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The Bellwether School

  • 4.5

(10 reviews)
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The Bellwether School
1186 South Brownell Road
WillistonVT 05495
(802) 863-4839

Ages: 3 - 12

Cost:

Parking: Yes

Features:

The Bellwether School is a progressive, independent, co-educational school for students in early childhood through sixth grade. The key themes that are covered at the school are:

  • Love of Learning
  • Diversity
  • Inquiry and Critical Thinking Skills
  • World Citizenship
  • Sustainability and Earth Literacy

The core curriculum covers these areas:

  • Social Studies
  • Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical Thinking
  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Artistic Expression
  • Service Learning
  • Physical Development

See how the curriculum is applied across the various programs (Preschool, Primary, Elementary I, Elementary II).

10 Reviews

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VTwith3

  • 5

Reviewed on 01/11/2017

Preschool is a HIDDEN GEM! We were drawn to Bellwether's philosophy and history in holistic education, but admittedly a bit nervous about sending our 3-year-old to a small school that covers Pre-K - 6, but it has been the biggest surprise and delight for us. The preschool classroom itself is a safe, nurturing space and we found that he actually really thrived with schoolmates of all ages and he looked forward to entire school get-togethers. Citizenship is absolutely taught and we found that we were the ones who saw barriers with ages - not the children! Another huge plus is that the preschoolers benefit and partake in all of the "specials" that entire school offers including music, French, Spanish, yoga, soccer, etc. ...more

The Bellwether School
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Dbomb

  • 5

Reviewed on 01/06/2017

My boy is who he is in a large part because of Bellwether. The best school EVER!

The Bellwether School
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mamalaura

  • 5

Reviewed on 03/10/2016

The Bellwether School is an amazing place with exceptional teachers and leadership. We transferred to Bellwether after three years at another area independent school and our year has been transformational! My son went from hating math and writing to loving and excelling at both. There is a culture of respect and caring here that is unmatched. The relationship that the teachers cultivate with each student (and their parents!) is at the core of this learning environment where students are seen and recognized, where strengths are nurtured and individual interests and learning styles are accommodated. The teachers offer daily communications home with pictures and snapshots of each day offering parents a window into the classroom. Parents are welcomed into the school and made to feel like a partner in their child's learning. The holistic approach to teaching means that not only is my son being academically challenged but he is learning how to be a good steward to the earth, he is learning to slow down and be mindful and he is learning to understand his role in the larger community of learners. Time is given to nurture the mind, body and the spirit of each child. We could not be happier!...more

The Bellwether School
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Pips Mom

  • 5

Reviewed on 01/16/2013

This is the kind of school that every child deserves. I have watched my student flourish, begin feeling confident again as a learner, and find life-long friendships. In a world where people are constantly reminded what they are doing wrong, Bellwether is the kind of place that tells you everything you are doing right while working on the areas that aren't your strongest. It is full of fun, laughter, challenge, academics, play, magic and respect. My student feels like she is important and that she matters and I feel confident every day that she is in the most wonderful educational environment ever. ...more

The Bellwether School
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Leslie

  • 5

Reviewed on 03/28/2012

Can't say enough good things about Bellwether. It is a magical place where kids are encouraged to think critically and creatively. My child loves school and has developed a true love for learning.

The Bellwether School
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Gingi

  • 5

Reviewed on 02/09/2012

My daughter had an amazing experience in the Preschool Classroom at Bellwether. The teachers appreciated my "spicy girl" for her enthusiasm and energy while also providing the guidelines and expectations that she needed to learn how to be a friend and how to work through tough social negotiations.

With 30+ years of combined experience, Heather and Mike nurture each child's social-emotional and intellectual growth in their developmentally appropriate 5-STAR classroom.

The multi-age classroom set up allows each child to be both a learner and a leader, fosters classroom community and builds an appreciation for the diverse gifts of every child. Being a part of a great Preschool classroom while also being a part of a PreK-6th grade school is a plus!

Bellwether's play-based, child-directed approach to learning and discovery laid a great foundation for a life-long love of learning -- I highly recommend Bellwether's Preschool program!



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The Bellwether School
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Christena

  • 5

Reviewed on 01/24/2009

Our son attended The Bellwether School from second through sixth grades. Even though he moved on to another fine school after graduation, we still miss Bellwether!! At Bellwether he blossomed into a confident, caring, human being. One of the things Bellwether does so well is nurturing a child’s individual personality and at the same time teaching him to be a viable community member. This is an experience that will continue to mold him through life. The small class size, and incredible teachers and staff bring so much to the rich, hands-on, academic experience. My only wish is that Bellwether could go to grade twelve! ...more

The Bellwether School
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Susan

  • 5

Reviewed on 12/17/2008

To find a school that is so responsive to each individual child (not to mention each individual parent!) is something to be treasured in todays society of large institutional type educational programs.

My son spent six years in the Elementary program of The Bellwether School and thanks to this individualized (as well as holistic) approach to education, he is an independent, self-confident, motivated, passionate young man who, most importantly, really loves to learn, and looks at education as a part of his life, not just something he does in school. He brings that outlook with him to everything he does in his busy life!

I can't speak highly enough of the committment that Bellwether has to it's students and the families of those students. When you walk into the school - you can literally feel the exuberance of both the students and the teachers... right away you know you're in a place where active learning is happening... and it's an exciting place to be!!
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The Bellwether School
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Jennifer Gordon

  • 5

Reviewed on 12/17/2008

The Bellwether School strives and succeeds at bringing a quality educational experience to children of all ages. My son has been in the pre-school for two years and is thriving! In addition to the typical emergent curriculum, the students are offered Spanish, music and art on a weekly basis. The teachers truly care and are accessible. There is a strong sense of community comprised of educators and parents. Students appear to actually enjoy learning. I have to respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer's comments. The predominant population of students at Bellwether (there are approximately forty) do not have "learning issues" and to say this is an incorrect assessment. As in every school (public or private) there are students who learn differently or who struggle with socializing. The smaller class sizes allow for individualized instruction, which has been found to enhance performance in several studies. ...more

The Bellwether School
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lucydog

  • 2

Reviewed on 10/08/2008

The School works hard at teaching sustainable living to children and succeeds! However the predominant population of students are those with learning issues and parents who do not wish to have their children go through a public school system that would "categorize" their children as such (which is fine). The disconnect happens with the teachers and directors (there are two), who do not have special ed training for the high number of kids with special needs. The combined classrooms are also a draw back as they combine pre-k -2nd grades in one classroom and 3 - 6th grades in another classroom. The preschool is great!

Owner's Response (January 22, 2013): After reading this review, I find it necessary to respond to a few points made by Lucydog. Teaching how to live sustainably is a key component of our holistic approach and it is nice to hear this reviewer felt we were doing this well. Our population, however, is not predominantly “students with learning issues” and our staff is aptly trained to meet the many learning styles that exist among children today. Also, since then, our classroom configurations have changed to better reflect multi-age groupings that support the developmental milestones for our students (Grades K/1, 2/3, 4-6). We always welcome and appreciate the feedback.


Debbie Millon, the Head of The Bellwether School
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The Bellwether School