Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

Note From the Director

Parents who choose Running River do so because, above all else, they want their children to love learning. They want teachers who care deeply about their children, who channel their creativity and passion into the learning process. They want to make sure their children are taught all the academic foundational skills; they want to feel confident that their children are neither left behind nor bored from lack of challenge or attention; and they want to ensure that their children are fully prepared to enter high school. They understand that children can't sit all day at desks and stay focused without the opportunity to be physical and social. They understand that children being in nature is crucial for their sense of well being and connectedness - to themselves and their place on the planet. They appreciate how important it is that children be given choice and responsibility in all aspects of their education. They want to be part of a community of committed parents and educators.

Testimonials from parents

"Last year, my kids were in 1st grade at a BVSD public school. It was a great school with great teachers and staff. However, we barely made it through the year. By spring, my kids had lost all their confidence, they felt they were not smart and that something was wrong with them. It was heart breaking.

My kids are quirky, creative, intelligent, and deeply sensitive. They needed a learning environment that celebrated their strengths and understood their asynchronous development. 

I knew Running River was the right choice on the first day of school. They were so scared of starting another school. They were fighting with each other and climbing all over me. One of the staff came over and asked them if they were nervous. I was so amazed. Instead of looking at them as a disturbance or immature, they were seen as scared children. Last week at the parent teacher conferences, I cried. The Running River teacher told me how amazing my kids are doing, how great they fit in, and how much she appreciates them in her class. 

My kids are back to their normal selves. They love school, love learning and are excelling. 

I highly recommend checking out Running River at their open house."

~Parent of twin 2nd graders

“Our fifth grade daughter wants to be a teacher. Nancy arranged for her to teach the kindergarten class once a week. She creates lesson plans, teaches, and meets with the teacher for review. She is getting a real experience of teaching. This summer she is going to volunteer at Homestar. She is in heaven, and learning in a way that most kids don’t get to until they are in college!”
— Parent of 5th grade girl


Parents respond to the question, “What made you choose Running River?”

“First and foremost, I saw the kids interacting with each other in a kind, considerate, open and gentle way. The commitment to teaching kindness and empathy is so critical to a child’s fundamental happiness – in my mind more than even the academic education.

I was very happy to see stillness incorporated into the day. I practice meditation myself and find tremendous value in learning to sit with yourself and to understand yourself in a deeper way. I find time in meditation allows me to process my own emotions more comfortably and to practice loving kindness with others in a more fluid way. Again, I think this is one of the most important life skills you can have.

I’m glad to see you support a child’s journey and you let them ask the big questions – who am I, what do I like, dislike, how do I like and need to express myself, who is my tribe, what are my values?

I think any school can teach the basic fundamentals of education. Learning to be self-regulated, to self-comfort, to ask really big questions, to understand you are on a personal journey, to interact well with others, to set goals, to find joy when you reach your goals and to pick yourself up when you don’t reach your goals and to spread your wings and try again, to see the beauty in loving compassion, to walk gently on the Earth – those are some of the most important things to teach our children. I felt Running River was able to understand and prioritize the really important things and to incorporate those things into quality education.”
— Parent of a 5th grader


“My child loves to go to school, is excited about learning and feels safe to learn in the community at Running River. The emphasis is on true, deep learning rather than teaching to and testing to the standards. Public school dulled my child and she was never left to wonder or allowed to be truly creative. Intrigue, creativity, individuality and wonder are encouraged at Running River. The mixed aged classes instill confidence and allow a chance for the children to mentor their peers. Educating the whole child is of great emphasis at RR: nutritious lunches and snacks, quiet/reflective time built into the day, sewing, cooking, theater, dance, enjoying nature during weekly hikes and daily outside time are some examples. The parent forums offered at Running River are great opportunities for parents to share ideas.”
— Parent of kindergartner, 4th grader, and 6th grader


“When choosing a school we put a lot of thought into what the final goal of sending a child to a private school should be. Our final goal is to have a child who not only understands the world but is a compassionate contributor to society. A lover of language and learning. Someone who thinks then acts. This is hard to find in America right now. With so many forces putting input into the education system no one really knows what is right or wrong. What will do harm to young learners? Being a part of a community and learning what that really feels like is important because you can’t do everything yourself. Learning to care for your body & for animals; feeds the soul. Running river provides students with these things and so much more. Activity, community, nutrition and the ability to explore education. We really look forward to where our little learner will go with Running River.”
– Parent of 1st grader


“We initially gravitated towards RR because we wanted our children to develop a love of learning and a lifelong sense of curiosity. Although RR is structured in their academics it is done in such a way that the children learn through so much more than the classroom academics. The way that their learning is tied into relative interests keeps them engaged and excited about being there. What we have also received as a huge benefit is a community for ourselves and our children that is broad and accepting. The community teaches children to be part of something greater, to accept others and in return themselves and to look at the greater good and how we all contribute together rather than just an individual and isolated perspective in this life.

Our son is also learning to love and appreciate his body, meals, food sources, nature, his own strengths and the strengths of friends and teachers.

I believe the connectedness that he will have to nature, his emotions, his voice and community are gifts that we are giving him that will serve him for the rest of his life. This is something I don¹t feel we could get at any other school.”
– Parent of 1st grader


“From our 2nd grader when he got sick and had to stay home: ‘Call Nancy and ask what we are doing today so you can home school me.’ ‘Why do I have to get sick on a school day and not the weekend!!’ ‘Maybe I’ll feel better by time school starts and I can go to school.’ And the best one: ‘HOW DID I GET SICK DURING THE NIGHT??? What did I DO????!!!!’

And another quote from the same child: At dinner tonight: ‘Awwww, tomorrow is Friday.. that means after tomorrow there are two days of no school. (And lately he’s been asking what grade RR goes to... we tell him middle school. Then he says ‘I want to go to Running River for high school AND college!!’ (He has said this more than once!)

Our son has really blossomed at Running River. He is growing in so many ways from his acting and singing in the original musicals the teachers write, to his love for math, to his ability to relate with peers. The school offers a new breed of education that includes learning concentration through stillness and meditation; exploring their limits in wilderness adventures; and developing critical thinking through the research, writing, and creating inspired by multidisciplinary projects. The emphasis on social skills deepens the connection and cooperation among the kids. The faculty and administration continuously encourage new ideas to enrich the program. We’re thankful for the way the teachers compassionately guide our son. He is happy being at school. We feel lucky to be part of this close and creative community.”
— Parents of a 5th grader


“Hi everyone, I thought some of you might like to know how Sawyer (Carly’s brother) is doing now that he transitioned into middle school (Casey bilingual school in Boulder). Well here he is getting a 4.0 this semester -and he is taking a grade higher in math (7th). Soooo, if any of you question whether RR is a good “academic” school here’s one example to check out. Sawyer went to RR from 1st through 5th grade and transitioned sooo well into middle school (joined student council and chess club). I truly believe he got the 4.0 because RR instilled a love of learning and self motivation (I have not helped him or reminded him about home work – he just does it ) I wish he would do the same with his chores. haha.”
— Parent of a 6th and 3rd grader


“To the mighty, mighty teachers of RRS, I wanted to thank you muchly for the conferences today. It was great to get such a luxurious amount of time with each one. Once again you all demonstrated that you really get our children and are working with care, and energy and innovative, imaginative techniques to bring the best out of them and to work on their challenges. I feel strongly that the time Marin and Kellan spend at RRS in your presence and under your guidance is a time that they are both filling their deep pools, making them more strong and ready to face the challenges ahead when they are not in such a utopia centered environment. This is long-term, character-crafting, esteem building, wing-spreading stuff, and it is priceless; we are totally grateful for all that you give of yourselves. We know that you give a LOT; just know that it doesn’t go unnoticed and certainly not unappreciated.”
— Parent of a 5th and 2nd grader