Learning Environment

Our 13 acre campus is situated upon the foothills of Mt. Sopris in Carbondale, CO along the shores of the Roaring Fork river, between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. The passive solar, straw bale construction was designed by Jeff Dickinson and built by the Waldorf community in 1997.

The architecture was inspired by Rudolf Steiner, offering warmth, spirituality and healing to all who enter. Gone are the days of sterile surroundings, square box classrooms and fluorescent lights. Students learn in the cozy confines of a green built, solar-heated, naturally lit, straw-bale school.

The most striking feature of the school’s interior is the interaction between form, light and color. None of the classrooms are square. The spaces respond to the human form, not simply enclosing it. Natural light is used as often as possible.

Colors have different effects on people. Classrooms for the younger grades are painted in hues on the warm side of the color spectrum, because the child still lives in a fully open, pictorial consciousness. Once children reaches fourth grade, they go through a change and begin to think in abstract terms. Thus, the “cool” colors become more appropriate.

The external environment is also an integral part of the Waldorf education. Each classroom has its own entrance to the outdoors. Seven acres of wetland and river frontage serve as an extension of the classroom and laboratory for environmental education experiences, nature studies and bio dynamic gardening.