Programs » High School (10th - 12th)

High School (10th - 12th)


Developmental Spotlight: Preparing for adulthood, independence, time management, academics


Third plane: Adolescence (continued) - Social Independence, Hormones, Puberty, Global Place in the World


At Compass Montessori High School, we lead with respect for our young people and guide them through 10th, 11th, and 12th grade as consultants to their self-driven enthusiasm for learning and ultimately supporting them in finding their passion in life. Preparation in the Farm School enables Montessori High School students to further direct their focus of learning and discovery. With the support of their Guides (teachers), students continue to self-assess their work and actions as they advance towards adulthood and independence. Students are also assigned a Guide to act as their Advisor upon beginning High School; Advisors facilitate small group meetings and are the primary person the student might consult regarding issues in their learning or development. Guides strive to foster curiosity as they present required lessons in Literacy, Mathematics, History, and Science; and electives in Foreign Language, AP or Honors classes, and Art. Students can also take Red Rocks Community College classes such as Chemistry or Calculus for college credit, or choose from a broad range of classes at Warren Tech like Outdoor Leadership, Welding, or Cosmetology.


Lessons in the core subjects mentioned above are offered multiple times throughout each week. The schedule is posted in the Commons, and students are responsible for knowing which lessons they need and when they can take them, similar to that of a small liberal arts college. If a student manages their time well, homework often can be completed during the day. Each week, the entire HS student body attends a Community Meeting in the auditorium (known colloquially as the “Pool”) for announcements and birthday celebrations, followed by Advisement Group Meetings where students can raise topics of concern, discuss recent events, and celebrate non-denominational holidays. 


High School students become more involved in the greater community with the addition of two experiences: Authentic World of Learning (AWOL) and On the Job Experience (OJE). During this time, students are expected either to volunteer their time in service or attend their job. For AWOL, students can take on roles such as assisting Compass staff, teaching self-expressions in the Farm School, volunteering at a non-profit, or crafting items for those in need. If a student has paid employment, OJE allows them to go to their job instead.


A typical day at the High School begins with a brief check-in with their Advisor and then the morning work period, which includes any lessons the student has scheduled. Lunch time follows, where they can stay on campus or go into Golden, to Tony Grampsas park, or ride at the Golden Bike Park. Electives, Red Rocks college courses, Warren Tech classes, AWOL, and OJE occur in the afternoon. Students who take classes off-campus do not come back to Compass in the afternoon, and those remaining on campus restore the environment to be ready for the next day.


Upon graduation from Compass Montessori, students are prepared for college, and have the authentic, real world experiences and skills for them to be successful no matter what path they take.


Highlights for Compass Montessori High School are as follows, but not limited to: 

  • AWOL (Authentic World of Learning) is an experience we are proud to offer students. Opportunities include community service, OJE (on-the-job experience), and internships at least once a week. In true Montessori fashion, this accomplishment is led by each student’s interest.
  • Trips - High School students are given the opportunity to travel within Colorado, to other states within the US, and internationally. Most students experience at least one extended trip of 10 -14 days away together. Previous adventures have included exploring Greece, Costa Rica, London, France, Germany, Russia, and Italy. All trips provide an extension of academic and community goals.
  • Freedom of movement in the classroom
  • Care of the environment - working as a true community
  • Seminar based (community college liberal arts)
  • Small on purpose - allows for more authentic opportunities and better communication. You can’t escape the conflict in small groups. More accountability for your community in a small group.

Compass Montessori High School follows the Colorado Department of Education, Higher Education Admission Requirements (H.E.A.R.), and JPS credit requirements for all graduating students, who ultimately graduate with a Jeffco high school diploma.


Compass students must participate in our custom 3-year cycle of studies. Students are required to complete 23 credits in specific content areas to receive their high school diploma.


The H.E.A.R. requirements include the following for students planning to attend college:

  • English (4 credits)
  • Math (4 credits)
  • Sciences (3 credits)
  • Social Sciences (3.5 credits)
  • Foreign Language (1 credit, but we advise at least 2)
  • Academic Electives (2 credits - Economics, Advanced Mathematics, creative writing, etc)
  • Other (6 credits - Community Service,  International Studies and Other Electives)


Meeting the higher education admission requirements and/or the admissions eligibility index does not guarantee admission to a four-year public institution. Colleges and universities generally have additional requirements.

  • High Expectation for grace and courtesy
  • The expectation that every student meets the Higher Education Admission Requirements (HEAR)
  • Small Community 
  • Scheduling is like a small liberal arts college
  • Unlimited opportunity
  • We encourage students to participate in college courses during their senior year. (We currently have a Red Rocks Scholarship Fund.)
  • Students can participate in Concurrent Enrollment
  • Many opportunities for student leadership and community service