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The top elementary schools in and around Denver

September 2010

Top Private Elementary Schools

Methodology For our private schools list, we focused on a tighter geographic radius around Denver. Unlike their public counterparts, private schools typically don’t share their academic achievement data with the public or the media. As a result, our assessment of Denver’s top private elementary schools is based on interviews with expert sources in and around Denver’s education community, and research including Web resources such as GreatSchools.org. We’ve chosen the schools based on academic reputation, expert opinion, and overall buzz.

Tuition is for the 2010–11 school year and is subject to change

Aspen Academy Greenwood Village pre-K–8

tuition: $5,590–$11,280

The school’s only stated rule is “Be kind.” The curriculum revolves around holistic education in core subjects with a bent toward character and leadership development. Teachers use the Socratic Method and tailor lessons according to ability, interest, and learning styles. Aspen also offers a unique entrepreneurial pro-gram, including instruction about finance for students at all but the lowest grade levels. aspenacademy.org

Colorado Academy Denver pre-K–12

tuition: $15,350–$20,230

Led by head of school Michael Davis, CA celebrated its centennial in 2006 and offers strong artistic and athletic programs, all part of the school’s broad liberal arts and sciences curriculum that is led by 107 instructors, almost three-fourths of whom have advanced degrees. Instruction at the lower levels includes extensive focus on developing students’ character. coloradoacademy.org

Denver Academy Denver 1–12

tuition: $21,450

In recent years, this school has been lauded for its outstanding ability to establish relationships with parents and kids that help turn indifferent students—some of them special-needs students—into productive scholars who find they like school for the first time. The school’s sometimes-chaotic feel is actually more energetic than disorderly, and teachers often adapt their styles to the students rather than the other way around. denveracademy.org

Denver Jewish Day School Denver K–12

tuition: $12,425

The former Herzl/RMHA features a college prep curriculum that integrates general and Judaic studies. Grade-school students participate in “specials” instruction in the arts, PE, athletics, and information technology, and the school’s library boasts more than 16,000 volumes. Beginning in third grade, students enjoy overnight on-site “experiential learning” exercises in such settings as the Plains Conservation Center and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. www.denverjds.org

Denver Montclair International Denver pre-K–5

tuition: $11,490 (full time)

Offering full-immersion education in French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese to students as young as three years old, the curriculum is built around training students to thrive in a broad global environment. Early-childhood instruction involves a mix of structure and freedom of exploration for the students. dmischool.com

Denver Waldorf Denver pre-K–12

tuition: $4,440–$10,750

Based on the nearly century-old teachings of German philosopher Rudolf Steiner, this computer-free environment encourages students to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity via creative exercises such as drawing and journal-keeping. Throughout the year, students write and illustrate their own lesson books in each course as they learn new information, and Waldorf students tend to emerge with a strong sense of personal and intellectual independence. denverwaldorf.org