A. Challenging, interesting and student-centered. With an average class size of 12, students are actively engaged in the learning process. Close relationships develop among students and teachers as they share in the discovery and application of new knowledge.
A. Our teachers are passionate practitioners of their disciplines—artists, scientists, writers, historians, mathematicians and linguists—who enjoy working with adolescents. They are also skilled coaches, avid outdoorsmen, caring advisers, and responsible houseparents who interact frequently with students outside the classroom.
A. Freshmen and sophomores take five "major" classes—English, history, languages, math and science—plus an arts or technology course. Juniors and seniors can choose to take more than one class in an area of personal interest.
A. In addition to core academic classes and AP and Honors level courses, there are a host of fascinating electives offered at FVS. These include courses in computer game design, photography, the writing of J.R.R. Tolkien, the 1960s and the opportunity to design and pursue an independent study in the senior year. Sophomores take part in the Western Immersion Progam (WIP), a four-day interdisciplinary field study based at the 40-acre FVS Mountain Campus at the base of Mt. Princeton. Each year, the weeklong spring interim offers opportunities for students and faculty to learn outside the classroom doing things such as: hut-to-hut skiing, language and culture immersion in Guatemala, exploring Anasazi ruins on foot, examining the history and culture of the Deep South, taking in the theater scene in New York City or kayaking off the barrier islands of Georgia.
A. All students participate in the afternoon program each season, weekdays from 3:30-5:15 p.m. Participation is required of all students. While students are encouraged to build on their existing interests and skills, the diversity of opportunities allows them to also challenge themselves by trying a new sport or activity.
A. All students are expected to participate in an afternoon activity in each of the three seasons.
Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, these requirements will shift slightly to accommodate more of our student body over four years. Instead of the requirement being limited to only CHSAA sports, we are expanding it to include some of our other current offerings. These will now all be categorized as Team sports. Team sports are defined as those that compete for championships in each season offered. In short, the new requirement is each student will do at least one team sport in each of his or her four years at FVS.
Students can still apply for one Alternative Sport season off campus as in the past (contact the athletic director directly for further information).
A. Fountain Valley School competes in 15 different CHSAA varsity sports. The level of competition ranges from 2A to 3A, depending on the sport. All students have the opportunity to play and compete, whether they are vying for a state championship and wanting to continue play at the college level or are trying a new sport for the first time. Less experienced students have the opportunity to play in junior varsity teams while developing their skills.
A. Coaches send out regular game summaries by e-mail and also post scores and highlights on the FVS web site within 24 hours of the game. FVS parents often take the opportunity to attend weekend games. The Athletic Department schedules a number of home games for families who cannot travel to school frequently and only participate in the fall and spring family weekends.
A. Not really. Students should come to campus with clothes for all seasons—you can end up wearing shorts on warm days in February or still ski in the backcountry as late as May. Be sure to bring sleeping bags, hiking boots and warm weather gear for excursions into the mountains.
A. Yes. While FVS is generally a casual community, students are known for their accomplishments and not their hairstyle or clothing choices, and the School’s dress code requires that attire in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and at all meals should be neat, clean, modest and in good repair.
A. The Frautschi Campus Center is a favorite spot on campus for socializing and grabbing a snack at the student-run RK Cafe. Pool table, ping-pong and foosball are available after school. Some students also use their free time, especially during the academic day, to study individually or in groups.
A. Junior and senior day students may drive to and from school provided that they have registered their cars and have written driving permission from their parents. Boarding students are not permitted to have cars on campus. Students must follow specific guidelines for driving and riding in cars outlined in the FVS handbook.
A. Fountain Valley School supports both PC-based and Mac-based laptop and desktop computers. Computers and printers are available in each house, as well as in the computer lab and library available for student access. Students who bring their own computers are required to have the Technology Department check to ensure they have up-to-date patches and active anti-virus software installed.
A. The dining hall serves three meals a day, seven days a week for all students and faculty. All meals are served buffet style. Both continental and hot meal options are available for breakfast. Lunch and dinners include salad, soup and sandwich bars, as well as hot meal selections. The dining hall also provides snacks for residence halls each day. There are no extra charges for meals—all food costs are included in the tuition fees.
A. The vast majority of students live with a roommate. The Admission Office and the director of residential life work together to place new students in specific houses. They rely on the information provided by new students in the Boarding Student Questionnaire to help decide roommate selections. Returning students select their own roommates and go through a lottery system for their room assignments. New boarding students have support from houseparents and proctors in navigating the challenges of living successfully with a roommate.
A. Boarding students’ responsibilities are similar to responsibilities they would have at home. Students are required to keep their rooms tidy and complete a house job each day, such as sweeping the hall, vacuuming the common room or unloading the dishwasher. Boarding students are also responsible for checking in with the faculty member on duty at the required times.
A. Weekends have a much more relaxed pace; however, there are a host of on-campus and off-campus activities planned by students and a weekend team (10 faculty members on duty from Friday to Sunday). These planned activities may include special social events, mountain biking trips, movie marathons and taking advantage of cultural or sports events in the area. From late fall through the winter, the School sponsors one-day trips to Colorado ski resorts. Occasionally, the Mountain Campus is used for overnight ski trips. In addition, boarding students may take day excursions to shop, see movies, dine out, enjoy field trips to Denver, participate in cultural trips to plays and speakers at Colorado College, etc. Boarding students are often invited to spend the night at the homes of day students (this is coordinated through the Deans’ Office and appropriate permissions from families are required).
A. Houseparents and proctors are important sources of support, helping boarding students deal with many issues, ranging from homesickness to homework problems. Students are also encouraged to talk to their advisers about any concerns they may have.
A. During weekends, FVS faculty drive school buses at set times for mall or movie runs and for downtown excursions. Based on parents’ permission, students may also take taxicabs. Prior to school holidays, school-provided transportation is available to the Colorado Springs Airport.
A. Decisions about boarding student privileges are based upon each family’s personal preferences. Privileges usually depend upon the student’s age and level of responsibility. Many boarding students have permission to use cab vouchers (which are charged home monthly), ride in cars with faculty members and day parents, and to stay over at the homes of day students. Juniors and seniors usually have permission to ride in cars with day students at approved times.
A. Parents set up Student Allowance Accounts through the Spirit Store and determine the weekly amount the student can withdraw—the standard amount per week is $25. Parents can make deposits to the student account on a monthly or annual basis.
A. Yes. FVS provides free busing to and from school for Colorado Springs and Pueblo students. The School has established several bus routes (you can contact the Deans’ Office for specific routes and stop locations). Day buses arrive at FVS by 7:50 a.m. and depart from FVS at 5:35 p.m. on weekdays.
A. Day students have the option of staying on campus due to late returns from athletic events or bad weather, and on weekends when a major school event is scheduled. Day students sometimes stay on campus after late night study sessions with friends and faculty members. The overnight stays will need to be coordinated with the Deans’ Office.
A. Boarding students, with their parent’s permission and advance arrangements with the Deans’ Office, may spend weekends (depart Friday after their last commitment and must return by 7 p.m. on Sunday) at a day student family’s home.
A. The program is designed to challenge experienced riders while teaching fundamentals to those new to the sport. Both the Western and English Riding Programs regularly compete on a local and regional level. The English Riding Program also participates in the International Equitation Association’s national competitions and currently holds the National Grand Reserve Championship title. Both the English and Western programs also annually participate in a three-school (Orme, Ariz.; Thacher, Calif.; FVS, Colo.) Gymkhana competition.
A. Yes, the school has various forms of boarding facilities, from pasture to pens, to stalls and runs. Costs vary based on the needs of the specific feeding and boarding requirements of a horse. Students must participate in the FVS Riding Program to board a horse in the FVS facility.
A. The School’s herd of 40 horses is available to all student riders participating in the program. Participants pay a monthly feed and tack fee. Please see additional questions and answers in the School Life/Equestrian Program section.
A. The student’s adviser is most familiar with all aspects of that student’s academic, social and co-curricular activities in the School. The adviser serves as the primary contact person both for the student and for parents. Early in the year, parents and the adviser establish a plan for communicating about the student's progress.
A. The School’s web site includes comprehensive information such as class schedules, assignments, test dates, report cards, adviser comments, campus events, directories, etc. in a password-protected online community. This information is the central resource for student, faculty and parent communications.
A. Yes. Students are allowed to have cell phones as long as they are not used in a disruptive manner. On the occasions when a parent has had difficulty reaching his/her child, contacting the houseparent or adviser is recommended.
A. We follow the recommendations in the most recent edition of "Infectious Diseases in Child Care and School Settings" published by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In general, anyone with a fever of 101.0 along with other symptoms of an easily transmitted illness will be isolated either at home or in the Health Center until he/she is fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication. All residence halls have a thermometer in their first-aid kits. After hours, the nurse on call will be consulted.
A. Students should visit the Health Center if they are feeling ill. The school nurse will assess the student’s health history and present health status to determine whether prolonged care is needed. Students are given over the counter medications for mild illness and returned to class. If something other than a routine illness is found, the student will remain in the Health Center. The school nurse will notify the student's parents by phone or if a different time zone will email the parents and email the adviser. At the end of the day the nurse will email the appropriate list of faculty, and if a student will be spending the night in the Health Center, will inform the appropriate faculty.
A. Students feeling ill stay in the Health Center under the care of the school nurse during class hours. Students are not allowed to stay in their rooms during the day if they are sick. Day students are encouraged to stay home. If a day student becomes ill during the day, the nurse will contact the parents to have one of them come and pick the student up. Boarding students confined to the Health Center on Fridays will not be permitted to leave the campus for the weekend unless accompanied by a parent and with permission from the nurse on duty; this allows time for them to recuperate and to catch up on missed assignments. If a student is excused from classes and/or athletics, he/she will remain in the Health Center, not in their dorms or elsewhere on campus.
A. For medical emergencies, students are transported to either Penrose or Memorial Health Systems Hospital located in Colorado Springs. If the student’s insurance policy dictates which hospital is covered, please specify this on your online health form. If an emergency happens out of town, then the student will be taken to the nearest hospital in that area. When possible for non-emergencies the nurse will send a student to the Urgent Care Clinic. If this is not possible, then the student will be sent to the emergency room.
A. The School does not provide health insurance plans for students to purchase but does provide accidental insurance to all students as a supplement to their primary insurance. Additional information may be obtained from the Health Center or Business Office.
A. Students may visit the school nurse or school physician at no charge. Students will be charged for a routine physical if needed, prescriptions, some over the counter medication or supplies needed, lab work either on campus or lab services outside of FVS.
The Health Center can coordinate orthodontic, dental, orthopedic, chiropractic, psychiatric, physical therapy, ophthalmologic and optometric appointments as needed or requested. The Health Center can also coordinate with the Health Department for required vaccines.
A. The Health Center arranges transportation through a car service for off-campus appointments. Transportation fees must be paid by the student or billed home. A no show fee will be billed to students for not showing up for their rides. If a parent makes an appointment, they should email or call the Health Center to let the nurse know about the appointment. Some appointments require someone to be with the student. If that is the case, a nurse will take the student.
A. All medications and prescriptions brought from home will be checked in at the Health Center and dispensed by the nurse at required intervals. This is absolutely necessary for charting purposes and for providing optimal health care. The misuse of prescription drugs is a violation of a Major School Rule.
The Health Center requires all students with medications to have the Long Term Medication Form completed and signed by both parent and physician. A new form must be completed for each medication or dosage change. All controlled medications are mailed to the parents for long breaks, and the cost of shipping will be billed to the student's home account. Other medications may also be mailed to the parents for long breaks.
A. No, the doctor has standing orders for specific medications that he wants the students to use for their illness. The Health Center does not have room to store students' over the counter medications, and students are not allowed to keep medications in their rooms.
A. All health forms are done electronically. Once you have a password to FVS, you will log onto the Resources page and use the online portal which will be available in July 2016. You will need to complete the health forms yearly.