September School: An Inclusive Community for Boulder Teens

One of the Longest-Serving Independent High Schools in Boulder

For more than 40 years, September School has been one of the most progressive high schools in Boulder, Colorado, providing relationship-based education, learning, and achievement opportunities in academic and personal growth for students in grades 9-12.

Moving Forward with Meaning

While other high schools in Boulder focus exclusively on academics, September School values social and emotional learning in addition to traditional academic growth. When students are empowered to collaborate, support, and understand themselves and the diversity around them, there is an inherent desire to want to learn. We foster this desire as part of a well-rounded learning and growing experience.

Adolescence is a challenging time for many teens. But there are number of ways a relationship-based environment can make this a time of growth instead of angst. Our approach has given hundreds of students the ability to experience success in a wide range of topics, courses, and skills. Being welcomed into a community, filled with all types of people, gives teens the opportunity to trust themselves and rise above preconceived notions. Our students have all the tools they need to actively engage in preparing for life after high school.

September School is one of the most unique high schools in Boulder. As a small school environment, we provide effective academic instruction with a low student to faculty ratio, where students can truly understand and succeed in their school subjects. This education is paired with support and guidance to help students thrive personally as they mature. We help students build a solid work ethic by allowing them to focus on areas they excel at and explore a range of topics that challenge them.

Get to Know September School

To truly understand our approach and impact, we invite you to explore our programs, summer school, community, who we serve, and what makes us different.

Here are some key facts about September School:

  • Founded as Boulder’s community independent school in 1973
  • Relationship-based education focused on an immersive learning and social environment
  • Our teachers show students how to use information and experiences to achieve success based on their learning style. We focus on the social component of learning.
  • Located at 96 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, CO
  • Our school serves grades 9th-12th
  • Our student-teacher ratio is at most 8:1
  • We welcome students with Learning disabilities, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Drug  and Substance Abuse, LGBTQ+, Trans students
  • Our staff of about 15 includes educators, administrators, and counselors
  • Our student-counselor ratio is at most 20:1
  • We encourage shared ownership and personal responsibility of the school
  • Our school is accredited by North Central Association – Advanced and courses include English, Social Studies, Math, Language, Science, Physical Education, and a range of electives.
  • We offer an experiential curriculum with opportunities for leadership development, personal growth, internships, summer school, community service, local and global field trips, and more.

Getting to Know Your Teen

We believe addressing the social and emotional learning of students is just as important as academic. In fact, success in one of these areas lays the foundation for success in the other. We help our students learn about and trust themselves as they learn how to build trust with others. What’s right for one student isn’t necessarily right for another; by creating different ways and opportunities for students to show what they’ve learned, we share knowledge together and embrace each others’ differences as we walk the path of learning.

Offering a Path to Learning Success

Our path to learning uses collaboration and teamwork. We strive to build trust and make sure students are seen, heard, and celebrated. We are not a high school of last resort or a therapeutic school. Our programs are sought after because we recognize that an individualized approach to education can accelerate learning and help students embrace their individuality on the way to adulthood.

We believe our approach is common sense. We’re focused on relationship-based learning, focusing on diversity and inclusion, responsibility and community, teamwork, and communication. With low student-teacher ratios and student-counselor ratios, we provide one-on-one interaction as much as possible to get to know your child, what they need, and what they can bring to the world. Our goal is to encourage the strengths and talents that are already there while providing the skills and education to help your teenager thrive, both in high school and in the world after.

If you’re researching top high schools in Boulder, CO, for your teen, we invite you to experience September School first-hand to understand best what we are all about. Call us on (303) 443-9933 or contact us online to schedule a visit. We would love to meet you.

Why Give to September School?

As an independent school, September School operates without financial support from local, state and federal governments. 

Our unique relationship-based education approach means that we maintain very low student: teacher and student: counselor ratios. And, unlike traditional schools, our curriculum takes our students outside the classroom walls and into the world. Our budget is shaped by these needs.

Many families new to private schools are surprised to learn that tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of private school education. At September School, only 80-90% of our budget is covered by tuition and fees. We make up the difference with grants and through our fundraising programs, including:

  • Annual Fund
  • Community Circle
  • Capital Campaigns


The Annual Fund provides unrestricted funds to our school and runs from July 1 to June 30 every year. Our goal is that 100% of September School families pledge to the Annual Fund, in a way and at a level that works for them:

Monthly subscription (recommended monthly amount: $40)

Annual contribution (recommended annual amount: $500)

Your gift of any amount supports the people and programs that make our community so special. When we work together, it all adds up. 


Through our Community Circle, you work with us in a more powerful way to build financial sustainability and our continued growth. Community Circle donors pledge to support September School with gifts of $5,000 or more.

Friend ($5000-$9999)

Partner ($10,000 or more)

In recognition of your generosity, Community Circle members receive:

Inclusion of your name on the school’s website and in all appropriate fundraising materials

Mention of your name at key school events, including graduation

Invitation to special Community Circle events

For donations of more than $25,000, you may designate a place on our campus to put your name.


In 2019, we celebrated our 45th year with the completion of Phase 1 of our new campus at 96 Arapahoe in Boulder, CO. Nestled at the mouth of Boulder Canyon, our historically landmarked campus provides extraordinary access to the outdoors, including Boulder Creek and many local trails, as well as to the extended classroom in Boulder and the surrounding area. 

The complete buildout of our new campus will allow us to offer world-class education to our students and expand our enrollment to 80 students. 

Phase 2: renovate the historic barn (next to our primary building) and address interim facilities needs

Phase 3:  Build a new community space 

Your gifts to our Capital Campaign will help us continue this important and timely work.


Give online--it’s fast, safe and secure

Click here to make your gift via Paypal.

Click here to make your gift via Coloradogives.org.

Write a check! Make checks payable to:

September School

ATTN:  [Name of program: Annual Fund, Community Circle or Capital Campaigns]

96 Arapahoe Ave

Boulder, CO 80302

Donate stocks or disbursements from your IRA

You may also make donations to September School in stock or via qualified charitable donations via disbursements from your IRA directly to September School. 

For these types of donations, please consult your tax advisor first and then contact the school directly to make specific arrangements prior to making any transfer.


Remember, many employers match their employee’s gifts to non-profits. You may be able to double or triple the amount September School receives by submitting matching gift forms, and you will receive credit for the total gift!


September School is a 501c3 charitable organization. All donations to our school are tax-deductible.

Learn more about giving to September School

If you’re interested in helping us re-awaken the love of learning through a financial gift and want to learn more, please contact us at info@septemberschool.org or 303-443-9933.

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