The home for VPR's coverage of education issues and policy in Vermont.

The Education Team

Follow VPR reporters Amy Kolb Noyes and Howard Weiss-Tisman on Twitter for the latest on education issues across Vermont.

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Act 46 | Kids & Parenting | University Of Vermont | Vermont Legislature | Agency of Education

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According to the Vermont Department of Health, 480 children under six years old were poisoned by lead in Vermont in 2017. The state is about to roll out a program to test drinking water for lead in all Vermont schools and child care facilities.
Quin Stevenson / Unsplash

A bill passed by the Legislature would require the state to test all schools and child care centers in Vermont for lead levels in the water. The legislation focuses on the cohort most susceptible to neurological damage caused by lead: children up to age six. We'll hear about the effects of lead on children and the logistics of the program being set up to test these facilities.

Two rows of people stand together while one holds a plaque.

Vermont's mountains were in tough shape. Delicate ecological areas like the arctic-alpine zones on Mansfield and Camel's Hump were being pounded by tens of thousands of Vibram-soled boots or devastated by indiscriminate camping and fires. Fifty years ago, traffic on major summits increased 30% every year as eager backpackers overran popular campsites up and down Vermont's Long Trail.

A child drinks from a water fountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Vermont Department of Health is asking schools to prepare for statewide water testing that is expected to take place in September.

Just like a fire drill, students and teachers routinely practice what to do if an armed intruder enters their school.

A student sits at a table in a library holding up a copy of the novel Refugee by Alan Gratz.
Meg Malone / VPR

Each spring, upper elementary students schools in the Mt. Abraham Unified School District travel to the middle and high school library for a Jeopardy!-style trivia competition about the books nominated for Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

But before the gathered students from the five different elementary schools got to play the game, there was an announcement to be made: the 2019 winner. 

The exterior of the Community College of Vermont, a brick building with CCV sign above door.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Time was that first year college students arrived on campus with their milk crates and graduated four years later. My parents were mortified that I took longer and bounced around between two institutions.

Sam Koslowsky carries a mattress at Landmark College.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

College graduates with a condition like autism or ADHD have often faced limited options when looking for work, but now there's a movement for businesses to recognize the benefits of neurodiversity and appreciate people who think differently.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

It’s been nothing but bad news for the school districts that were fighting forced mergers under the state’s controversial law, Act 46.

"Vermont Edition" broadcasts from Rutland to hear the voices of the leaders and students of the three Vermont colleges that recently closed.
Nina Keck / VPR and Courtesy / Southern Vermont College

This month three Vermont colleges held their final graduation ceremonies and now those schools are closed. While there are still 19 colleges in the state, the loss of Green Mountain College, College of St. Joseph and Southern Vermont College will be felt by students, staff and their surrounding communities. Vermont Edition discusses these closings during a live broadcast from the Rutland Free Library.

Glenn Russell

This spring I watched the Vermont Legislature through the eyes of twenty-five college students. Each week students traveled to the state’s capitol to watch and write about how bills become law – or not.

Nina Keck / VPR

The Vermont Farmers Food Center is a nonprofit in Rutland that’s been working to harness the economic potential of local agriculture. 

The group created Rutland’s indoor farmer’s market and has put teens to work on area farms.

Now they’re focused on using farming as a teaching tool. They hope a new greenhouse and a chance to grow plants will help school kids learn about nutrition, science, and themselves.

"Unfolding Humanity," a structure created by University of San Diego students, faculty, alumni and community members, stands at Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Gilles Bonugli Kali

Math is much more than memorizing multiplication and division tables and converting fractions into decimals. There are incredible applications for math in the real world. We'll hear from mathematicians about someone of the ways they're using it practically.

Susan Weinstein

I’ve been teaching for 10 years now and I’m just finishing up my 5th year at Champlain College. In my work, I get to connect with young people in a very transitional phase in their lives – from about 18 to 22 years old.

Ram: Being The Arrow

May 7, 2019
Sally McCay, UVM Photographer

A mentor once told me that there are times in our lives when we are the arrow, flying swift and far. As we get older, we’re more often the bow, holding steady and helping to launch others further than we can see or imagine.

A sign outside of Middlebury College
Wilson Ring / Associated Press File

Less than a third of undergraduate economics majors and Ph.D. students are women, and less than 1 percent of Ph.D. economists identify as Black, Latino, or Native American. A new pilot program, involving several colleges, to get more women and people of color into the economics pipeline has had some promising results.

A teacher holds an open book and points at it while students look on.
Meg Malone / VPR

A group of fifth- and sixth-graders are in the library of Orleans Elementary School working on making “'zines.” 'Zines are like personal mini magazines, and they're a favorite hobby of Malú, the main character in The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.

People sit around the table during a Vermont House Appropriations Committee discussion.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Lawmakers were hoping to begin testing the water at Vermont schools and daycare centers for lead this academic year. But as lawmakers are having a tough time deciding what level of lead triggers remediation and how much state money to put toward the work, it looks unlikely testing can start before school lets out in June.

The Columbine memorial honors and remembers the 13 victims of the shootings at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.
BanksPhotos / iStock

Twenty years ago, two high school seniors at Columbine High School in Colorado shot and killed 12 students and a teacher. They wounded more than 20 others.

It was a moment that shook that community and the entire nation. We look at how things have changed for schools, teachers, students and communities in the years since.

The long and winding road for Act 46 is nearing its final deadline. But questions and court decisions are still in play that could change the final outcomes.
ErikaMitchell / iStock

Four years after it was signed, the Act 46 school district consolidation law is nearing its final deadline on July 1. But there are court cases, refusals by school districts to merge and many questions swirling around the remaining mergers. We get updates and answers on these issues.

Poulrney Residents stand before large sheets of paper taped to a wall with ideas for repurposing the Green Mountain College campus.
Nina Keck / VPR

There's still no decision on what will happen to the campus of Green Mountain College when it shuts down this summer. On Thursday, 300 people from in and around Poultney met at the high school to talk about what they'd like to see happen next in town — the latest in a series of community meetings with state, college and local officials.