“Children are at the heart of all we do. We strive to nurture a child’s curiosity, ignite their enthusiasm for exploring, and help them develop tools for inquiry, invention and achievement. In that quest, we welcome families and others into a community-wide collaboration to help our children become their best selves—responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, and builders of the future.”
The Village School of North Bennington is a pre-K through grade six independent school “town academy” located in North Bennington, Vermont. We serve approximately 150 students, nearly all from the surrounding school district, which includes North Bennington and Shaftsbury, District 1. Click here to view the school district map.
It’s the Village School’s philosophy that children who feel safe, secure, and nurtured will be successful learners. Toward this goal, rather than simply providing an atmosphere of education, the Village School creates an environment for education.
“The aim of education—in fact, the aim of life—is to work joyfully and find happiness. Happiness means being interested in life, responding to it not just with one’s brain but with one’s whole personality.” — Erich Fromm
Creating a school that is warm and caring and helps our students to be “interested in life” is a key objective. Beyond that, we want everyone who walks through our doors—teachers, parents, staff, and volunteers—to feel the sense of excitement and enthusiasm that has blossomed here at the Village School since its establishment in 2013.
We adhere to place-based education (PBE), a philosophy and instructional approach to learning that connects students with their community and environment. As students get immersed in the local history, culture and ecology of the area they live and learn in, this becomes a springboard for deeper learning across all disciplines. Students benefit from real-world learning experiences and a hands-on approach that increases student engagement, positive student outcomes and community impact, while promoting academic and intellectual rigor and active, responsible citizenship. At the same time, we recognize the needs, ideas and contributions of each individual child.
Building on the strengths of our community, the Village School also partners with local institutions and organizations that have particular areas of expertise. Thanks to these partnerships, we offer outstanding Encore Programs in Art, Music, Library and Technology, and Physical Education, as well as an array of Enrichment Programs that further enrich and round-out our students’ education.
The Village School has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This accreditation validates the school’s institutional commitment to high-quality programming for all children, continuous innovation, and self improvement.
The school is also a member of the Independent Schools Association of Northern New England (ISANNE) and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
The history of the Village School is intertwined with the history of the Village of North Bennington. Dating back to the mid-19th century, records indicate that the Village of North Bennington had long been committed to giving its young people the best education it could provide. Then, as now, the villagers understood the importance of a quality education—not only for their children’s benefit, but also for the greater good of the community at large.
In 2013, the community’s public school, the North Bennington Graded School closed, and community leaders and the school’s board of directors formed the Village School of North Bennington. It became the 23rd “town academy” operating in the United States, and only one of two elementary town academies. Operating as a town academy, the Village School brings to its students the quality of a private school—with all the benefits that accrue to an independent governing structure—while, at the same time, the advantage of a public mission that ensures a fine educational program for all who attend.
Each year the school submits an annual report to the community. Click here to view the 2019 Annual Report.
Children are at the heart of all we do. We nurture a child's curiosity, ignite enthusiasm for exploring, develop tools for inquiry, for invention, for achievement. We welcome families into a community-wide collaboration to help our children grow into their best selves - responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, makers of the future.