History of the School - Aspen Country Day School

The school was founded in 1969 by a group of parents led by Edgar Stern, then chairman of the Aspen Music Festival, and Carter Hall, formerly of St. Albans School in Washington, DC and Metairie Park Country Day School in New Orleans. The parents, teachers, and leaders of the school in those days envisioned an academically engaging day school for Roaring Fork Valley children. The opening ceremony was September 8, 1970. To this day, ACDS families and faculty enjoy a strong sense of community, creating together a special place where children feel challenged and loved.

My hope is that our school will become a place where children, parents, and teachers come to learn, a place the community respects because of its contribution to the people of Aspen, a place we can all be proud of because we want it for our children and we have been responsible for its continuing growth.

Charles J. Hemenway, Headmaster, 1974

The campus, once the location of a silver mining operation, was originally developed in the style of an English country estate. In the 1920s it became a resort called the Four Seasons and once served as a country club for guests of the Hotel Jerome.

Since ACDS was founded, we have shared our campus with the Music Associates of Aspen; the Aspen Music Festival & School meets here in the summers. In a major redevelopment that was agreed upon in 2007 and launched in 2012, the entire campus has become even more spectacular, with a total of 13 new buildings housing arts programs, a gymnasium, dining hall, and many state-of-the-art classrooms. At the heart of the campus are the ponds where children skate in winter and canoe in fall and spring. In this unique setting, students are surrounded by natural beauty that feeds the growing soul. 

Over the years that Aspen Country Day School has grown and changed, it has always held fast to its core mission of academic challenge and creative learning. Aspen Country Day School is accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools and a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.