Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO


Steamboat Springs School District RE-2 operates two elementary schools (grades kindergarten through fifth), one middle school (grades sixth through eighth), one charter school (grades kindergarten through eighth), one high school (grades ninth through twelfth), and one alternative high school (grades ninth through twelfth).

School rankings above average

CMAS exams The percentage of Steamboat Springs elementary students scoring in the two highest levels for social studies is more than double the state average, according to the 2015 Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) exams. More than half of local fourth graders showed strong or distinguished command in social studies, compared with 21.8 percent statewide. In science, 61.8 percent of fifth graders showed strong or distinguished command, compared with 34.8 percent statewide. Seventh and eighth grade students also scored well above state averages “To be in double digits above state averages is a tribute to everybody involved in the system,” says Marty Lamansky, district director of teaching and learning.

ACT/Advanced Placement exams In spring 2015, local high school students excelled in two forms of assessments known for predicting college readiness — the Colorado ACT and Advanced Placement exams. Scores in ACT tests in English, math, reading and science were all up from 2014, when scores dipped only slightly. Overall, the district has maintained steady scores above state averages. 

“We’ve focused on the ACT as a very important test for college readiness, and as a whole we are generally preparing students for that next level,” says principal Kevin Taulman.

The ACT was given to all 11th graders to assess high school achievement. Composite scores statewide have hovered between 20.1 and 20.3 for the last three years, while Steamboat’s composite scores were 22.3 this year. Students also fared well in the spring’s Advanced Placement exams, testing advanced science and math, foreign language, history, English and art.

Of the 144 students tested, 74.3 percent received a three on at least one test, 12 percent above the state average and 14 percent above the national average.

“These scores are another indicator of the outstanding job that our teachers do in preparing our students,” says Marty Lamansky, district director of teaching and learning. The school district was also named to the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll last November.

TCAP scores Steamboat students also show high levels of proficiency in TCAP testing.

According to the Colorado Department of Education’s 2014 State Assessments in reading, writing and mathematics, local public school students demonstrated academic growth significantly above state averages, ranging from 83 to 93 percent achieving proficiency or above, with scores ranging from 11 to 24 points above state averages. In writing, the results showed between 66 and 84 percent of all students ranking proficient or above (15 and 27 points above state averages); and in math, between 56 and 87 percent ranked proficient and above range (13 and 28 points above state averages).

Growth data — based on the academic progress of students — shows local students exceeding the typical mark of 50 in all three content areas of math, reading and writing. The district considers the growth statistic as one of the most important indicators of student success as it demonstrates how students are progressing as they move through grade levels. “The results continue to demonstrate the high quality of education that the students in our district receive,” says Lamansky.

CMC: A college in the mountains

Education_Building-FinalWith a slew of recent improvements and new programming, as well as fall 2015 enrollment up 3.4 percent from the preceding year, Colorado Mountain College, which has a residential campus in Steamboat Springs, is quietly becoming one of the top mountain colleges in the Rockies. At the Steamboat campus alone, enrollment was up 7.6 percent compared to last year.

“Everything we’ve done makes our campus more collegiate,” says Steamboat Springs dean of student affairs Brian Hoza. “It augments what we can do for our students and the community.”

The college recently introduced five four-year bachelor’s degrees in sustainability studies, business administration, nursing, and new this year, teacher education and applied science. The Steamboat campus offers all but the teacher education degree; the nursing degree is hybrid, with most classes available online and a minimal amount of travel to other campuses.

In 2012 CMC opened its new $18 million, 60,000-square-foot academic and student center overlooking downtown Steamboat, housing administrative offices, classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria with incredible views (and great coffee) and more. Combine this with new course offerings in everything from resort management and hospitality to sustainability studies and culinary programs and it’s truly a cornerstone of the community.  Enrollment is growing as well as its accolades.

In 2012-13, the college had 20,436 students enrolled across its 11 locations, including 2,492 students in Steamboat. That same year it was named by as one of the nation’s Top 20 Community Colleges in achieving student success. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, the U.S. Department of Education ranked CMC the country’s third most affordable public college offering bachelor’s degrees. In 2014, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named it one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges, allowing CMC to compete for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Per-credit-hour costs for the 300- and 400-level baccalaureate classes stayed the same as last year. They are $99 for in-district students, $205 for students living outside the district but within the college’s service area (Grand, Jackson and Chaffee counties), $212 for in-state/out-of-district students and $429 for out-of-state students. For 100- and 200-level classes, tuition per credit hour is $57 for in district, $103 for in service area, $107 for in state, and $373 for out of state. Tuition for upper-level nursing and teacher education students is slightly higher. Info:

Steamboat Springs School District

The Steamboat Springs School District offers curriculum and academic programs designed to give students the skills they need to compete in college or the workplace. Our mission is to make sure that all students are learning in a safe environment and prepared to succeed in an ever-changing world and that our students have, and can apply, essential academic skills and knowledge in the various content areas.

There are 2 public elementary schools (K-5): Soda Creek Elementary, located in town and Strawberry Park Elementary, located at the Middle School Campus. There are approximately 500 students/school. There is a Montessori program available at Strawberry Park Elementary for students in grades 1-3.

The Steamboat Springs Middle School (6-8) has been recognized as a school of distinction by the State of Colorado for the 7th year in a row, earning the John Irwin Award and Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools “exceed” expectations on the academic achievement indicator and “meet or exceed” expectations on the indicator related to academic growth gaps. The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth

The Steamboat Springs High School (9-12) has approximately 650 students. The high school has a rotating block schedule in which students attend each class for 95 minutes every other day. With a teaching staff of 57, class size varies from 8-33 students.

Private School Options

The Emerald Mountain School ( K-8, private), located in the heart of Steamboat Springs, offers a creative environment that includes multi-age and socio-economically diverse classrooms, low student-teacher ratios, and active parent participation. The school inspires confidence and a passion for learning through a curriculum that stresses academics, personal accountability, experiential and outdoor education, and responsible local and global citizenship.

The Steamboat Mountain School The Steamboat Mountain School  (9-12, private) is a co-ed boarding school, well known for their intense college-preparatory classes and helping prepare students for education at a higher level. The school employs dynamic, highly competent teachers and staff who push students to strive for their best in the classroom, in the mountains, and around the globe. The curriculum challenges young people to think critically and creatively, and prepares them for success in college and in life. The Global Immersion Studies program gives students the invaluable opportunity to become a citizen of the world.

Yampa Valley High School The Yampa Valley High School serves students who are seeking an alternative learning environment that can better meet their personal and educational goals. The school provides a healthy, respectful and supportive learning environment promoting cooperation and personal interaction among students and teachers to facilitate individual growth and academic achievement. Critical thinking, collaboration and self-direction are the foundations of its academic system and provide its students with the skills and abilities that will promote a successful and happy life. Info:

Heritage Christian School (K-12, private) is a nondenominational, co-educational, college preparatory day school, founded in 1987. Heritage students receive individual attention with an average class size of eight students. Textbooks and curriculum materials are carefully selected from the best Christian and secular publishers. SAT test scores place Heritage students in the top 15-20% nationally. Heritage Christian School is a great option for parents seeking and affordable, high-quality Christian education for their children.

Rated the #2 public school district in the state, Steamboat Springs School District RE-2 operates two elementary schools (grades K-5), one middle school (grades 6-8), one charter school (grades K-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and one alternative high school (grades 9-12). Student to teacher ratio: 1:20 (elementary) and 1:25 (secondary) The Education Fund Board administers proceeds of a half-cent city sales tax Average budgeted cost-per-student spending for the 2014/15 academic year: $9,765 Total K-12 enrollment for the 2014/15 school year: 2,468 students Colorado Mountain College Alpine Campus offers two-year associate of arts degrees, community education, on-campus living and four-year bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sustainability studies. It was just rated #1 in Colorado and #17 in the U.S. by CNN/Money for student success in graduation and transfer rates. High school students have the option to enroll concurrently at CMC. Private schools also offer K-12 education in Steamboat: Emerald Mountain School, Steamboat Mountain School, Yampa Valley High School and the Heritage Christian School.