Noted for its award-winning teachers, academic programs and athletes, the Buena Vista Public School District serves about 1,000 students. Special Education programs are available at all levels as well as a Head Start program for preschoolers. Caring teachers and small class sizes create a perfect environment for learning. Chaffee County High School is the alternative high school serving both Salida and Buena Vista. It continues to produce successful results. Darren Patterson Christian Academy is a private school that serves preschool-12th
grades. Colorado Mountain College (CMC) has a welcoming facility just west of the airport. CMC offers a variety of associate degrees, career and technical certifications and many special interest classes. Core courses transfer to four-year colleges. New technology has allowed CMC to expand its services. In 2006, the new library opened with expanded services and meeting area.