Please click a question below to go directly to the answer, or scroll through for all answers. 

What kind of school is Community School?
What does being an independent school mean?
Is Community School accredited?
How are the academic programs at Community School organized?
How many openings are there in each grade?
From what areas do your applicants come?
What happens after we submit the application and how can we be certain that the school has everything they need?
When do we find out if our child is admitted?
What does it mean if my child is waitpooled or denied admission?
Can my child reapply the following year if he or she is not admitted?
Can you accommodate students with special learning needs?
Are any applicants given special consideration?

What kind of school is Community School?
Community School is an independent day and boarding school serving approximately 396 boys and girls in grades pre-kindergarten through twelfth. We offer an exceptional academic curriculum coupled with an integrated program that includes Outdoor Education, Community Service, Fine and Performing Arts, and Athletics. We are characterized by a school culture where it is safe to take intellectual risks and which encourages independent thinking, creativity, ethical decision-making and respect for others. Being a close-knit and relatively small community, we know our students and families well and we strive to meet individual needs.

What does being an independent school mean?

Independent Schools are private, pre-collegiate learning institutions. They are nonprofit institutions governed by an independent Board of Directors. Independent schools are supported through tuition, annual gifts, charitable contributions and endowment income.

Is Community School accredited?

Community School is an accredited member of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). Accreditation is maintained through an ongoing eight-year cycle of self-study, peer review by an accreditation visiting team, follow-up reports and the yearly submission of the NWAIS Annual Report.

Please click here for more information about NWAIS and the accreditation process.

How are the academic programs at Community School organized?

Community School is made up of three divisions: Elementary School is preschool through grade five; Middle School is grades six through eight; and Upper School is grades nine through twelve. In the Elementary School there is one class each in grades K-5 with approximately 15-18 students. Each grade has a homeroom teacher and all students attend specialist classes including art, music, dance, science, Spanish, physical education, drama, and human development. The Middle School program is both team teaching and theme teaching based. Each grade level consists of two-to-three teachers who work with approximately 26-32 students. Our Upper School has a maximum of 45 students in each grade (Nine through Twelve) and offers a challenging college-preparatory curriculum.

How many openings are there in each grade?

Our primary entry points are kindergarten and sixth grade. In kindergarten, we admit between 15 and 17 students. In sixth grade, we add 12-16 students depending on the current fifth grade class size. In the ninth grade, we add between 10-12 students to the Upper School depending on the current eighth-grade class size. There may be additional openings due to attrition in the other grades. We encourage families to go through the application process even if their children are not applying for “entry point” grades.

From what areas do your applicants come?

Because Sun Valley is a destination resort, our applicants come from many different regions across the United States. While the majority of our applicants currently live in the Wood River Valley (which consists of Ketchum, Hailey, and Bellevue), every year we have families who apply from all around the United States. With the introduction of our Residential Program in 2011, we now have international students from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

What happens after we submit the application and how can we be certain that the school has everything they need?

You may call the Admission Office at any time to find out how your child’s application is progressing.  As we near the application deadline, the Admissions Office will call you if there are still missing elements. It is imperative that you get all pieces in by the application deadline. If your child is applying for grades Six through Twelve, he or she must take either the November, December, January or February SSAT. This is an independent school standardized test. Your child’s file will not be reviewed until it is complete.

Admission decisions are sent out in the second or third week of March, depending on when spring break falls. If after the admission process there are still spaces available in particular grades, we will continue the rolling admission process throughout the spring and summer and admission decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

What does it mean if my child is wait pooled or denied admission?

Decisions to admit, wait pool, or deny applicants are heavily dependent on the pool of students applying. Our primary goal is to admit students we feel will be successful at our school. In making these decisions we consider a variety of factors such as academic ability, attitude, character, talents, interests in both academic and non-academic areas, and most importantly, the desire of the student and family to be at our school and to support our mission. We also take into consideration the personality and academic makeup of the current class and gender balance.

We maintain a wait pool instead of a waitlist. If an opening occurs, we will carefully look at the current class makeup and determine what student from the wait pool will bring the best balance to that given class. Because openings can occur suddenly, acceptances can be made up until the first day of school in late August.

Can my child reapply the following year if he or she is not admitted?

Yes. Applicants who are wait pooled or denied admission may reapply in following years. You should call the admission office to see what forms will need to be resubmitted. It can vary by grade but in general, you will always need to update the teacher recommendation forms and submit your child’s most recent grades. You only have to pay the application fee once.

Can you accommodate students with special learning needs?

Yes, if we feel that the student can manage our program with the accommodations that we offer. All applicants, regardless of special learning needs, will be considered in the review process. We have learning specialists in all three divisions of our school and there is a separate learning specialist fee if you child is admitted into this program.