The Village School of North Bennington is an independent academy with a public mission. All children in the village and surrounding portions of Shaftsbury attend tuition-free. Other children can attend by paying tuition.
The Village School was founded in 2013 as the successor to the public school operated in North Bennington for generations. The transition from a public school to a publicly funded, private academy was approved three times by votes of the community prior to approval by the Vermont Board of Education.
The North Bennington Graded School had been the pride of the village since the 19th century. Its pupils consistently scored higher by all measures than most other schools in the state, and it was widely recognized as an outstanding public school. Why, then, would the village vote to close it and replace the public school with a private academy?
The answer, ironically, was to preserve the outstanding qualities of the school. Statewide pressures to consolidate school districts led the elected school trustees to explore independence as an alternative.
Residents in North Bennington Graded School District now enjoy school choice for the elementary grades. Resident children can attend the Village School without cost, or public tuition is portable to certain other private schools. Overwhelmingly residents have chosen the Village School. It is dedicated to continuing to provide an exceptional education in a community setting. Pupils use the village as a classroom, and the school continues to offer special programs in string music and outdoor science education. Foreign languages are now taught through a partnership with Bennington College. The school also continues to provide the full range of services for special students.
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