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Aspen Community School Playground

Founded in 1970, we are an educational nonprofit supporting two public charter schools in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley.

Students playing outside the school
Aspen Community School

Established in 1970, ACS is an award-winning, public k-8 charter school of the Aspen School District in Woody Creek, Colorado.

Photo of Carbondale Community School
Carbondale Community School

Since 1996, CCS has been providing award-winning educational experiences as a public k-8 charter school of the Roaring Fork School District in Carbondale, Colorado.

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Our Mission
To foster lifelong learning and empower individuals to take responsibility for themselves, their learning and their community.

Compass Schools
Discover our two k-8 public charter schools, where we have been offering community-based educational experiences since 1970.
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Welcome to Compass!

Compass has a 50+ year history of fostering lifelong learning and empowering our people to take responsibility for themselves, their learning, and their community.  We exist today because of the individual and collective passion and commitment of our founders, those who followed, and our people here now.  We strive for exceptional learning environments each day where we live our mission through exceptional academics, the arts, and experiential learning. Our community traditions such as our weekly all-school meetings, mixed-age learning opportunities, and all-school performances bring to life the belonging-ness in our community schools. We balance these traditions with an agile and relevant learner-centered culture that meets the needs of our students and families.  We invite you to join us.

Michael Hayes
Executive Director, Compass

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Our Educational Philosophy

Our intentionally small, community charter schools center around creating cultures of belonging and togetherness that foster lifelong learning.  We have practices and traditions that are built into the DNA of our schools that include mixed age learning centers, weekly all school meetings, experiential learning, and all school performances that enhance our intentional school cultures. Yet, we remain responsive to the evolving needs of our communities and to preparing our children for a rapidly changing world through incorporation of evidence based and innovative practices. Our schools provide learning environments where students learn the skills to take responsibility for their learning and to serve as meaningful contributors to their communities.