Our mission: Dawson School is dedicated to excellence of mind, body, and character. We prepare students, through challenging and relevant learning, to become creative, resilient problem-solvers who bring their best to the world.

List of 10 news stories.

  • FUSION 2019 is live!

    FUSION is Dawson's annual collection of literary, visual, and audio work from students K-12. This year, every grade is represented, across over 100 works. FUSION is published online: Find a link on the Portal and the Dawson homepage. So much wonderful work: Congratulations to all!
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    Dawson is in the self-study phase of re-accreditation. As part of this effort, after a year-long process with faculty, staff, and trustees, Dawson has approved a new Mission Statement.

    "Dawson School is dedicated to excellence of mind, body, and character. We prepare students, through challenging and relevant learning, to become creative, resilient problem-solvers who bring their best to the world."

    We are proud to implement this statement as a full reflection of Dawson's program and goals.
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  • Respect. Compassion. Courage. Integrity.

    Dawson School challenges its students to achieve excellence not only in mind and body, but in character. The school adopted four virtues years ago as points of emphasis and focus for us all: respect, compassion, courage, and integrity. Every day, our campus strives to live these values, through gestures big and small. Which virtue did you exemplify today?
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  • Dawson Athletics Ranked #12 Statewide

    Dawson Athletics has been ranked No. 12 statewide - all sports, all classifications - by Mile High Sports Magazine! Earning this recognition from 350+ schools is a testament to the breadth and depth of Dawson's program. Congratulations to our committed students, excellent coaches, and supportive teachers, families, and fans. We couldn’t have done this without everyone involved! #dawsonpride
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  • Dawson Again Named BEST OF BOULDER

    We are delighted to announce that Dawson was recognized as the best private school in the region in Boulder Weekly's "Best of Boulder" poll for the 13th year. We are honored to have so many people recognize the value Dawson brings to the community, and the importance of excellence in education. 
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    Dawson College Counseling is pleased to welcome over 150 colleges and universities to campus to meet with students and staff this fall. We are proud of our relationships with these fine institutions, and of the remarkable students they come to meet. Welcome - we're glad you're here!
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    In honor of fall Spirit Week, do you know all of the words to Dawson's school song?

    Hail to Dawson true,
      with our colors white and blue.
    We pledge to you our Mustang pride
      linked in purpose, side by side.
    As we strive today
      let our motto say
    "Nothing without labor";
      Hail to Dawson all the way!
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  • Dawson Diversity Statement

    Dawson actively promotes and embraces the exchange of diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds through curricular design, community involvement, and the integration of our four virtues – respect, compassion, courage, and integrity – into every aspect of our community life. It is our responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all members of our community, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, ability, or religion, as well as to cultivate in each student the ability to make empathetic, socially responsible decisions.
                                                                                                                                  -- Dawson Diversity Statement
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  • Dawson Offers New "Distinction in Coding and Innovation"

    Dawson recognizes the interest and demand for skills around the creative use of technology: Interested Upper School students can now earn special recognition on their transcript if they meet the requirements of a new Disctinction in Coding and Innovation. Students will finish the program with a mastery of several programming languages, will have integrated creative technology projects into classwork, and will creatve five major programming projects. Contact Mr. Nickerson for more details.
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  • Flags of Dawson

    Recognize these? We have lunch underneath these flags every day, but do you know what they represent?  Over its 47-year history, Dawson has enrolled students from many countries - and those countries are each represented here. If you are attending Dawson from a country that is not included here, please let us know, so that we can add your flag!
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Are You a Hamilton or a Burr?

Heather Mock, Associate Head of School/K-8 Director
Hi everyone,
I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I’ve just returned from a conference in Atlanta put on by the National Association of Independent Schools. It is a wonderful conference for many reasons. First, there are several interesting sessions to attend to learn about innovations in schools and best practices. Also it is a chance to connect with other independent school folks from around the country. It is always interesting to hear from my colleagues at other schools what they are up to.
One of my colleagues, who is the head of a school in the Northeast, made a fantastic snow day video last year that was based on the musical Hamilton. As you likely know, I have been obsessed with Hamilton since I first learned about it a couple of years ago, so I loved this. I shared with him the video that we made at the end of the year last year for the eighth graders as well. And, I shared with them that I actually had the chance to see Hamilton just last week in Denver! This was definitely a huge highlight for me and was everything I had hoped it would be.
In earlier speeches over the last couple of years, I have brought up Hamilton and the lessons I think it can teach us. And after seeing it live, I am more convinced than ever at the value of the musical. Alexander Hamilton is certainly an inspiration for us all. Living through a severe illness and then a hurricane, he somehow managed to impress the other people on his island enough to pay for him to go to New York and attend school. Against all odds, he took that trip, and the rest is history. In the musical, he sings, ”I am not throwing away my shot!”, and this ends up being a theme throughout the musical. Unlike his counterpart, Aaron Burr, who likes to wait and see “which way the wind will blow,” Hamilton jumps in and takes action.
I have been listening to a podcast about Hamilton, and the hosts always ask their guests if they think they are more of a Hamilton or a Burr. Most people seem to think they are a little bit of both, and I would imagine that’s true for most of us. Certainly the take-action attitude of Hamilton is more effective and also more romantic, but it does get him into trouble now and then as well! That being said, I think it is our job as teachers to help students take their own shots and jump on opportunities when they arise.
In middle school, it is often the easier path to take a step back and wait to see what our peers are up to before making a decision about what we want to do. However, this choice, the Aaron Burr choice, does not allow us to figure out who our best selves are and to blossom fully into the individuals that we are meant to be.
Another aspect of Hamilton that I find interesting is the sheer amount of writing that he did. In the musical, his wife Eliza asks him, “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?” When he partnered with James Madison and John Jay to write the Federalist papers, they were only planning on writing 25. They ended up writing 85, and Hamilton himself wrote 51 of them. I have been thinking about this because in this day and age of smart phones and computers, it is easy for our kids to be only consumers of information rather than producers. While technology can be an amazing tool for both, we need to sure that there is a balance. While I’m not sure I expect our kids to write 51 essays on the value of the Constitution, I do you think it’s important for us to help our kids find their voices and use them to make a difference in the world. Whether this means having deeper conversations at dinner or when we put our kids to bed or, frankly, whenever we can find a free moment with them, the more we show our kids that their opinions matter, the more they will be willing to share.
Towards the end of Hamilton, his mentor, George Washington, tells him that you have no control over “who lives, who dies, who tells your story.” It is true that we cannot control what our legacy is and what people will say about us when we are not around. However, we can live our lives to be the best people that we can be. At Moving Up Day, one of my favorite traditions is that as each student is called up to receive his or her certificate, I read an accolade about them that distinguishes who they are and what they have contributed to the middle school community. These accolades are written with the help of all of the teachers and advisors in the middle school, and they make clear just how well our teachers know their students. When our eighth graders finish middle school, they know with certainty that they are known and loved, and that they have made a difference.
Crazily enough, Moving Up Day will soon be upon us. As we enter the final quarter of the year, we will be working with students to not throw away their shot, to write like they’re running out of time, and to find their voices and discover their passions so that when they leave, they will have made their mark. Alexander Hamilton certainly did! Have a wonderful week!