Our New Mission Statement - Vermont Commons School Skip to main content

Our New Mission Statement

Over the last 18 months, the Board of Trustees and Faculty of Vermont Commons School undertook a major effort of revisiting and revising the School’s Mission and Guiding Principles with a goal of ensuring their relevance, focus, and utility for years to come. We arrived at a consensus around several essential ideas.

We are first and foremost a school, one of a unique nature: we strive to develop intrinsic motivation and commitment to intellectualism, and we value this over simple academic achievement.

We are intentionally a small community — a Commons — so that we can know each other’s needs, rely on each other’s strengths and support, and purposefully be both shapers of and accountable to the whole. If the end of knowledge is service, then we embrace our responsibility to use what and how we have learned in service of the Earth and its people everywhere.

And so we are pleased at this time to share with you the fruits of our labor The new Vermont Commons School Mission is:


We also worked to update the Guiding Principles that underlie and articulate that mission:

  1. Scholarship is engagement with an academically rigorous curriculum fostering independent thinking and intellectual curiosity.
  2. Through direct interaction and application of skills and knowledge, the world is our classroom, lab, and studio.
  3. Our community values respect for self and others, honesty and integrity, and diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  4. Global responsibility emerges from the understanding that our choices and actions impact our communities and require a commitment to service.
  5. Environmental stewardship arises through experience and informed appreciation of the interdependence between oneself and the natural world.
  6. Health and wellness results from an intentional balance of one’s academics, activities, emotional needs, and social interactions.
  7. Leadership is cultivated through dedicated training and continuous opportunities.
  8. Collaboration between students and faculty forms the fabric of the Vermont Commons experience.

We look forward to the future of Vermont Commons with you!

Faisal Gill
Chair, Board of Trustees

Dexter P. Mahaffey
Head of School

Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

Students emerge from their time at Vermont Commons School intrinsically motivated to seek out their role for improving the world, with the skills and competencies to do so.