"One of my favorite parts of CRMS is living in the dorm. I love the close knit community of girls that feels like family. It seems not like we live together, but that we spend time together. For me it is spending 24/7 with my best friends, whether we are throwing impromptu dance parties in the common room, getting ready for Formal Dinners, or talking with each other during dorm check. Everyone is so kind, encouraging, and respectful of each other."
Kai Y. 12th Grade Boarder
Attending a boarding school might just be the most life-changing experience you have ever considered. Sharing a community with like-minded peers and adult mentors is powerful for a young person’s growth at this age. It is also a ton of fun!
Boarding students at CRMS enjoy life in one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the western United States and have built-in access to an incredible faculty who all also reside on campus with their families. In the dorms, students will find their “home away from home.” While living on campus means being away from family and what is familiar, it also supplies an excellent opportunity for students to learn and grow in social and living skills. At CRMS, they are able to do that with the support and care from on-campus faculty.
Students build strong relationships with the faculty and staff as well as their peers. Students get to know the adults in the community not only as their teachers but also as their coaches, their trip leaders, their dining mates, and their co-workers. Alumni frequently cite the relationships they formed with faculty as one of the best things about their CRMS education. When students graduate, they are comfortable with relating to adults and being able to ask adults for what they need. This is a significant skill both for college and for life.
Each weeknight boarding students check into the dorms at 7:30 pm and begin with dorm jobs, which are typical household chores. Students then clean their rooms and attend a proctored study hall. Study hall is two hours spent working together or individually on homework assignments, followed by the famous “brush and flush” and lights out. Students needing some extra time on their homework may ask for “late lights.”
While many high school students need to call friends on the phone and ask for homework help or wait until the next day in class to ask the teacher, boarders can work together on assignments and ask their classroom teacher for additional help on what was taught in class. Having the teaching faculty as dorm parents is a huge help to students and their academics; it also provides an opportunity to get to know one another on different levels. Living, working, and playing together promotes a family atmosphere for dorm parents and residents.
Dorm life at CRMS is a good life.
CRMS is fortunate to have seven recently renovated dormitories, which are divided by gender and grade level. Typically two students share a room, and each hallway has a dedicated modern bathroom and shower facility. Student dorm heads have the opportunity to live in a single room because of their unique leadership role. Given the school’s 300+ acres, the dorms enjoy surrounding open space, river frontage, and spectacular views of Mt. Sopris. In addition, the dorms are designed to be energy efficient and incorporate modern finishes throughout, such as beetle-kill pine paneling, expansive windows allowing abundant natural light, and warm inviting colors. The common areas anchor each dorm with large and well-appointed living and kitchen amenities. Students at CRMS love their living spaces and make these dorms become their homes. The friendships built behind these walls last a lifetime.
Weekend activities are created, organized, and sponsored by the faculty on-duty team with suggestions and help from the student body. Weekend activities include a range of many different options including bowling, skiing, snowboarding, swimming at the hot springs, art shows, movie buses, gym games, climbing, biking, kayaking, baking, arts and crafts, shopping trips, hiking, and much more. There are often off-campus outdoor trips, such as back-country hut trips in the winter, and climbing, kayaking, and peak ascents in the fall and spring. All activities are announced and presented to the students at the weekly All-School meeting, posted throughout campus, and emailed in the weekly e-newsletter.
Students can get around the Roaring Fork Valley by using the local public transportation or getting permission to ride with a day student and parents. All boarding students are required to sign-out before departure from campus for any reason and must sign back in upon returning.
On the weekends, students choose from a full roster of activities, many of which take advantage of the school's ideal setting in the heart of the Elk Mountains. From climbing and skiing trips to visits to hot springs or Aspen's museums, CRMS students have plenty to keep them busy. Outdoor pursuits like mountain bike trails head out right from campus. Weekend evenings wrap up with optional planned activities in every dorm that range from board games to bake-offs.
Weekend Rendezvous trips are an excellent opportunity for students to explore the beautiful outdoor playground via themed activities. Students have the chance three times a year to venture out on faculty-led outdoor adventures. Sample trips include the Desert Escape in Moab, UT; Backcountry Skiing in Silverton, CO; and a winter hut trip near Aspen, CO.
Part of what makes the CRMS boarding experience unique is the purposeful level of contact and attention that students receive from staff mentors throughout their day. CRMS is not a campus where students see their math teacher only in class. Faculty members genuinely enjoy engaging with students and building relationships with them. An English teacher may help run the grilled cheese cook-off in a dorm on a Saturday night. The climbing coach might also be a student's history teacher or run a weekend field trip to a regional youth poetry event. Students are constantly surrounded by caring adult mentors who check in with them beyond the classroom and get to know them as individuals. That sense of connection and adult support is a guarantee at CRMS.