K-12 College Prep in a Small School Environment

  • Located in Boulder Valley School District, Peak to Peak is a K-12 charter public school offering a liberal arts, college preparatory curriculum that gives students a foundation for a lifetime of learning and discovery. Peak to Peak is located in beautiful Lafayette, Colorado about 9 miles from Boulder and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. High expectations are an important part of the Peak to Peak school culture, and students are encouraged to work hard and strive to achieve their full potential. Peak to Peak students who demonstrate a mastery of knowledge and skills are challenged through appropriate placement in each subject area.

    A liberal arts education has been recognized throughout history for its broad benefits and its appropriateness as a foundation for future learning. By focusing on a liberal arts college preparatory program, Peak to Peak achieves two important objectives: it prepares students to successfully meet the educational challenges of higher education and to be well-educated citizens in an increasingly complex world. Peak to Peak takes this time-tested education and makes it accessible to students who are interested in a focused college preparatory program, regardless of their cultural or economic background.
    The school is designed from the ground up for graduates to meet or exceed the entrance requirements of top colleges and universities. The elementary, middle, and high school programs have been carefully crafted as a unified, coherent, and challenging curriculum, which progressively builds each student's foundation of knowledge and mastery of skills while preparing them for university life.

    Peak to Peak is small enough to ensure that each student is known and valued but large enough to provide a variety of academic, athletic, and extracurricular activities. The school’s size provides opportunities to work with students as they participate in and assume leadership roles in extracurricular activities and our community. Each student's character also matters at Peak to Peak, and character education is infused throughout the program, from the curriculum to activities in community service. Students are taught to use integrity with their intelligence. 

    Peak to Peak’s elementary program focuses on standards-based learning and uses the nationally recognized Core Knowledge Sequence as the basis for its content in social studies and science. In addition to language arts (reading, writing, spelling, and grammar) math, science, and social studies, Peak to Peak elementary students participate in physical education, art, French, Spanish, music, and library time. Elementary students also have a variety of extracurricular programs available to them. 

    Students entering middle school enroll in courses specifically designed to prepare them to succeed in Peak to Peak’s advanced college preparatory high school courses. In addition, they enjoy a variety of courses such as physical education, music, theater, art, and technology. Students are also encouraged to participate in Peak to Peak’s extracurricular sports program, as well as a variety of clubs, competitions, and visual/performing arts. 

    Peak to Peak’s high school features Advanced Placement (AP) courses, offering over 20 of these college-level courses. To recognize students who desire a challenging, well-rounded high school experience, and indicate to highly selective colleges a student’s commitment to excellence, Peak to Peak offers the “Peak Scholar Award.” The high school also provides an assortment of courses in visual and performing arts, music, journalism, technology, and physical education.  Students are also encouraged to participate in Peak to Peak’s extracurricular sports, theater performances, clubs, and competitions.  

    Peak to Peak’s rigorous curriculum has demonstrated amazing results. Peak to Peak consistently ranks “Excellent” at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and has earned multiple “John Irwin School of Excellence Awards.” The Excellent ratings and the John Irwin Awards are based on state assessment scores and are presented to schools that rate within the top 8% of all Colorado public schools.

    In 2000, Peak to Peak established the goal of becoming one of the top 100 high schools in the United States. In 2008, just eight short years later, Peak to Peak High School was honored to be recognized as a Newsweek Top 100 School,  ranking as the 40th best high school in the nation out of 27,000 public high schools.  Peak to Peak was the only Colorado school to rank in the top 100 at that time. This follows Peak to Peak High School’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report as a 2008 Gold Medal School, ranking 47th in the nation.  U.S. News & World Report used a three-step ranking analysis: 1) Performance on state tests, adjusted for student circumstances; 2) Evaluation of school’s disadvantaged students; and 3) Successful provision and completion of college-level coursework. Only 17 of the top 47 schools, including Peak to Peak, are open to all students who wish to attend through open enrollment; the additional 30 schools use merit-based or application-based admissions criteria.  Peak to Peak continued to be both a Newsweek and US News & World Report Top 100 school in 2009 and 2010.  In 2011, Peak to Peak was ranked 29th best high school by Newsweek magazine and was the only Colorado school to rank in the top 100.  Also in 2011, Peak to Peak ranked 50th out of more than 1900 public high schools in the Washington Post Challenge Index.

    In 2007, 5280 magazine ranked Peak to Peak High School as the best high school in the seven-county Denver metro area.
    In 2008, the entire school K-12 was recognized for academic excellence, community service, community engagement, multi-grade engagement, diverse academic programs, and character and cultural literacy of students.
    Peak to Peak's K-8 program was a 2011 Best of Boulder school winner and was honored by Boulder Weekly Magazine along with other Best of Boulder winners.  Winners were chosen through a community vote.

    In 2012, Newsweek ranked Peak to Peak High School 43rd, placing the school in Top 100 for five years in a row.  Peak to Peak High School was ranked #11 in the western states.  U.S. News & World Report named Peak to Peak High School a Gold Medal School ranking it 102nd out of 22,000 school and number two in Colorado.  Peak to Peak High School was ranked 19th best Charter High School and ranked 55th for Math and Science Methodology by U.S. News & World Report.
    One hundred percent of Peak to Peak's graduating seniors are accepted into a college of their choice. ACT scores are consistently the highest in Boulder Valley School District and in the top five in the state of Colorado.