Academics

Education for Life

Vermont Academy Instructional Philosophy

Vermont Academy’s faculty is made up of a knowledgeable and committed group of teachers who are dedicated to the whole education of each individual student. As such, our instructional approach is guided by the following pedagogical values:

Student-focused: At Vermont Academy, every decision we make as teachers is driven by an emphasis on what is best for the students, first and foremost. As a small school, we get to know the whole student and foster relationships between students and teachers that are built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. We prioritize making ourselves accessible and available to facilitate the growth of each individual student.

Growth-oriented: Vermont Academy’s faculty approach each student with a high level of acceptance, while nevertheless maintaining high expectations. We believe that every student has potential and deserves teachers who will help them to realize that potential. In every area of their education, we meet students where they are as learners and members of the community and help them set a reasonable trajectory towards achieving our academic standards. In order to do this, we infuse our teaching with compassion and flexibility, and employ multiple approaches to meet our students’ learning styles, strengths, and needs as individuals. With our MAPS program, we empower students to set their own goals and coach them as they work to reach them. As teachers, we focus on identifying and cultivating talent and creativity, fostering growth, and emphasizing the importance of the journey as well as the destination.

Active: Vermont Academy teachers employ an academically rigorous pedagogical approach guided by an emphasis on learning by doing. We believe the more students are actively engaging with the material through activities such as writing, building, exploring, performing – in short, experiencing – the more they learn both the content of our curriculum and the skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. These activities challenge students to leave their comfort zones, take risks, and try new things. Through this active approach, we strive to create strong 21st century learners who are able to think critically and creatively, and who work collaboratively to solve problems. We believe that learning is an enjoyable challenge that consists of both work and play, and use the entire campus, our Vermont environs, and, in our Global Programs, the world as our classroom.

FAQs

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What is the role of the Faculty Advisor at Vermont Academy?

    Advisors serve as student motivator, advocate and facilitator of communications between the many adults who have contact with your student at VA. The advisor is responsible for addresing concerns, and communicates with the student and parent(s) in a timely manner.
  • Q. How do I pick my classes?

    New students will be able to pick classes on-line after July 1. Returning students work with their advisors to create the following year's schedule at the end of the second semester. To choose courses online, click here.
     
  • Q. What if I need to change courses?

    A great deal of effort is made to fit students into an appropriate range and level of academic courses to prepare for college. Despite this effort, sometimes there is an inappropriate placement. Remedying such a situation generally involves discussions between the student, the course instructor, and the Academic Dean. There is a clearly defined one-week add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. Situations that arise during the semester are handled through the Studies Office.
  • Q. When do grades come out?

    Grades and comments are available to the end of each quarter. Access is available online to these grades and other valuable information through NetClassroom. If you have lost or forgotten your password to NetClassroom, please send an email to: IT@vermontacademy.org.
  • Q. What if I need additional academic support?

    Difficulties with a course should be discussed with the advisor as the first step. If it is determined that a student is properly placed in the course, then the next most likely step is to see if our learning skills program can offer support. Learn more about this at Learning Skills.
     
  • Q. Can I take driver's ed at VA?

    Yes. For complete information on driver's ed, click here.
     
  • Q. Do you offer SAT and ACT prep?

    All Juniors are required to take an SAT/ACT prep class for one trimester. Additional prep is offered through college counseling for an additional fee.