Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward adulthood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
For nearly 60 years, since 1962, Vail Mountain School has served the students and families of the Vail Valley and beyond. Not only known for our rich history, deep sense of community, and strong traditions, VMS is also highly regarded for its commitment to our students. We know our students, respect their individuality, and support and love them. The journey of education requires the blending of knowledge with the process of assimilating ideas and ultimately developing wisdom. Inspiring thoughtfulness nurtures lifelong learners who possess four critical VMS attributes: a strong sense of empathy; deep moral character; a commitment to self-advocacy; and the appreciation that we belong to something greater than ourselves. Furthermore, we are a place where our rapport driven faculty and staff thoughtfully expose our students to the world and link the world to our students. Because of our rigorous high-quality college preparatory curriculum, 100% of our graduates have been accepted to their best-fit four-year college. We possess an unparalleled collaborative relationship with our community and our mountain environment, and our students are also athletes, thespians, musicians, artists and diverse learners.
I am grateful to be part of this remarkable community at this time in our school’s history. Sharing in the stewardship of our most precious treasure—students whose lives are transformed through the VMS experience—is a profound privilege. I encourage you to explore our website, visit our campus and open the door to an education that is like nowhere else in the world!
Head of School
The environment at Vail Mountain School gives students the confidence and the tools to pursue their goals. My teachers not only believed in me but took me seriously. They would listen to ideas I had and push me to move forward with them.–Alumna ‘08
To achieve our Mission, faculty at VMS are singularly focused on one thing--your child. They bring their passions into the classroom and develop deep, caring relationships that inspire a true love of learning. Our teachers pay close attention to the social, emotional and academic needs of each individual, adapting curricula and lessons that fuel the fire more than fill the bucket. Put simply, a good school knows your child by name, a great school knows your child by heart.
VMS is the only independent K-12 school in Eagle and Summit Counties and we embrace the freedom this provides. Our rigorous, globally inspired, college preparatory curriculum readies students for challenges both in and out of the classroom. The experience is enriched by athletics, independent projects, service learning, in-depth Intraterm classes, winter hut trips, outdoor education, and Ski Fridays. We believe teachable moments are everywhere and we are bound neither by belief nor government mandate to teach in only one way. One size does not fit all, one size fits one.
Our community works and plays together, sharing a love for the active mountain lifestyle that defines us and that has converted countless visitors into lifelong residents. Our location is truly unique, enabling us to provide an education that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Outside our front door lies the world famous Vail ski resort. Just steps from our back door are trails that lead to majestic 13,000 foot peaks, mountain meadows filled with wildflowers, pristine waterfalls, and diverse ecosystems. Interstate 70 provides quick access to the learning opportunities of Denver and Boulder and the sublime desert playgrounds and rivers to the west.
Operating on the principle that emotional stability is a requisite for academic success, students start each day at VMS with Homebase, a unique advisory forum designed to build community, strengthen character, and encourage ethical decision making. In partnership with parents, teachers help students confront problems, and set positive, proactive examples, challenging students to be their best in the classroom, on the playing field, online, and outside the school. We pride ourselves on celebrating individual achievements and supporting each other's struggles. The result is a caring community of engaged learners that supports the greatness in one through the strength of many.