Alpine Valley School

Alpine Valley School


Do you wonder what Staff at a Sudbury school do all day? Listen to this great episode of the podcast from Alpine Valley School and hear from staff at Sudbury schools all over the world. You'll hear a lot of similarities, whether staff are in Colorado or South Africa. You can also read a blog post from HSS staff member Cara DeBusk from 2017 about a typical day at HSS (see show notes).
Thank you Alpine Valley School for such a wonderful and life changing experience this past year!
Brian stopped at Alpine Valley School this morning with some donations for their students. Here's hoping they go to good use!
It was an honor to talk with Marc from Alpine Valley School about the journey from unschooling to Sudbury.
"At Alpine Valley School we are often asked what a 'typical day' in self-directed democratic education looks like. This video is our attempt to answer this question, along with testimonials from each of our staff members."
My dear friend reached out to me and asked me to write a blog post about multipotentiality and my experience at Alpine Valley School. It was published this week, and you can read it here.

To everyone who is still wondering what they want to do when they grow up...You're not alone!
An awesome talk by Larry Welshon, the founder of Alpine Valley School, about the history of his school and all he has learned in his many years working with self-directed kids.
Alpine Valley School
Our Friends at Alpine Valley School. A school where children are free to be themselves.
We love this video by our friends at Alpine Valley School!
Alpine Valley School 🙂

A self-directed democratic school in the Denver Metro Area. Alpine Valley School was founded in 1997 Alpine Valley School is a private day school serving students from K-12.

Founded in 1997, our school is located in metro Denver. Alpine Valley follows the Sudbury model of education, which relies on students' natural curiosity and creativity.

Operating as usual

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 10/07/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This week we had some eventful games of tag 🏃, decorated even MORE dino masks 🖌️, held a trial (for a defendent that pled innocent in Judicial Committee) 📓, started work on a Halloween pinata 🍬, and played outside ☀️!

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/30/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This has been a busy week! Among the many activities we did this week there was...croissant-baking, cardboard-shield-making, virtual-reality-game-playing, dungeon-exploring, pool-playing and dino-mask-crafting!

Timeline photos 09/28/2022

Timeline photos

Timeline photos 09/27/2022

Timeline photos



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[ID: four children are laughing in the midst of a sack race together. The words "We used to think that schools built brains. Now we know that it is play that builds the brains that school can then use." —Dr. Gordon Neufeld is written on top of the image.]

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/26/2022

LAST FRIDAY we hosted our first annual Game Night for students, parents, staff, and alumni. It was an absolute blast! 🎲 Thanks to everyone who attended and made the night such a success!

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/23/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This week we watched the Queen's funeral 👑, celebrated an important birthday 🎈 with a piñata (and a boatload of candy), played imaginary games together 🍎, and dabbled with face paint 🖌️. Whew!


I appreciate Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting's no-nonsense approach 💙


Parenting Pathfinders ❤️

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/16/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This week we did a LOT of building with our Kapla blocks, both on the ground and up into the air ☁️! And, as always, lots of art and hanging out in our amazing community 🧡.

Photos from The Open School's post 09/12/2022

Photos from The Open School's post

Timeline photos 09/11/2022

Timeline photos

This quote was shared with us by one of our students. They stumbled upon it in a book they were reading and felt it resonated with our school's philosophy. And now we are sharing it with you!

"I was looking for a more systematic way to explore and learn complex technology. What my research revealed stunned me: play already is systemic. Exploration follows its own order." -James Marcus Bach, Secrets of a Buccaneer


The Open School is a self-directed democratic k-12 school with a campus in Orange County, CA and an online program for students everywhere. To find out more about us, visit our website

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/09/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This week we did a LOT of art (including some hand-knitting) 🎨, tested our skills with board games ♟️, explored the world outside 🌼, and spent a lot of time in community and conversation 🤝 - and all this in just four short days!


Photos from The Open School's post 09/07/2022

Photos from The Open School's post


In September 1981, The Highland School started our first year. Tomorrow we begin our 41st year. Welcome to four decades of democratic school experiences!


There is a better, healthier way to learn!

Learn how by reading:

Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom
available here:


Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham,
available here:




Photo of the Day: Sometimes the evidence presented in Justice Committee is visual rather than verbal.

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 09/02/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - This week we started taking photos for the yearbook 📷, made even MORE art 🖌️, played outside 🌞, experimented with some musical creations 🎼 (and shared them with Connie), and ran around in the Theater. It has been an awesome second week of school!


As homeschooling parents, we can get so caught up sometimes in trying to find that interest that our kids have to turn into some meaningful learning experience.

And when that isn’t showing itself, we often panic or think something is wrong.

What a world that we live in where we are so focused on the hustle that we can’t honor the rest!

It is NOT always normal to be constantly seeking something new to learn, especially as our kids get older and find things they enjoy doing.

⏱ Honor your children’s time. Not every minute is meant to be spent working/learning.

🥱 Embrace rest and stillness. This often comes in slower seasons - have you noticed the times in the year that your child tends to be more focused on slow things?

💕 Let your children love their passions! It doesn’t always have to be more than just that. Taking time for themselves is a valuable life skill.

👥 Honor community. When your child is spending time with others - whether online chatting, in person with friends, with family, or in group activities, that time is valuable!

The way we honor our children’s natural creative learning flow now sets the tone for how they will honor their time as adults!

Photos from Alpine Valley School's post 08/26/2022

WEEK IN REVIEW - We have had a fantastic first week back at school! 🙌 We welcomed our new students 👋, welcomed BACK returning students, and spent a lot of time catching up on everything that happened over the summer. We also played some games 🎴, put on a concert 🎤, and spent a great deal of time playing outside 🌞. It's been so nice to see everyone and we can't wait for all the other adventures right around the corner!


Of all the things your children are doing, learning, and becoming, their academic success should be of the LEAST concern to you.

Academics do not make a child or person unique. They’re simply skills to acquire for various reasons

But your child’s imagination... their physical talents... their weird ideas... their silly creative concepts... these are the things that separate them from everyone else in the world.

Make sure your priorities are in the right place. 💚

Photos from The Open School's post 08/26/2022

Photos from The Open School's post


From a Captain Underpants book by Dav Pilkey.



Thanks to KidsConnect Psychology ❤️


"The people who are horrified by the idea of children learning what they want to learn when they want to learn it have not accepted the very elementary psychological fact that people (all people, of every age) remember the things that are important to them – the things they need to know – and forget the rest."

Daniel Quinn

Timeline photos 08/20/2022

Timeline photos

"It says something about a school when my kids count down the days until they return after summer break. They’re actually looking forward to going back! As a mother, it is such a relief to know that the days I have with my children will be spent enjoying our time together, not stressing over tedious homework, or pressuring them to go somewhere they'd rather not be for 5 days a week. I’m all for skipping the unnecessary fuss and living a life focused on what really matters: a childhood inspired by play, bound by connection, and developed through authenticity.”

The Open School 2022-23 school year is back in session September 6th. From my children to yours, “Can’t wait to see you there!”

-Angela, Open School Parent

To find out if our school is right for your family, check out our website

Photos from The Open School's post 08/19/2022

Photos from The Open School's post


I swear some days it feels like we collectively have Stockholm Syndrome… standing up for the systems that have made our lives less than we desired them to be. Arguing that we have to “prepare our children” for a life we’d give anything to change for ourselves.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You CAN make a change for your child. You just have to be willing to take the first step in saying that you’re going to do things differently.

Timeline photos 08/16/2022

Timeline photos


Untigering ❤️


Students become problem-solvers who think outside the box when they "own their learning."

Sketchnote via John Spencer

Timeline photos 08/13/2022

Timeline photos

"Children don't learn independence. They grow independent. And they do it naturally in their own time, just like they learn to crawl and walk and talk in their own time. The simplest and most effective approach to growing independence is, ironically, to meet children's attachment needs. It is trust that frees children to grow, explore, and develop, not forced independence or broken attachments."
— L.R. Knost

✨ If you would like to be kept in the loop on everything Neurochild please submit your details here:

Mobile uploads 08/13/2022

Mobile uploads


Today is your last chance to get one of Alpine Valley School's snuggly soft promotional t-shirts or hoodies. Help support self-directed democratic education in Colorado, and snag a great T-shirt too! Get yours at:

Timeline photos 08/08/2022

We are so excited about this book launch from our sister school in California!

Hey everyone!

I wanted to let you know that our new book launches in 10 days!

You can sign up to receive an email reminder when it's live by clicking this link:


Graduate Interview: James Kashevos

James Kashevos is a graduate of Alpine Valley School, a self-directed democratic school in Denver, Colorado that does not use classrooms, grades or tests. In this video, he talks about how the self-paced learning style at AVS prepared him to start his own software business after graduation. He also discusses the benefits of self-directed education and why he thinks other people's lack of understanding might be a clue to students that they are doing things RIGHT.

To learn more about Alpine Valley School's innovative model of education, visit our website:

To watch more interviews with parents and graduates of our program, check out our full YouTube channel:

Videos (show all)

Today is your last chance to get one of Alpine Valley School's snuggly soft promotional t-shirts or hoodies. Help suppor...
Graduate Interview: James Kashevos
In this episode of the Alpine Valley School podcast, host Marc Gallivan talks with conscious parenting coach Angela Youn...
Graduate Interview: Carlos Duran-Rael
HUGE thank you to Music Go Round - Aurora, CO for their donation of new musical equipment! As you can see, our students ...
Only 10 days left in our 25th Anniversary shirt campaign. There's still time for you to order a one-of-a-kind shirt and ...
Watch Vannessa Hennessey, AVS Graduate, Talk About Learning
Learning shouldn't be limited by age. Alpine Valley School offers private education with an innovative model of learning...
Graduate Interview: Andreas
Sometimes school looks like...throwing a pot!
A Place to Belong
A Place to Belong





4501 Parfet St
Wheat Ridge, CO

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

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