Alpine Valley School

Support self-directed democratic learning in a community where children come first in all ways at Alpine Valley School.

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General Information

Official Name
Alpine Valley School​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
4501 Parfet Street
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
Other Address
4501 Parfet Street
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

Alpine Valley School is a community that supports each child's drive to learn.

Organization History

The group that became Alpine Valley School formed in 1994, and in September 1997 the school opened its doors for the first time. After renting space in a Golden church for three years, AVS undertook a major fundraising campaign and purchased its current property, a 7200-square-foot building in Wheat Ridge. Since 2001 the school has graduated 30 students using a uniquely demanding process requiring diploma candidates to defend the thesis that they've prepared themselves to be effective adults.

By supporting the innate curiosity of children and holding them to high standards of responsibility, Alpine Valley School nurtures students who are self-aware, mature, and empowered. By engaging in self-directed learning within a mixed-age community, students ages 5 to 19 learn what they need in the manner and at the pace most appropriate to them. They are also equal participants in managing the school's affairs, from making and enforcing rules to budgetary and personnel matters. This educational model is followed by approximately three dozen schools worldwide, and was pioneered by the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts.


"After 6 years of struggling in the public school setting, I am so grateful that we found Alpine Valley School. I am amazed at the transformation I have seen in my son. He has always been a great kid and now he is showing it. Alpine Valley School is an amazing environment free of pressure, useless rules, regulation and drama. The kids govern the school in a democratic responsible way. Bullying doesn't exist and all the kids are supportive of each other. I would highly recommend it to anyone!"

"The proof of this type of education is shown by my children's success in life. My eldest is a website developer for clients all over the country. He continues to search for opportunities to learn and his creative, outside of the box thinking makes him a highly sought after designer. His private life is rich and varied. He was free to search for what worked for him and he continues at 27 to excel. My other son is creating a life which is rewarding and of his own making. It is an alternative search for being at the top of his game, developing a traveling fire juggling act delighting crowds all over the United States. He does not need typical feedback and living to feel accomplished, but his time at AVS gave him the confidence to pursue what works for him. My daughter trains 30 hours a week in pursuit for a position on the US National team for track cycling. She learned how to find what makes her heart sing and has had that as her focus ever since she was at AVS. She is a full time college student and also works at the YMCA for 15 hours a week, but has the 2020 Olympics as her ultimate goal."

"Alpine Valley changed my life. I came into the school very withdrawn, very unsure of myself. By the first week, I had just blossomed: people saw me and liked me for who I was, and it wasn't that I had performed a certain way on a test or that I'd competed in sports: it was just me, and that was good enough. That was a huge change for me, and one that's dramatically affected the rest of my life. I still have that feeling of intrinsic worth and happiness."

"Because of AVS, our stress level has been reduced by 90%. My son's health has improved immensely; friends and family commented on how happy and mature he's become. At the last school, homework was a terrible struggle (for both of us). Since enrolling at AVS, my son can hardly stand to be away from school!"

"After graduation from Alpine Valley, my daughter got a job with a large, national corporation. After a year with the company, and at the age of 19, she was promoted over 80 other applicants because - according to her manager - she demonstrated responsibility, was excited by challenge, showed exceptional maturity and communicated with ease. These are the traits that AVS students exemplify."

"I am awestruck by the graduates. They are very confident, self-assured, kind, funny, articulate, and they all seem to be doing what they want. Most striking is the deep sense of gratitude expressed by many that they had the opportunity to attend such a school."

More testimonials can be found at our website,, by following the "testimonials" and "support us" links.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.