For the last 4 years I've served as a nature program volunteer at the Village School of North Bennington (previously the North Bennington Graded School until the Village went to school choice and the school became independent). I've never worked with a more dedicated group of teachers and a more curious, kind and eager learners. I only wish I lived in North Bennington when my kids were in school! They offer a wonderful mix of courses, including an integrated arts program, strong STEM programs, and also use the community and surrounding area as part of their "classroom". This is essentially the public school for all students in both North Bennington and Shaftsbury District 1.
The Village School teachers are excellent in many ways. They're extremely flexible and appreciate their ability to use the community around them as part of their learning "classroom". For instance, each grade spends time in a nearby garden, learning how to grow and then prepare their own food; the spend time on nearby nature trails, or have visits from neighboring Bennington College students and professors. The teachers' eagerly respond to these opportunities.
VSNB students have an incredible sense of compassion for their fellow classmates, and strong respect (and love) for the adults who teach and guide them. The school's diversity and inclusiveness provides all students with an opportunity to share their skills and talents in a safe and nurturing atmosphere.
There are some important things people should know about this great school. Recently our community voted to change the governance structure of this school to maintain local control. A few people in the neighborhood opposed the change and have acted disgracefully to try and discredit the school in any malicious way possible. PLEASE VISIT THE SCHOOL! Anyone who visits will immediately see that it is safe, the teacher's are amazing and really go the mile for EVERY child in that school. As a parent and former educator, I have never seen a more attentive, competent staff or safer facility for my children who attend. In addition to being one of the highest academic performing schools in the State of Vermont, it also has small class sizes, a string ensemble program, many educational after school programs and great relations with local business and non-profits that offers unique experiences not found in other schools. Again, please take time to contact the school, schedule a visit and see for yourself how incredible (and SAFE) this school is!
I am a parent who has kids in this school. For anyone who truly cares about education, this is an excellent school to send you kids. The instruction is top-notch and there is a a lot of parent and community support. A really nice place for kids to learn and grow.
This school is old and scarey. I have always been worried about a fire here, and how would the children get out? I think if your child has any type of disability they are ignored and passed on no matter what the level of understanding. I would never send my child to this school.
North Bennington School does not teach the children. Lets pass them and when they get into high school they will be put in a special program and then drop out. The teachers do not care about the kids and do not work with the parents to help improve the child. I moved my children to Arlington and they both are doing very well. Alot of teacher support and parent support to help the children learn. North Bennington needs new teachers and a new set of teaching policies.
North Bennington Graded School has a great music program, wonderful after school program. Each teacher envolves themselves with each child on a individual basis. Ms. Kitchell is a very involved pincipal, that the kids enjoy. My children excelled at North Bennington Graded School far beyond my expectations. A definite asset to the Bennington area.