Colorado Rocky Mountain School

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Colorado Rocky Mountain School
500 Holden Way


Coordinates39°24′30″N 107°13′44″W / 39.40833°N 107.22889°W / 39.40833; -107.22889Coordinates: 39°24′30″N 107°13′44″W / 39.40833°N 107.22889°W / 39.40833; -107.22889
TypePrivate, Co-ed
Head of schoolJeff Leahy
Campus size320 acres (1.3 km2)
Campus typeRanch
Color(s)Green and White         
Boarding/day student ratio60% boarding to 40% day
Average class size11 students

Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS), founded in 1953, is a coeducational boarding and day school in Carbondale, Colorado. CRMS educates roughly 175 students in grades 9 through 12. The curriculum emphasizes rigorous college preparatory academics, exposure to visual and performing arts, educational experience in the wilderness, campus service crews, and required athletics.[1][2][3][4][5]


Colorado Rocky Mountain School was founded in 1953 by John and Anne Holden, former faculty at the Putney School in Vermont. The school was envisioned as an expansion on the educational ideas of Carmelita Hinton at Putney. In addition to Hinton, the Holdens drew strongly upon the ideas of Kurt Hahn and John Dewey. The school's location in western Colorado facilitated experimentation as well as necessitating practical adaptation of the ideas of its eastern U.S and European-based influences.

The Holdens were able to buy a small piece of land and the school began in a ranch house on the property originally called the Big House (now renamed Holden House). Quickly encountering building space limitations, the Holdens, along with early students and faculty members, built or renovated much of the classroom and dormitory space themselves in the school's founding years.

Graduation occurs each June on this lawn in front of the Barn and the Adobe

The Pabst family donated the neighboring Bar Fork Ranch to the school. A landmark on the ranch was a large, one-hundred foot square hay barn built in 1897. Today the barn serves as a hub of campus, hosting all-school meeting, theater productions, student music performances, and events for the larger town community. The library, music classrooms, and the main computer lab are also housed in the building. The barn, along with Mt. Sopris, a mountain to the south of Carbondale, serves as a symbol of the school, incorporated in its logo.

In its early years, the school found modest success, and initiated some programs outside of the academic curriculum. Among these were seasonal trips into the nearby mountains and desert lands, the nation's first high school kayaking program,[citation needed] athletic programs in downhill and cross-country ski racing, and campus work crews. In late 2005, the board of trustees selected English faculty member and Dean of Students Jeff Leahy as the school's new Headmaster.


CRMS offers kayaking, cross-country and downhill skiing, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing. The school also has programs in snowboarding, canoeing, tennis, cross-country running, soccer, and hiking.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Colorado Rocky Mountain School". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Colorado Rocky Mountain School". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Colorado Rocky Mountain School". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Colorado Rocky Mountain School". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Colorado Rocky Mountain School". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  6. ^ Lieber, Jill (27 January 1988). "Targeting The Top". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 11 March 2016.

External links[edit]