The Jackson Hole Community School is a small independent, ninth to twelfth grade school that prepares students of diverse backgrounds for college and life beyond. We offer challenging academics, excellence in teaching, an array of extracurricular activities, and a supportive school culture. Our students are invested in their learning, value personal initiative, and make thoughtful contributions to their community.
We are a school that is committed to the highest standards of education, which will lead to a life of intellectual exploration and learning. We believe in the importance of diversity within our school, and therefore, we seek to develop a school community comprised of diverse cultural, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. We encourage our students to be independent thinkers who embody a sense of personal integrity and an understanding of fairness and justice. We believe in a commitment to service that requires every person to be a responsible and contributing member of society. We value respect for each individual and embrace ideas and opinions that are different from our own. We encourage our students to succeed individually and to develop skills which will help them to become positive members of a team. We believe that a worthwhile educational experience that fosters continued learning requires a collaborative effort from the school, the home and the community.
Jackson Hole Community School is dually accreditated by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), as well as AdvancEd.
The planning for the Jackson Hole Community School (JHCS) began in the fall of 1999 when the founders, Kathleen Crowley and Scott Hirschfield, met to discuss possibilities for a new high school in Jackson, Wyoming. Initially, the founders researched the charter law in Wyoming and found it to be quite weak and unsupportive for a start-up high school. Thus, the founders attempted to open as an independent school. Over the next year, they created the mission, philosophy and curriculum for JHCS and were able to recruit faculty members as well as twenty students, who were set to enroll in the Fall of 2001. Unfortunately, just a month before opening, the space the founders had planned to lease fell through, leaving JHCS without a home. Over the next year, the Wyoming charter law gained some strength through changes made by the Wyoming State Legislature. As true believers in the public school system, Crowley and Hirschfield decided to make a run to open the first public charter high school in the state of Wyoming. The pair submitted an application to the Teton County School Board #1 after a year of planning. In the meantime, they had applied and received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, they had lined up fifty students, who were excited to enroll for the Fall of 2003. Despite these efforts and despite tremendous local support, the Teton County School District Board #1 denied the charter application. After much thought, Crowley and Hirschfield decided they would pursue opening an independent school in Jackson, one that operates separately from the public system. The Jackson Hole Community School completed its inaugural year in 2004-2005 with 18 students in the ninth and tenth grades. The eleventh grade was added for the 2005-2006 school year and enrollment increased to 29 students. JHCS graduated its first senior class in 2006-2007. Enrollment for 2014-2015 is 96 students.