Education in Our Mountain Towns: Grand County Elementary, Middle & High Schools

We recognize people hear "small town" and assume the educational opportunities fit the bill for stereotypical small towns across the country. Having lived in the Fraser Valley for decades, we truly believe the local schools are the heartbeat of our county and provide an education unparalleled to the typical rural community. Parents, local businesses, and town governments invest heavily in our schools, giving students opportunities and experiences that create a high-quality education system. Couple our schools with the endless outdoor adventure and natural beauty in our neck of the Rockies, and we can't imagine a better place to live and raise a family. 


Grand County stretches from east of Winter Park to west of Kremmling. The over 50 miles between the two hubs make it logical to geographically split the county in half to create separate school districts for the east and west ends: the West Grand School District serves Kremmling and the surrounding areas while the East Grand School District serves Winter Park, Fraser, Tabernash, Granby, Grand Lake, and Hot Sulphur Springs. Both school districts operate on a four-day schedule in which students attend school Monday through Thursday (with longer school days but the oh-so-glorious three-day weekend). East Grand serves students at two elementary schools, one in Fraser and one in Granby, combining the student populations for grades 6-12 at East Grand Middle School and Middle Park High School in Granby. Since we live and provide services primarily to clients in East Grand School District, we put together an overview of East Grand Schools as a resource should you be considering moving your family our way! 


Both Fraser Valley Elementary and Granby Elementary serve Pre-K to 5th grade students. Fraser Elementary has a smaller student body, with around 240 students each year compared to Granby's 310 students. With the support of certified teaching staff and paraprofessionals, both schools boast low student-teacher ratios with an average of 11 students per teacher. Class sizes are intentionally low to provide individualized support and differentiated instruction, and support staff provide strong intervention and gifted & talented services. But, the smaller classes and extra support do more than just foster academic growth; they breed a sense of family among staff and students. 

Related Arts are an integral part of both schools. The music, art, physical education, and science programs give students the opportunity to learn and grow outside the regular classroom through daily lessons with dedicated teachers who specialize in their fields. Check out the FVE Related Arts Blog and the GES music page to get a peek into their structured, yet creative approaches. 

Both schools promote the active lifestyle so prevalent in our community. From cross-country and alpine ski field trips to class mountain bike rides to canoeing on nearby lakes while exploring our local ecology, our kids have abundant opportunities to take advantage of and learn in the beauty of our natural surroundings. 

In some great news for the whole district, and specifically the Grand Lake and Granby communities, a recent bond measure passed, allowing the construction of a new Granby Elementary! Our school district has experienced a surge in student enrollment the past few years, and Granby Elementary is feeling the constraints of a building with limited room to support the population growth. The new building will eliminate that "bursting at the seems" feel while also allowing for future growth. 


Students from Fraser and Granby elementaries come together in sixth grade at East Grand Middle School, perched on the hill above Main Street in Granby. EGMS Cubs are grouped in pods for each grade, sixth through eighth, creating a strong sense of community at each grade level. Students get the opportunity try electives like band, choir, foreign language, drama, and art while settling into changing classes each period, enjoying pep rallies, and participating in school-sponsored sports. 

School sports include football, basketball, Nordic skiing, cross-country, volleyball, and track and field. Other extracurricular activities are offered through after school clubs like art, drama, robotics, and science fair clubs. 

EGMS's score on the Colorado School Performance Framework puts it in the top 1% of middle schools in the state. Honors and academic resource classes are offered to help meet individualized needs, and one-to-one Chromebooks allow students and teachers to access resources available through technology, maximizing class time and preparing students for today's technologically-driven world. Teachers and staff are dedicated to student growth academically, and they care deeply for the approximately 320 students in their care. 


Middle Park High School is around the corner from East Grand Middle School and serves students in 9th-12th grades. With a total enrollment of around 400, MPHS graduates about 100 students each spring. 

For a small mountain school, MPHS is able to offer a wide variety of classes, sports, and experiences for their learning community. AP and honors classes are offered in all core subjects as well as Computer Science and foreign languages (French and Spanish). Students get to choose from electives that give them hands-on experience like welding, construction, baking, first aid, woodworking, and outdoor survival skills as well as creative arts, music and theater. Check out a full list of 2022-23 courses here

MPHS believes in connecting students with our community, capitalizing on local businesses and expertise here in our county to give students real-world experience in fields of interest. They partner with the Homegrown Talent Initiative to strategically focus on skill development and career-connected learning experiences. The intentional coaching and programming the students experience when paired with a local business has been transformational for the students who choose to participate. 

Athletic opportunities continue to grow at MPHS. Sports currently offered include soccer, volleyball, cross-country, football, track and field, spirit squad, baseball, wrestling, basketball, softball, Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, and mountain biking. The community loves to cheer on the Middle Park Panthers!

Winter Park Competition Center Full Time Academy at EGMS & MPHS

Both the middle and high school partner with the Winter Park Competition Center, based at Winter Park Resort, to optimize academic and training time. Members of the full-time academy can attend school at EGMS & MPHS yet still train in skiing or snowboarding six days a week. Core classes are concentrated in the morning, and students head to the ski area after lunch to train Tuesday-Thursday in addition to their Friday, Saturday, and Sunday weekend training.  

All four of East Grand's schools have a rating of "Performance" from the Colorado Department of Education, the highest rating a school can have, which speaks so highly of student and staff dedication. But, we believe a school is more than just its rating. The commitment to and pride in our schools is woven throughout our community, evidence of the healthy environments and strong opportunities provided to our students and future leaders of Grand County. If you have any questions about schooling in the Fraser Valley, we'd love to answer them! 

Posted by Leah Bishop on


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