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Delta County Schools and Education

K-12 Schools

The Delta County School District has taken a leadership role in the renovation and restructuring of the public school system in Colorado. Over 8,000 professionals from around the world have come to visit the unique programs that have been implemented from early childhood through adult learning.

Public school enrollments (grades K-12) have experienced an overall increase of 9.2% between 1998 and 2004. The senior graduation rate for the class of 2004 was 87% (compared to the state average of 82%). Seventy-four percent of the seniors selected some form of continuing education beyond high school (62% selected a four-year college, 12% selected a technical/associate program, and 7% selected a military career). In 2004 alone, over a million dollars was awarded in scholarships and grants for continuing education.

Showing their commitment to the education of Delta County's children, in November 2002 the citizens approved a $25.5 million dollar bond issue to upgrade and improve the school facilities. The upgrades were completed as of August 2004.

Delta County School Enrollment 1997-2004
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
4,730 4,576 4,808 4,993 5,118 5,094 5,142

In addition to the excellent public school system, the Vision School program provides several unique educational opportunities for parents seeking alternatives for their children's education.

North Fork Community School, Paonia, Colorado

The focus of North Fork Community School (NFCS) is on learner-centered education for students aged 12 to 18. Cooperation, self-motivation and self-esteem are emphasized in a caring, nurturing environment. Learners are encouraged to develop their own learning styles and to engage in guided independent study. An education involving maximum choice for the student keeps interest and excitement in the learning process high, instilling a sense of self-worth and preparing young people for a life-long adventure in learning.

Lamborn Valley School, Paonia, Colorado

Lamborn Valley School is an independent non-profit, K-12 school on a 120 acre organic farm. Students choose from a variety of academic and experimental courses. Classes are small and each student is encouraged to progress at his or her own pace. Home study can be combined with the courses taught at school and with field trips to near and far places, for an interesting and fun educational experience. The students are encouraged to take more and more responsibility for directing their own lives and being of service to others. The school offers unique opportunities in the arts: painting, sculpture, drama, dance, chorus and orchestra, as well as individual violin, viola, cello, bass and piano lessons.

North Folk Community Montessori School, Hotchkiss, Colorado

The North Folk Community Montessori School (NFCMS) is a public school open to all students in the Delta County. NFCMS serves students 3 to 12. While K-6 grades are publicly funded, the preschool is tuition based. NFCMS emphasizes academic achievement, as well as personal development, by striving to inspire responsibility and respect for self, community and environment. Embracing the talents of Delta County's greater community, classes are offered in art, Spanish, music, community service and gardening.

The Learning Cooperative, Hotchkiss, Colorado

The Learning Cooperative (TLC) is an academically challenging school in which students are given a great deal of responsibility for their own education. TLC is a multi-age, constructivist school in which students must be willing to teach and be taught by fellow students and also be able to work cooperatively with a variety of different personalities and ages.

VISION Home and Community Programs, Paonia, Colorado

Vision offers accredited educational options within Delta County and currently has the largest enrollment of any Delta county public school. Some Vision students attend the North Fork Community Montessori School, others attend Lamborn Vision School or the Delta Academy, but the vast majority are enrolled in the Vision Home and Community Program. Each student in Vision HCP works with his/her family and a Vision resource consultant to create an individualized learning plan and to document learning.

Students utilize learning opportunities throughout the community, from traveling, to apprenticeships, to classes, to independent study. All students keep portfolios and make their own transcripts, and can earn an accredited diploma when they have successfully demonstrated to a committee of five community members that they have earned it and are ready for the next step. The Vision HCP program as a whole is run by consensus of participants. For more information about Vision HCP see or for further information on any school within Delta County, please call (970) 527-8766 or visit the website at

Delta-Montrose Vocational Technical Center (DMAVTC)

The DMAVTC has been an active participant in the adult education of Delta County residents since 1977. DMAVTC (or "Vo-Tech" as it is affectionately known) has created quality technical training programs geared toward both the employer and the student. Whether it is employee retraining or new skills training, many of the courses may be taken in a self-paced format where students can begin courses anytime during the semester.

Vo-Tech's customized on-site job skill training brings the courses to the company. Their goal is to provide high quality education and training that effectively supports business and industry, and enhances the economic development of the region. Students are given hands-on experience in state-of-the-art technology (on campus or on-site), as well as exposure to various aspects of business in their career field. Current courses include: Agricultural and Industrial Mechanics, Business Office Administration, Criminal Justice, Cosmetology, Engineering Design/Drafting Technology, Farm and Ranch Business Management, and Practical Nursing.

Mesa State College

Mesa State College is located within 40 minutes of Delta County, and is the only 4-year college on the Western Slope. Mesa State College is also the only baccalaureate degree-granting institution that combines bachelor degree programs and vocational/technical degree programs on the same campus. Mesa State offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and provides additional graduate degree opportunities through consortium arrangements with other Colorado colleges.

Additionally, Mesa State College also has a full-service campus located in Montrose, 20 miles south of Delta County. The Montrose campus offers a wide variety of classes through its community education component. Subjects include computer applications, the arts, foreign languages, business, medical office skills and fitness.

Unified Technical Education Campus (UTEC)

The Unified Technical Education Campus is located in Grand Junction. UTEC is the School of Applied Technology for Mesa State College and teaches technical trades. The programs provide students with classroom instruction and related lab work with hands-on activities in a variety of applications.

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