We are fortunate to call Steamboat Springs, Colorado home to Emerald Mountain School. It is a special place where we not only focus on the strength of family, but as important, our local community, too. Nestled in the Rockies and close to two world-renowned ski areas, our school naturally embraces the love of and connection to family, community, and the outdoors.
So, it’s not surprising that Emerald Mountain School parents believe strongly in the importance of their children’s education. They value the excellent and diverse curriculum our school provides and they are welcomed into the community as partners of their children’s educators.
Parents are strongly encouraged to volunteer in our classrooms and around school, and often participate in experiential learning projects, including outdoor education excursions, local performances, and adult “show-and-tells” sharing their own expertise. We aim to foster the relationships parents form with our teachers as well as each other by hosting monthly parent gatherings, weekly all-school meetings, Parent Council leadership assemblies, and other regular forums to promote community-wide dialogue.
Our students’ learning is enhanced through multi-age classrooms. These experiences help to make Emerald Mountain School not just a place of learning, but a welcoming, diverse community. We promote older students to act as leaders by assisting their younger peers, which not only strengthens the older students’ understanding of the class material, but also the characteristics it takes for one to become a true role model. Meanwhile, younger students are inspired by more than just their teachers, often empowered to strive for those next-level skills and maturity exhibited by their older peers.
To help guide this, each year Primary School students are partnered with Middle School students as part of Emerald Mountain School’s Sibling Program. Throughout the year, planned activities help the duos get to know one another, while all are encouraged to continue these relationships outside of school walls. These exchanges often allow the “siblings” to become a part of each other’s extended family.
Along with developing intelligent children, we aim to build each child’s empathic nature. We believe empathy—the ability to understand another’s situation or feelings—is the most important skill our students will need in the future, so they may become confident, thoughtful stewards of our communities.
“Teenagers who are empathetic tend to be more purpose driven and they intentionally succeed in their academics not because they are looking to make good grades, but in most subjects their goal is to understand the subject material and to utilize the knowledge as one of their ever increasing tools,” Licensed Professional Counselor Ugo Uche said in a Psychology Today article.
You’ll notice this as soon as you visit our school. Upon walking into a classroom, you will quickly be greeted by our students with warm smiles and genuine looks in your eye. You’ll likely also hear what they are currently learning or working on, and you should be prepared to answer what it is you do in the community, as well!