A typical morning at Barnard Academy begins by staff and students gathering together in Morning Meetings in each classroom or all together in the Green Mountain Room to sing. Each day, the children take care of themselves, each other, and the school, helping with daily chores, building a sense of stewardship of the school space, and strengthening social connections within the school community. Barnard parents are always welcome to volunteer their time to help with class activities or to join the BEES (Barnard Education Endeavor Society) in planning yearly events that connect the school with the wider community.
Our Curriculum is inquiry-based and uses a rigorous framework of content knowledge to contextualize learning. Teachers use research-based instructional methodology and have consistently high expectations for each student. With teachers and parents involved in the small classroom setting, Barnard Academy students do not “fall through the cracks.” Our goal is to support students in developing the characteristics consistent with the WCSU Profile of a Graduate (Academic Excellence, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Skillful Communication, Self Direction, and Stewardship).
BA is a Responsive Classroom school where students are happy, respected, respectful, and inspired. Our beautiful campus — which includes our forested nature trail and brook, a new yurt, and nearby Silver Lake State Park — provides an ideal setting for project-based and Place-Based Learning. Partnerships with local organizations such as the Montshire Museum, ViNS, and the Hood Museum enrich student learning and connect them with the resources of our broader VT community. Our STEAM Lab provides space for students to explore concepts such as engineering, design, art, and robotics, often in combination. STEAM explorations, culinary pursuits, or other avenues of creative play extend into our After School Program, which provides an extended day where children can unwind together with access to our kitchen, gardens, and nature trails.
Our Current Class Structure consists of single or two-grade classrooms grouped into two larger learning “Hubs”–a Primary Hub of grades Prek-2, and an Intermediate Hub for grades 3-6. A learning hub is a dynamic learning environment designed to promote communication, collaboration, and creativity among both teachers and students. Co-teaching, flexible grouping, inquiry, and student-led projects are part of our vision.