The Cortez Area community understands that education is the cornerstone of any successful and vital community. One way our community supports education is through the Adopt A Teacher program to assist with classroom needs.

Another way it has shown it support was by the passage of 2 construction bonds for facility needs in Cortez and Dolores and as well as a mill levy override in Mancos to support teacher salary needs. For more information on these projects, please scroll down to Building a new Montezuma Cortez High School and the Remodeling of Dolores School Buildings. 

School Districts Overview

Cortez: RE-1 School District: 1 preschool, 5 elementary schools, (3 in-town and 2 rural); 1 middle school and 1 high school. 

There are also 2 charter school options: Battlerock School, a one room school located in McElmo Canyon and serving grades K - 6 and Southwest Open High School, a small alternative high school located in town. 

Dolores: RE-4 School District: 1 preschool, 1 elementary school, 1 middle school and 1 high school

Mancos: RE-6 School District: 1 preschool, 1 elementary school, 1 middle school and 1 high school

Post Secondary Education

Southwest Colorado Community Collegelocated between Cortez and Mancos, SCCC is a two year community college offering associates degrees and certificate options in a number of disciplines

Fort Lewis College: located less than one hour away in Durango; Fort Lewis is a four year liberal arts college with a wide variety of program options and recognitions from Forbes, Princeton Review and Colleges of Distinction 2012-13

Building a new Montezuma Cortez High School & Remodeling of Dolores School Buildings

Both projects are being made possible by the awards from BEST grant funding though the state of Colorado. BEST funding (Building Excellent Schools Today) is a very competitive award that holds districts to the highest standards in project management and facility criteria, thus creating excellent results for districts and the communities they serve. For more information go to BEST program.

Montezuma Cortez High School: $22.7 million BEST grant; $21.25 million local bond

  • New LEED Certified High School designed with respect to local history and setting
  • Located on an easily accessible 35 acre campus in town
  • Highlighted features: Highest level energy efficiency, flexible classrooms equipped for 21st Century technology, multi-use performance space/auditorium and full athletic fields.
  • First class will enter in fall 2015

Dolores Schools Remodel: ($2.62 million BEST grant; $3.47 million local bond

  • Elementary and Middle school classroom additions
  • Science & Agriculture Building replacement
  • Locker room remodeling, additions to the fire sprinkler system and site drainage corrections
  • Project completion date by 2015