Small Classes and Small Setting:
- A learning community of 60 students and 12 staff members
- No one gets excluded, left behind or lost
Close Student-Teacher Relationship:
- Teachers know students' strengths and areas for improvement
- Students develop trust and are willing to take risks
Student Goal-Setting and Monitoring:
- Weekly goals lead to student-driven improvement
- Students develop life skills of organization, time-management, and planning
Structure and High Expectations:
- Rigorous classes that teach to the Colorado P-12 Academic Standards
- Climate of creativity, critical thinking, and inquiry
Choice and Respect for Everyone:
- Student choice and differentiation based on strengths and areas for improvement
- All people, no matter how different, are accepted and respected
The Aspen Valley Staff believe that some students learn better with more one-on-one interaction, with more self-pacing and differentiation, and with fewer social distractions; the large, traditional middle schools, no matter how good, are incapable of providing the best possible education for some kids. Aspen Valley’s small classes better meet the needs of many students. All of our classes are limited to fifteen students, and some of our classes have as few as seven students. Our students thrive in an environment where they build close relationships with their teachers and classmates. They also benefit from an environment where there are no strangers. Since Aspen Valley Middle School has only sixty students, our school is a safe place where everyone knows your name, and Aspen Valley is a place where everyone, no matter how different, is accepted and respected.
We believe that all students can and should succeed in structured classes with high expectations, in classes where creative and critical thinking are parts of the daily school experience, with teachers who bring out the voice and competence of all students. Aspen Valley students closely read and discuss complex historical and scientific texts. They analyze and debate ideas in great works of literature and poetry. They learn to identify and use the elements of art in a variety of media and projects. They develop fluency in reading, writing, and quantitative reasoning. Aspen Valley students leave middle school with great confidence and capability in a wide range of academic skills, and they acquire a variety of life skills such as organization, planning, and goal setting.
We also believe that students make progress when they have the opportunity to learn at different rates, with different materials and presentation, and from choices and self-pacing. We provide students with instructional materials and activities that meet their actual needs, not just the needs of an abstract, hypothetical student. Though we teach to the Colorado P-12 Academic Standards, we treat our students as individuals. The Aspen Valley Staff continuously look at the individual needs and performance of every student, and we make a variety of decisions on that basis. Students have many opportunities to make meaningful choices during classroom instruction, when setting weekly goals, when conferencing one-on-one with teachers, by pursuing independent learning activities, and when engaging in a variety of enriching activities.
We believe that Aspen Valley Middle School is the right school for many students. If you would like to learn more about Aspen Valley, please contact us. We are happy to sit down with parents to discuss our program and your student’s needs. Aspen Valley has a team of dedicated professionals who typically go above and beyond the call of duty. Whether it's providing after school activities like our Strategy Game Club or meeting regularly with parents to focus on an individual student, Aspen Valley staff have proven that they are a world-class team. Not surprisingly, Aspen Valley Middle School has three times received the Thomas Crawford Team of the Year Award for Academy School District 20 (Note: Aspen Valley Middle School changed its name from Summit Middle School Program in 2014).