Grades 6-12
South Burlington, Vermont - Find Us

Vermont Commons School Summer Session 2017

We are pleased to offer a variety of Summer Session programs* open to students who have finished 6th-12th grades.**

Summer Session faculty include Vermont Commons School teachers, as well as other community members from the Burlington area. Program descriptions are below.

To register for one or more of the programs, please:

Email Katherine Bailey at and include:

  • Student name
  • Contact information
  • Program


  • Pay via check to VCS, 75 Green Mountain Dr., So. Burlington, VT 05403
  • Or pay securely on-line via the link at the bottom of this page

Instructors will confirm programs by June 2nd therefore to be considered in enrollment payment should be received by then. Some programs have a minimum number of participants.

Refunds: should you have to cancel, your tuition will be refunded minus a $10.00 processing fee

Students may sign up for an unlimited number of offerings on a first-come, first-served basis. All programs take place or meet at Vermont Commons. Open to students from Vermont Commons as well as other local schools.

*Program offerings are non-credit bearing and do not replace academic year study at Vermont Commons.

** Except Build it BIG: EV3 Robots, Minecraft & Stop Motion Animation, see description.

Summer Creative Writing Workshop with Jennifer Cohen

One Week, July 10- July 14, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am-1:00 pm

This summer workshop will gather creative writers who will plan a week of reading and creative writing based on their individual interests. Participants will spend time outside together, reading and studying authors of their choice, writing stories and poems, sharing their work, and receiving feedback. Students will come away from this week with a supportive writing community and more confidence in their creative, authorial voices. We will meet at VCS, but will venture outside to comfortable places where we can be inspired by our surroundings. We will share a lunch together each day.  Cost: $300

Shakespeare: Page to Stage with Christie Howell

Two Weeks, July 17-28, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

In this summer session, we will take an in-depth look at one play by William Shakespeare. We will read the play aloud, consider language and staging, as well as the characters’ backstories and motivation. We will also watch and discuss several film and stage interpretations of the play. At the close of the session, we will stage a scene from the play and possibly attend a performance of a Vermont Shakespeare Festival summer production (ticket price included in the program fee). Cost: $600

SAT Reading, Writing and Language Sections Prep Class with Jennifer Cohen

Three Weeks, July 25 – Aug 10, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm (6 Sessions)

Each student enrolled in this class will take a diagnostic test before the July 25th start date; this will help guide the focus of the class. Over the course of six sessions Jennifer will help each student address learning gaps, find their best test-taking strategies, and create effective study plans to practice between sessions and afterwards. The sessions will include instruction, practice, and motivation to improve on the reading and grammar sections of the SAT. Students will need to purchase both books listed below before the class begins. Cost: $300

  • The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar Workbook, 3rd Edition, by Erica L. Meltzer
  • The Critical Reader, 2nd Edition A Complete Guide to SAT Reading, by Erica L. Meltzer

SAT Bootcamp with Lauren Starkey and Stacey Anthony

One Day, August 14, Monday, 9 am – 1 pm

Now in its tenth year, SAT Bootcamp teaches proven strategies for this high-stakes test a unique four-hour format. Emphasizing strategy over content, the interactive workshop prepares sophomores, juniors, and seniors for the August SAT and October PSAT and SAT. SAT Bootcamp reduces text anxiety through thorough familiarization and practice with the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math sections and increases test-taking confidence. Students will also come away with a clear idea of the sections on which they need to focus further study. Enroll early, space is limited!

SAT Bootcamp was founded in 2007 by Lauren Starkey, the author of Write Your Way to College: College Admissions Essay, SAT Writing Essentials, and 19 other books. Lauren has written test prep for clients such as Kaplan and McGraw Hill, and for four years penned a national column on college admissions.  For more information, check  Cost: $150

Digital Music Composition with Zach Crawford

Four Weeks, July 10- August 3, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am-12 pm

The overall goal of the camp is to learn the basics of electronic music and sound recording. Grounded in a simple history of these genres, the course will be hands-on and interactive. A general break down of the 8 classes is as follows:

  • Day One – Ableton/Keyboard Set Up
  • Day Two – Synthersizers/C Major/Drums
  • Day Three – Recording
  • Day Four – Synthesizers 2/A minor
  • Day Five – Recording 2
  • Day Six – Arranging a Song
  • Day Seven – Arranging 2/Mixing
  • Day Eight – Mixing 2/Exporting Your Song

Each student will need to supply a Novation Launch Key or comparable midi control keyboard as well as a computer running Ableton Live Lite (Included with Launchkey).                                                                                                                             Cost: $400

Summer Art Week 1: Painting and Drawing in Nature with Ben Patrick

One Week, June 26-30, 9:00 am -1:00 pm


Summer Art Week 2: Painting and Drawing in Nature with Ben Patrick

One Week, July 10-14, 9:00 am -1:00 pm

Come join Ben Patrick for a week of artistic endeavor themed around natural pigment and Vermont landscape. We will experiment with many mediums, take day trips and wax poetic about the artistic process. The course will be half en plein air, or drawing and painting outside, with excursions in Burlington and Shelburne. The other half of our time will be spent finishing large scale work, water based oils on canvas, in our studio at Vermont Commons School. We will make our own tempera paints using natural pigments and experiment with walnut inks and other natural dyes. By the end of the week you will have three pieces that are portfolio ready. Cost includes all studio supplies. Cost $350

Build it BIG: EV3 Robots, Minecraft & Stop Motion Animation with Let Go Your Mind” Summer STEM Programs

One Week, July 17-21, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-3:30 pm

2 separate sessions open to ages 5.5 -9 years and 9-14 years

Come and join us as we use engineering concepts to build tall towers and skyscrapers.

In this class students will create a city of super structures. They will apply the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles and build several versions of EV3 robots that the students will use to navigate through the city and complete numerous missions. The students will learn to examine situations and calculate various solutions to discover ways to solve these missions. They will learn C-based programming and use problem-solving skills to help the robots solve the different challenges. Students will use Minecraft to build superstructures and castles filled with traps and defenses to protect them from enemy attack. They will learn how to use Command Blocks/Redstone to create traps and other defenses.

In the afternoon, students will build their own mini movie set and create an animated movie using LEGO mini figures and other objects created at camp. The students will also learn how to edit their movies and add music, narration and titles using Professional Stop Animation software. In addition students will build and race many types of motorized LEGO cars throughout the week.

Please register separately for this course at                  Cost: $310