The Kid Life

Telluride delivers basic bricks & mortar education with excellence, but learning is all about leveraging the region’s unique assets – small size, big mountains, natural beauty, brain trust, deep pockets, depth and breadth of non profits – to provide customized and potentially life-changing experiences for students of all ages.


Three centers feature toddler programs, serving children 18 months – 3 years. Seven centers are pre-school, serving children ages 3 – 5, helping them prepare for kindergarten. Each program offers an academic component, but with its own unique spin. All of the programs are licensed by the State of Colorado and receive strong support by local parents and the community.
• Montessori at Mountain School: Preschool for ages 3-5
Rainbow: Preschool serving 3-5
Mountain Sprouts: Preschool for ages 3-5 years
• Telluride EarlyChildhood Center (TECC) at the public school: Preschool for ages 3-5 years
• Telluride Preschool: Ages 3-5 years
Rascals: Toddlers 18 months – 3 years
Mountain Munchkins: Infants, toddlers, preschool


Public School
Telluride’s R-1 School District includes around 780 students. Their mission is for each student to Master rigorous academic standards required to meet the challenges of their future. To further enrich the basic curriculum in the sciences, social studies, and languages, the school also partners with local non profits such as the Telluride Historical Museum; the Pinhead Institute, which brings Ph.D. scientists into the schools to share their special areas of interests (“Scholars in the School”); the Telluride Institute; and EcoAction Partners, the region’s sustainability initia-tive, to further studies in environmental sciences. The R-1 School District also ffers a wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) classes in social sciences, math, humanities and art. World language offerings include Spanish and French. Music is offered in grades K-12. Check out the K-12 Curriculum.

The Telluride Elementary School has been recognized by the State of Colorado as a model site for working with students with autism. The Middle School & High School are recipients of the Distinguished Governor’s Award, placing it in the top 20 percent in the state. Telluride High School was honored to receive a Colorado John Irwin Schools of Excellence Award, given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement. That honor placed it in the top 10 percent of high schools in the state.

Each year the community gives between $80 – $115K worth of scholarships to our students. Some are based on financial need; others on academic accomplishment. Scholarships range from $200 to $15,000. Between 60% and 80% of students receive scholarships of some amount.

Telluride Mountain School
Telluride Mountain School, which started as six kids gathered around a kitchen table in 1998, has grown into a phenomenal non-profit independent school serving over 120 kids. The Telluride Mountain School strongly believes in experiential education and several times a year takes students into the canyons, wilderness areas, and rivers surrounding Telluride and beyond. Hands-on learning doesn’t stop there. Project-based learning is a part of the classroom, with students doing mock trials in history class and snow pack investigations in science class. Check out the curriculum. With such rich, multi-faceted education, the addition of the Telluride Mountain School has greatly expanded the community’s educational offerings.

Academy & Ah Haa

Telluride Academy
What happens in Telluride after the snow melts? Where do the kids go? A simple answer for 33 years has been the Telluride Academy. Enrollment at the award-winning Telluride Academy has reached 800+, but each program is capped at 12 students to maintain a feeling of interconnectedness and intimacy among students and instructors. Its curriculum, balanced skillfully among a wide array of activities, totals 100+ unique after-school and summer enrichment programs targeting young people ages 5-18. The Academy’s “New Horizon” after-school programs run during the academic year and offer adventures in rock climbing, mountain biking and theater. Summer programs begin as soon as local schools close for summer break and end in late August and include a dazzling array of enrichment opportunities: hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, science, environmental, education, theater, and regional and international exploration. Primarily week-day programming, The Academy proves to be a socially integrative force that unites locals and second homeowners through a shared love of their children and experiences.

Ah Haa School for the Arts
Throughout the year, Ah Haa offers classes for beginners and seasoned artists, including over 120 classes for kids. In fact, nurturing the artistic spirit of young people has been a part of the school’s mission from the get-go. Where else can a 12-year-old study welding or emerging chefs visit a local farmers’ market, select fresh, organic ingredients, and learn how to prepare a delicious meal from local delicacies? Painting. Stained glass. Jewelry. Ceramics. Every Ah Haa course for kids offers a total immersion in the creative process.

Library & Science

Wilkinson Public Library
Ask anyone in town and they will describe the library as the ‘heart’ of Telluride, a true community center. Programming begins with expectant parents and blossoms into Story Times and Summer Reading programs which include infants through school-aged children. The Teen Services Department offers hands-on, out-of-the-box, educational opportunities for teens. Throughout the year, teens can attend everything from big author visits to reoccurring weekly programs. Even when formal programs aren’t occurring, the library’s teen area is alive with
teens. Board games, craft supplies, and computers are always on hand, allowing teens to engage in spontaneous fun and learning on their terms anytime they like.

Pinhead Institute
A Pinhead is a kid who knows how the world works. The Pinhead Institute is all about bio-literacy in the region, which means bringing science to kids through a wide variety of programs for all ages: Scholars in the Schools imports leading scientists into regional schools to lead labs, experiments, workshops, and field expeditions. Punk Science, No School Science Projects, Pinhead Packs, Super Summer Science Camps, and the Stargazing Series are other examples of programs that allow kids to engage in science with top tier professionals from a wide range of disciplines here in their own backyard. The Pinhead Internship program places regional students at renowned scientific institutions to work with leading researchers on critical issues facing the world today, including climate change, biodiversity, health, technology, genetics and more.

On Stage

Young People’s Theater
The SAF Young People’s Theater is a diverse and flourishing center for young thespians, enrolling more than 250 children between the ages of 2 and 18 each year. Young people at varying levels of ability and experience are invited to embark upon extraordinary journeys of wonder, discovery and imaginative delight.

Palm Arts Dance
Palm Arts Dance offers classes in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, modern, tap, and more to students starting as young as 3 years old, through high school. They also bring numerous dance opportunities and performances throughout the year to the Palm Theatre.

Telluride Choral Society
Choral Society’s youngest choir is the Choristers, which typically includes children in grades 3—5. At this level, young students learn good vocal production, as well as how to navigate through choral music. For students in grades 6-12, there is Omni Voce, which encourages more mature vocal production, including tackling two & three part harmony. From Omni Voce, high school students (grades 9-12) can move into Emanon. The group offers the opportunity to sing a ca-pella, create unique arrangements of songs, and perform solos.

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