About Us

At A Glance

The Dawson School

List of 9 items.

  • Founded

    1970 as The Colorado Junior Republic
  • Location

    Lafayette, Colorado (Boulder County)

    Approximately 12 miles east of Boulder, 35 miles northwest of Denver and 40 miles from Denver International Airport
  • Head of School

    George P. Moore, appointed 2012
  • Enrollment K-12

    Total, Grades K-12, 2021-22 school year: 528
    Lower School, Grades K-5: 130
    Middle School, Grades 6-8: 168
    Upper School, Grades 9-12: 230
  • Climate & Culture

    Fifteen percent of Dawson students are students of color.
    Dawson’s student body represents 22 nations.
  • Hours of Instruction

    8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (K-8)
    8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. (9-12)
  • Admissions

    Applications accepted the school year prior to anticipated enrollment
    September-January: Key application months
    Winter: Grades 1-12 acceptance notification
    March: Kindergarten acceptance notification
  • 2022-23 Tuition

    $25,540 – Kindergarten through Second Grade
    $28,860 – Third through Fifth Grade
    $31,790 – Sixth through Twelfth Grade 
  • Tuition Assistance

    More than $1.6m was awarded to 17% of the 2021-22 student body. The average award was $14,500.

Dawson Programs

List of 7 items.

  • Technology Integration

    • Curriculum begins in Lower School
    • 6th-8th grade 1:1 iPad program
    • Campus-wide wireless
    • Dual boot Upper School Lab
    • Five campus-wide labs
    • Parent accessible grade/homework tracking student information system
  • World Language

    Begins in kindergarten; Spanish is taught through grade five.

    In sixth grade, students select a primary language from Spanish or Mandarin. French is available in grades 8-12. Qualified upper school students may participate in a language immersion program in France, Spain, or China.
  • Arts

    Visual and Performing Arts are offered in Grades K-12.
  • After School Academy

    Monday-Thursday, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
    Extended care, as well as academic, arts, athletic, and music classes offered to all K-5 students
    Drop-in, weekly, monthly, and semester options available
  • Performing Arts

    Each K-8 class performs at least one fully staged and costumed play per year and there are elaborate classroom dramatizations in each grade throughout the year.

    Upper School features two choirs, instrumental ensembles, dance, improvisational troupes, and two major theater productions each year.
  • Visual Arts

    K-6 students experience more than 20 different media each year.

    Middle and upper school students may choose from 15 arts electives, including ceramics, yearbook, drawing and painting, jewelry-making and enameling, photography, sculpture, woodworking, and printmaking.
  • Athletics

    K-5 students participate in physical education classes four times a week.

    Middle school sports include lacrosse, soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, co-ed cyclocross, volleyball, and cross country.

    Sixteen upper school/Varsity sports and activities include boys' and girls' soccer, boys' and girls' basketball, speech and debate, baseball, co-ed canoe and kayak, boys' and girls' tennis, boys' and girls' cross country, volleyball, boys' golf, boys' and girls' lacrosse, and the only cyclocross (co-ed) team in Boulder County.

The Dawson Experience

List of 10 items.

  • Campus

    • A picturesque 107-acre campus
    • Eleven academic buildings, campus wide wireless
    • Learning Commons state-of-the-art library/student center
    • Arts Center with full theater and seven performing and visual arts studios
    • Dining Commons multi-purpose space
    • Six soccer and lacrosse fields
    • Six tennis courts
    • Two full gyms, weight room, rock climbing wall
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • On-campus faculty housing
    • Dawson Center for Innovation 24,500sqft classrooms, maker space, flex space
  • Class Size

    Average 15
    Student-Faculty Ratio 7:1
  • Faculty

    Over 75 faculty members work collaboratively with 50 additional staff to support the head of school and programs. Faculty members are nationally recruited for their expertise in their subject areas as well as for their diverse outside interests (many centered around the outdoors and the arts). Dawson faculty have an average of 17 years of experience and 67 percent have, or are working on, graduate degrees.
  • Lunch

    House-made, healthy lunches are offered daily, and are included in tuition. Daily menus include two soups, vegetarian and meat entrees, whole grain breads and pastas, gluten free options, juices and low-fat milks, house-made specialty salads, a variety of seasonings and spices, full deli bar, fresh fruit, and weekly desserts. Dawson's Dining Commons is nut-free.
  • Transportation

    The Dawson GreenRide, a centralized flat fee bus service, is a safe, economical, and time-saving option for all families. Seven routes serve Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Broomfield, and Westminster.
  • Community Service

    Dawson creates a culture that values respect, compassion, courage and integrity while encouraging students to make a personal investment in the well being of others.

    Grade-appropriate service projects begin in Lower School and service-minded clubs are introduced in Middle School. Student-led upper school clubs are offered, and community service is the focus of the 10th grade class trip. Sophomores and juniors must complete 20 additional hours as a graduation requirement.
  • Libraries

    The new Learning Commons in Henderson Hall is open to Upper and Middle school as a combination library/student center. Flexible options for quiet solo study and group work. The Lower School library serves grades K-5 with an inviting, dedicated space.
  • Counseling

    • Full-time Counselor in Lower and Middle School
    • Two Upper School Counselors
    • Seventh-Ninth Grade Health and Wellness teacher
    • Three Full-time Learning Specialists
  • Experiential Education

    • Begins in kindergarten with regular field trips
    • Second-fourth grades enjoy overnight trips.
    • Middle School students take week-long class trips.
    • Upper School students take week-long class trips prior to the start of school.
    • K-12 students participate in week-long Winterim programs that bridge the gap between theory and real life. In the Lower School this is an on-campus program. In fifth and sixth grades, these are class-focused trips and in 7th-12th grades these are local, regional, domestic and international experiences.
  • Environmental Stewardship

    Dawson dedicates itself to being a leader in environmental responsibility, with a zero waste dining hall, light switch sensors, active transportation and car pool programs, as well as its own wastewater treatment plant. Dawson’s goal is to demonstrate that energy conservation is compatible with today’s lifestyles and important for students to understand as a viable lifestyle choice.