The primary goal of the residential life program is to make the dorms feel warm and welcoming so that all CRMS students can call Colorado Rocky Mountain School 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.
Whether it be attending classes, participating in the outdoor program, or living on campus, students have opportunities to meet and interact with one another and with the adults in the community on many different levels. The boarding curriculum strives to guide students to live with a roommate and share space, to ask their advisors and teachers for help or support, and to become more independent by learning to be responsible and accountable for their actions.
At CRMS, 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 this as one of the best things about their CRMS education. When they 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 dorm 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 to re-demonstrate 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.
CRMS is fortunate to have seven beautiful new or 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 enjoys 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 their home.
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