A new partnership blossoms among colleges in Southern Vermont


An architect’s rendering of the Brooks House, the Brattleboro landmark that was devastated by fire in 2011. The building will reopen this fall with a consortium of colleges as its anchor tenant.

Ellen McCullough-Lovell, president of Marlboro College, one of the institutions involved, said “the pact not only expands opportunities for students. It also reflects the colleges’ commitment to economic and work-force development.” The partnership is part of a multi-town effort to create better wages and job opportunities — and to keep young people from leaving Vermont. The idea is that internships will help students gain workforce experience and build connections with area employers.

Community College of Vermont and Vermont Technical College plan to open a shared campus this fall in the Brooks House in downtown Brattleboro. The redevelopment of the Brooks House is a critical project for downtown Brattleboro but also for southeast Vermont.

“The conversion of the Brooks House to predominantly commercial/educational uses is great for the region as it provides a convenient educational hub in the heart of downtown,” says Pat Moulton Powden, executive director of Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. “This makes it more convenient for adult students to access the educational resources but also the shops, bookstores, restaurants and other commercial activity for their educational and personal needs.”

The building is being renovated after a devastating fire in 2011. The two statewide colleges are among the six that have joined the Windham Higher Education Cooperative. The others are Marlboro College, Union Institute, Landmark College in Putney, and Brattleboro’s School for International Training.

A haven for secondary education

It is worth noting that Southern Vermont is also blessed with a variety of specialty schools for the younger generation

Hilltop Montessori students check out a tiny house that the school raffled as a fundraiser.

Hilltop Montessori students check out a tiny house that the school raffled as a fundraiser.

Hilltop Montessori School (120 Summit Circle, Brattleboro, Vermont) is student-centered; Montessori curriculum serves children from toddler to teenagers, 18 months through grade 8. The campus consists of 43 acres of fields, trails, a pond and a newly built arts barn and classroom facilities. The Montessori approach recognizes every child’s natural desire to learn which is supported in a thoughtfully prepared learning environment, with the guidance of a specially trained teacher. For more information (802) 257-0500 or visit our website at http://www.hilltopmontessori.org

Oak Meadow offers a flexible, affordable independent school experience for children in kindergarten to grade 12. Their creative, experiential homeschooling curriculum can be used independently or by enrolling in their fully accredited, teacher-supported distance learning school. Oak Meadow was founded in 1975 by a group of parents and teachers seeking to reignite their children’s spark for learning.

Celebrating its 53rd year, The Grammar School, located in Putney, is a fully accredited independent co-ed day school for 120 motivated and engaged learners in preschool through 8th grade. TGS cultivates in each student a lifelong passion for learning through an integrated program that provides an excellent academic, artistic, athletic and ethical foundation. Summer camp opportunities abound at The Grammar School. http://www.thegrammarschool.org or 802-387-5364.

Burr and Burton Academy is an independent, coeducational New England secondary school that serves as the school of choice for 680 students from Manchester and twelve surrounding communities as well as over sixty students from overseas. Situated at the foot of Mt. Equinox Mountain and overlooking picturesque Manchester Village, Burr and Burton is a school with a proud tradition of educating students of diverse backgrounds and talents in a warm and caring environment that encourages excellence and community. http://www.burrburton.org

The Greenwood School is a specialized boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 12. It was established in 1978 by Thomas and Andrea Scheidler to educate gifted students who needed tutorial help in order to master rote learning skills. The school recently worked with award-winning director and producer Ken Burns to produce The Address. This feature-length documentary focuses on Greenwood students’ challenges and triumphs in memorizing and publicly reciting The Gettysburg Address. http://www.greenwood.org



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