At Vermont Academy, we are committed to helping our students discover their talents while developing the character, skills, strength, and values that will help them grow into confident, independent learners who give back to their community and to the world. Our small community and classes, dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and wide range of athletics and activities—set in the beautiful hills of Vermont—encourage every student to grow and discover his or her voice. I invite you to explore life at Vermont Academy via our website and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I hope that you will take the time to browse and learn what Vermont Academy has to offer academically, athletically, and in our residential life program. I think you will quickly discover what is unique about the Vermont Academy experience: our dedication to giving each student the tools to understand, honor, and live up to the individual they were meant to become. I hope to see you on the Long Walk soon. Warm regards, David E. Hodgson '89 Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid 802.869.6229 P.S. Of course, you can only get so much from a website, and we encourage you to come and visit us in southern Vermont. To schedule an appointment, email us at email@example.com or call 802.869.6229.
Vermont Academy is on a 450-acre campus in southeastern Vermont, overlooking the charming town of Saxtons River and the Connecticut River Valley. Like most towns in Vermont, Saxtons River is small, safe, and surrounded by the picturesque Green Mountains. Saxtons River is close to many ski/snowboarding areas, including Stratton, Okemo, and Bromley. In addition, we are 30-45 minutes from Brattleboro, Vermont; two hours from Boston, Massachusetts; and three and a half hours from New York City. The closest airport is Bradley International, in Hartford, Connecticut, which is less than two hours from campus. Families can arrange transportation from the airport to campus with Thomas Transportation (1-800-526-8143). Please refer to our Directions page for more detailed information.
Vermont is a perfect setting for learning. Place-based education, our tight-knit community, and our unique Vermont setting combine to create a deep appreciation for our environment, which profoundly shapes and influences the Vermont Academy experience.
Vermont Academy offers personal attention, with a 6:1 student/teacher ratio and more than 84 percent of the faculty living on or close to campus.
We focus on process learning, which is the process of gathering information (and learning to ask questions), rather than focusing only on the end result. Students have many hands-on opportunities to show their knowledge through team projects, presentations, and papers, as well as tests and quizzes.
In addition to our honors and advanced level courses, we offer AP test preparation in a tutorial format in all the subjects offered in our curriculum, and typically one third of our seniors take AP tests.
Each candidate is unique, yet there are a few traits they all have in common. They are active participants with a generous spirit. They all want to be successful academically, athletically, creatively, and socially, and they are eager to become the best they can be --confident and independent learners. They like to be involved in small classroom discussions where they know their voice is heard. They like to participate in sports and activities where their contributions are recognized. Most importantly, they want to be an integral part of a community, where they are valued for who they are and what they have to offer. In essence, they are looking for opportunities to discover their talents and to take risks. They may be scholars, athletes, or artists when they arrive, but when they graduate they are all three.
Students consider Vermont Academy for many reasons. They may want to continue the same success they found in their middle school, with our special combination of structure and support. Others find that they are not able to reach their potential in their current academic setting. Still others are looking for “one of life’s great adventures,” as one alumnus put it.
When reviewing an applicant’s file, admissions committee members treat each section of the application as one piece of the puzzle. They consider a student’s potential as well as accomplishments. They look for successful experiences in all areas of a student’s life, not just in school. A student’s character, interests, and desire to be part of a community are as important as the grade point average or standardized test score.
An on-campus interview is strongly recommended. In order to get a real understanding of the culture of Vermont Academy, we want you to see the school in action--students and teachers absorbed in class discussions, meeting friends on the Long Walk, and enjoying a delicious meal in Shepardson Center. If it is impossible for families to travel to Vermont Academy, we can arrange telephone interviews or an interview with one of our local alumni.
The best time to visit is in the fall, when the leaves are turning brilliant colors. We schedule appointments from 8:45 am to 2:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 8:45 am to 11 am on Wednesday. In winter, our schedule is modified slightly. All visits need to be scheduled through the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802.869.6229. Because of the volume of visitors, we ask that you call two weeks in advance.
There are numerous ways in which students can take the lead at VA. Those interested in student government may serve on the Vermont Academy Student Association (VASA). Students demonstrating strong citizenship and leadership qualities may be appointed to serve as dormitory or day proctors. Other opportunities include serving as tour guides, mentors for young school students at the Saxtons River Elementary School, head waiters, VA Cafe workers, and more.
Yes! Vermont Academy offers a number of environmental classes each year, generally including Environmental Studies, Ecology, and Earth Systems Science. These are exciting, hands-on courses that get you outside a lot, and they are very project oriented. Additionally we have some great outdoor sports and recreation programs (Outdoor Challenge, Mountain Biking, Skiing/Snowboarding, Rock Climbing) and a program called "Vermont Environs," in which faculty and students work together to help our school and our community to celebrate the natural world and become more environmentally sustainable.
Each fall, Vermont & Environs works with the Connecticut River Watershed Council to help clean up the Saxtons River (which flows past Vermont Academy into the Connecticut River--eventually making it out to the ocean). We're also working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring the Atlantic Salmon back from the edge of extinction by incubating wild salmon eggs in the science department. In the spring, we organize an Earth Day event.
We have a vocal ensemble, a jazz ensemble, and a chamber ensemble, all of which feature music from all genres. Participating students meet two times per week to rehearse. String players also have an opportunity to play with the Windham Orchestra, a community symphony orchestra. Transportation is provided.
Our private lesson program is large and diverse. Students have a lesson once per week during a free period and can receive academic credit if they desire. (Some students might want to just take a lesson for fun, not with a grade attached.) Lesson types include drums, piano, guitar, voice, cello, violin, flute, double and electric bass, and brass instruments. Lessons are taught by our music faculty as well as by adjunct teachers who are local professional musicians and performers. For more info on our music program, see our Music page.
Yes, our dress code represents our values: the seriousness of learning; importance of community; and respect for ourselves and others; as well as an appreciation of individual expression. During school functions or special occasions, students are expected to dress in a manner consistent with the seriousness and/or formality of the setting. At all times, clothing must be neat, clean, and in good repair. Details on our dress code are available in our Student Handbook, which can be found on our Campus Life page.
Students should bring their own computer to school. Both Mac and PC are supported. Academic buildings have printers for student use. Every building on campus has wireless Internet. VA uses an Internet filter used by many schools that blocks sites with adult content, violence, etc. Internet access is turned off during evening study hall hours and turned back on afterward. The usual Internet hours are 6 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Seniors and PGs have 24-hour-a-day access, and increased access is available for students with solid academic performance. Tech Proctors are tech-savvy VA students who help the IT dept. Tech proctors can also answer general VA-related technology questions, help students to add printers, and show students how to back up data, access network drives, work with VA email, etc.