Choose an independent school education

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The 10 Peak Principles

1. Learning to use one's mind well

2. Less is more, depth over coverage

3. Goals apply to all students

4. Personalization

5. Student as worker, teacher as coach

6. Demonstrations of mastery

7. A tone of decency and trust

8. Commitment to the entire school

9. Resources dedicated to teaching and learning

10. Democracy and equity


The Peak School seeks to ignite a passion for learning, to develop students of diverse talents and backgrounds who think critically and act with integrity, and to graduate compassionate, confident, capable students who will embrace their roles as local and global citizens.


At The Peak School, we combine personalized, progressive education with high academic expectations. Our academically motivated students create a community built around common goals and intellectual curiosity. Peak's 10 Common Principles—adopted from The Coalition of Essential Schools—guide our values from the classroom to the hallways to the wilderness. 

Among our principles, you will find "Demonstration of mastery," which is just one of the many educational choices that sets The Peak School apart. There is no one-size fits all conveyer belt at Peak when it comes to teaching and learning.  Rather than assessing students on the traditional A - F scale, teachers at The Peak School use a set of skills called Division Mastery Objectives (DMO). 

Division Mastery Objectives are a set of skills that allow students to demonstrate learning before moving ahead to the next grade level, and guide them toward becoming lifelong learners. 

Students are assessed using skills-based rubrics that allow them to work towards a skill on a four-prong scale—Just Beginning (JB), Approaching (A), Meets (M), and Exceeds (E). These stages of development do not correspond with traditional letter grades, rather the skills-based system allows teachers to guide and coach students toward understanding. As such, learning is more personalized and holistic.   

Interested in learning more about mastery-based assessment? Click here to learn more. 

Choose an Independent School Education

When you choose an independent school, you are choosing:

  • An education dedicated to high academic standards;
  • Small student-teacher ratios that offer personalized and holistic instruction;
  • A community that values learning, character, leadership, and citizenship;
  • A commitment to your future, preparing for college and beyond.