Dawson School

Dawson School is a K-12 college-preparatory school located in Boulder County.
School mission: Dawson 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.
Dawson graduates are young men and women who achieve their individual potential, savor life, and meet the challenges of the world.

Top Placements

Dawson School places among the top 20% of private schools in Colorado for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Kindergarten-12
ADD/ADHD SupportYes
Learning Difference ProgramsYes
Learning Programs SupportedMild Learning Differences
Year Founded1970
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost NotesSummer camps - sports, arts, academics. Costs vary.
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students529 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 23%
Students by Grade Dawson School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers75 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio7:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size15 students
Number of AP Courses16 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Average SAT score1280
Average ACT score27
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$25,900
Tuition NotesTiered tuition: K-2, 3-5, 6-12
% on Financial Aid
Admissions DirectorScott Schneider
Admissions AssociateJane Hamann
Endowment Size$4 million


Total Sports Offered10 sports
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Cycling, Golf, Kayaking, Lacrosse, Soccer, Tennis, VolleyballBaseballBasketball,
Cross CountryCycling,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.3 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Robotics Teams, Speech and Debate Team

Arts and Music Programs:
Theatrical Productions

School Notes

  •    For 50 years, Dawson School has been offering students a remarkable educational program combining challenging college-preparatory academics, robust athletics and arts programs, and renowned experiential and outdoor education, along with leadership and character development. It is a unique combination.
  •    Dawson`s 500+ students are organized into a Lower (K-5), Middle (6-8), and Upper School (9-12). From the 10+ hours per week of technology, art, music, PE, library/media study, and Spanish in the Lower School through the 47 sports teams and 20 arts programs in Middle and Upper school, the depth and breadth of Dawson`s program has led to it regularly being voted best in the region. Dawson has a student:faculty ratio of 7:1, average class sizes of 15, and an athletics program voted 12th in the state across all divisions.
  •    The 107-acre Dawson campus includes many features: two full gyms, tennis courts, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball fields, a cyclocross course, and a large-scale challenge course; an Arts Center with theater, dance studio, music and arts rooms; there are learning gardens and an orchard; a new Dining Commons that is also used for meetings and events; a new Learning Commons a combined modern library and student center that is a popular hub on campus.
  •    The Dawson Center for Innovation is completing construction this fall. This remarkable 25,000 square foot, LEED-certified building is designed as a multi-purpose space to foster leading-edge learning and creating. The space includes science classrooms and labs with special features such as multiple stoves/ovens for food chemistry and special beams designed to hold extra weight for physics experiments. There are maker spaces, design and creation areas equipped with laser cutters and 3D printers, and flexible space for group learning and events.
  •    Dawson is also committed to the development of character and to the social-emotional wellbeing of its community. The school actively promotes the exchange of diverse perspectives, and integrates four key virtues respect, compassion, courage, and integrity into every aspect of community life. Leadership opportunities are wide ranging, and students are encouraged to explore new passions, and to find and use their voice.
  •    Dawson`s college counseling program stresses fit, emphasizing that "college is a match to be made, not a prize to be won." There is a 1:30 ratio of college counselor to students, so each student can receive detailed, individualized guidance. Students go on to a wide ranging selection of schools, including Ivy League, public university, research institutions, private colleges. In addition, each fall, over 150 different colleges and universities travel to Dawson`s campus to meet its upperclassmen, providing students extended, face-to-face time with the people who will ultimately be reading their college application. Dawson has a 100% graduation rate, 100% of its students are accepted to four-year accredited institutions, and over $5 million in scholarships are offered annually to its 60 graduates.

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
I have been at Dawson for two years beginning last year in 7th grade. I felt that coming in as a new student and finding new friends was very easy since everyone respects anyone here.The envirnoment is very inclusive and everyone hangs out with everyone. Along with this, the small class sizes are great and allow for one on one time with teacher. This has really helped me understand material that I would otherwise struggle with. Dawson provides a variety of arts, sports and languages which make up a very well rounded education. I'm very glad that I came to Dawson.
- Posted by
After 11 years as a Dawson parent of 3 children, I am more pleased than ever with the high quality education provided by supportive teachers. Through Experiential Education my kids gained invaluable cultural exposure with travel to China and Turkey. The College Counselors provided invaluable guidance through the stressful college application process. The rigorous curriculum enabled my kids to transition smoothly to college. I am very grateful to Dawson and so are my kids!
- Posted by
This is our sixth year at Dawson and we have kids in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. Our four kids are all very different in both personality and academic ability. The teachers at Dawson have been extremely willing to help tailor their program to help my quick learner stay focused and also tutor my slow reader. All academic, creative and athletic talents my kids are passionate about have been supported, fostered and celebrated at Dawson. My kids have all gained confidance in themselves because of the amazing teachers at Dawson.
- Posted by
I am a Dawson alum. Great school, great faculty that care about the students. You will be supported here and you will gain experiences that carry with you long after you graduate.
- Posted by
Our daughter is extremely happy at Dawson. She loves the teachers, and all of the projects/activities keep her engaged and excited. The teachers are wonderful and the class sizes are very small. The "specials" are as important to the education as are the core classes. Dawson provides a great, well-rounded education, while ensuring emotional health and growth. And the campus is fabulous! It is nice for the kids to have so much space and access to the outdoors. The Lower School kids have recess three times a day...a perfect way to keep them active and engaged--both inside and outside of the classroom. Our experience at Dawson has been great!
- Posted by
We are very happy with our kids at Dawson. Both the Middle and Upper Schools have small class sizes and very enthusiastic teachers. My kids have developed close relationships both with the teachers and other kids. Great arts program and the sports program is getting better. A lot of parent involvement, it is a great community and we are happy to be a part of it.
- Posted by
Love it here! Teachers and administrators are experienced, forward thinking and enthusiastic. Graduates are equipped to succeed not only in college, but in life! Great arts & sports programs, plus awesome experiential learning opportunities. Facilities are unparalleled.
- Posted by

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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Colorado is $8,751 for elementary schools and $15,450 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Colorado is 90% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).