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Head of School Welcome

Wendell Berry once advised, “Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in.”¹ At Vermont Commons School, we believe that just as life cannot be contained within a frame, so too should learning not be confined to what can be achieved with chalk and a board. Here, we’re about finding and removing those walls that get between learners and learning, the biggest being the belief that one needs to wait until some later time to do, to accomplish, and to contribute.

At Vermont Commons, we believe that engagement now—with one’s own hands, heart, and mind in conscientious, needed, and measurable ways—that contributes best to a future of doing good for the world, its environment, and its people. Whether learning winter survival skills, welcoming recently arrived refugees to their new home, or standing waist-deep in a stream studying aquatic ecology, we grow through a reflexive cycle of learning, thinking, and doing. Such hands-on experience isn’t an alternative to learning: it is the path to scholarship, that intrinsic commitment to intellectualism.

A world in great need needs Vermont Commons students: their capabilities, their articulateness, their belief in each individual’s ability to do well and to do good. Come visit us, meet our incredible faculty and students, and learn what a difference small class sizes and close, collaborative relationships make.

Vermont Commons School: Scholarship. Community. Global Responsibility.

Dr. Dexter P. Mahaffey
Head of School

¹ “How to be a Poet (to remind myself).Given. Berkeley: Counterpoint Press, 2005.

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.