Prospective Parents

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Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year is now closed.
2024-2025 Enrollment
The application for the 2024-2025 school year is live and available at this link.  The deadline for applications to be included in the enrollment lottery for 2024-2025 is midnight, January 31, 2024.  Applications submitted after the deadline will be added to the wait list on a first come, first served basis.  If you have questions regarding applying for enrollment, please contact the school office at 303-759-2076.

Dear Prospective RMSEL Parents,
As you prepare to make a very challenging and exciting decision for your family in selecting a school for your child, you are probably wondering what to expect at The Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (RMSEL). RMSEL is a K-12 school of choice formed as a Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), enrolling 400 total students annually from Aurora Public School District (APS), Denver Public School District (DPS), Douglas County School District (DCSD), Cherry Creek School District (CCSD), and Littleton Public Schools (LPS). If you reside in one of these five school districts, you are eligible for enrollment at RMSEL! 

Our mission states, As a K-12 community, the mission of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (RMSEL) is to empower students and staff to be learners, thinkers, citizens, and explorers engaged in and inspired by the real world. "We are crew not passengers." This mission outlines the purpose and foundation of our school. To carry out this mission, we focus on our school vision, which places action to our values. Our vision is this: “RMSEL scholars will demonstrate pride and ownership as they grow into responsible citizens who strive for high academic achievement and character excellence. RMSEL staff will equip our students with tools for success in order to make a positive impact on our local and global community. Through our actions, our community will exemplify Expeditionary Learning.”

The mission and vision describe our unique school setting and the commitment of our dedicated team of professionals to providing the best possible education to your child. In an Expeditionary Learning School (ELS), we take a different approach to teaching and learning that is found to be highly successful and outperforming many public neighborhood schools. We take each Colorado State Assessment annually, outperforming the state average in 89% of all tested areas. To accomplish this high level of student achievement at RMSEL, learning is:

-  Active. Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.
-  Challenging. Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking.
-  Meaningful. Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive changes in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has a purpose.
-  Public. Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.
-  Collaborative. School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.

 Along with our academically rigorous curriculum, your child will also experience the dynamic integration of culture and character, which leads to responsible citizenship. Our character values are integrated into all aspects of our school. These values of integrity, discipline, responsibility, courage, and compassion guide our instruction and serve as a gauge for the culture of our school.
At RMSEL, students are a part of a crew. Crew is more than a traditional homeroom and students often refer to their crew as their second family. Crew is a time when students are intentionally building strong relationships with their classmates and teachers. Teachers are crew leaders, and leaders exhibit leadership and guidance not only in a classroom setting but also in assisting students as they build and define their character as young adults.  

Another unique aspect of RMSEL as compared to other EL schools is our extensive Adventure Program. We offer a world-class adventure program to all students K-12. Each year student experiences range from travel across the front range of Colorado to international travel into the rainforest of Costa Rica. Our adventure program is rooted in the Design Principles of Outward Bound. Each crew trip is more than a “trip” – it is a transformational experience for students as they develop into responsible citizens. The idea of transference through tangible experience in the wilderness transcends the outdoor environment and permeates into the classroom, enhancing each child’s experience as we work to fulfill our school vision.
RMSEL is truly a unique learning environment that provides each child with a rigorous educational experience as they prepare for college and post secondary readiness. I have the pleasure of working alongside a team of professionals that are committed to fulfilling our vision and providing a truly exceptional education experience to your family. This informational letter provides a glimpse into the journey you will experience at RMSEL, and we hope you take the time to visit us for an Open House and consider us as an option for your family.


Chad Burns
Executive Director