The Ripton School is a caring community with the goals of learning, growing, and becoming good citizens. We have a safe learning environment where all members of our community strive to demonstrate: A willingness to share, a sense of belonging, the ability to trust and be trusted, the ability to respect self and others. Our school-wide expectations are: Be Safe, Be Kind, Work Hard, and Work Together.
We believe all children deserve to spend time in an environment in which they can grow and learn. Each child’s individuality is nurtured to encourage whole child development including academic, social, and artistic growth. Through this nurturing process each child is encouraged to develop to his/her full potential to become a contributing member of society. Education is an active process through which each individual child learns by guided exploration of materials, inquiry-based methods, and project development. We teach the principles of democracy by involving children in many school decisions and processes. These decisions are made during our weekly All School Meetings or daily Morning Meetings. We encourage the community to be part of our school and our students to be active in the community.
Nestled in a forest of red pines in the Green Mountain National Forest, the Ripton School is uniquely situated in a beautiful natural environment for learning and outdoor exploration. We are a small public elementary school serving pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade students. For more than 200 years, the school (starting as a one-room schoolhouse and evolving to our current facility) has shaped a community that fosters inquiry and independence, values exploration, and nurtures respect and responsibility.
The school is organized into primary (Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade) and intermediate units (Third Grade through Sixth Grade) with multi-age classrooms. We feel this environment offers more to children socially and academically. Younger children learn from older students and older children reinforce their own learning by taking on leadership roles within the classroom, fostering a sense of pride and self-respect. Multi-age groupings are natural to children as they are what they encounter in their own families, most social settings, and play. Children learn to respect and value contributions that represent different levels of understanding.