Fresh mountain air, lots of activities. Beautiful town.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Small school, very intimate. Everyone gets to know each other very well. High school can be hard socially for everyone, but the friendships made at CTA are seriously long-lasting. I have known many people throughout my life, but the friends I made at CTA are the friends I've had for life. They are people I will know and be close with forever (this is coming 20 years later!) CTA kids are absolutely the best.

Daily Schedule:

7:00 AMBreakfast
8:00 AM1st class
10:00 AM2nd Class
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PM3nd Class
3:00 PMPersonal Skills
5:00 PMDinner
9:00 AMBreakfast
10:00 AMDowntown- free time, Laundry, errands
5:00 PMDinner

Alumni Reviews
  Review School

  • Review Description
  • Fort Lewis College
    Colorado Timberline Academy is very non-traditional because of the size of the school. You have to be comfortable with living in very close quarters with a limited amount of people for the duration of your. . .
  • full sail university
    This school is unique because it revolves around skiing. I really enjoyed going to this school because there is such a different school curriculum than any other school.. . .
  • Oregon State University
    CTA is very unique in that it works on a bloc system. Students take 3 courses per bloc, and blocs are 4-5 weeks in length. Students are very engaged during the long class. . .
  • Oberlin College (BA); Syracuse University (EMPA, Ph.D.)
    I fell through the cracks at my excellent, but large and competitive, public school in Westchester. At Colorado Timberline Academy, with its unique block system, tiny classes (3 to 6), and intimate atmosphere (we called. . .
  • Show more reviews (-1 reviews)
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