Education

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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Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

Governor Phil Scott’s spigot analogy. Plus: How one child care provider is preparing to open back up, the Black Lives Matter protest in Burlington, and the latest COVID-19 case numbers. 

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

The pandemic’s effect on Vermont’s judiciary. Governor Scott is running for re-election, but he won’t campaign. Plus, the sale of Marlboro College and COVID-19 case numbers.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Marlboro College says it has a contract in place to sell its 500-acre campus to Democracy Builders, an educational nonprofit organization that wants to start a hybrid online-residential college in southeastern Vermont.

Sign for a childcare center
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

On June 1, child care centers in Vermont will be able to open to all families for the first time since March after only being allowed to care for children of essential workers.

Law school entrance
Vermont Law School, courtesy

Colleges around the country are navigating the tricky process of choosing whether to re-open for in-person classes this fall. The University of Vermont, the state’s largest higher ed institution, is planning on bringing thousands of students back to school in a few months. But so are some of the state’s smaller colleges, like Vermont Law School in South Royalton.

Austin Beutner looked haggard, his face a curtain of worry lines. The superintendent of the second-largest school district in the nation sat at a desk last week delivering a video address to Los Angeles families. But he began with a stark message clearly meant for another audience:

Lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

The coronavirus test wasn't as bad as Celeste Torres imagined. Standing outside a dorm at the University of California, San Diego, Torres stuck a swab up a nostril, scanned a QR code, and went on with the day.

"The process itself was about five minutes," Torres says, "I did cry a little bit just because it's, I guess, a natural reaction."

College dorms are closed. Athletic events are canceled. Classes have moved online. Like so many sectors of the U.S. economy, higher education is taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress set aside more than $14 billion to help colleges and universities weather the outbreak.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

Local voters might have to vote again on school budgets that were passed back on Town Meeting Day. Plus: some of the most vulnerable populations may not have easy access to COVID-19 testing, a drop in calls to Vermont’s child protection line, and the latest case numbers.

car with protest sign
Henry Epp / VPR

A group of University of Vermont faculty is calling on the school's administration to reverse plans to cut pay for non-tenured professors next year, as the school faces looming uncertainty tied to the coronavirus. Faculty, staff and students protested from their cars in Burlington Thursday.

A person behind a "I Voted!" blinder.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Updated 10:30 a.m. 5/15/2020

A bombshell proposal from the Scott administration Thursday would require school districts to hold revotes this summer on budgets approved by local voters in March.

Nightmares. Tantrums. Regressions. Grief. Violent outbursts. Exaggerated fear of strangers. Even suicidal thoughts. In response to a call on social media, parents across the country shared with NPR that the mental health of their young children appears to be suffering as the weeks of lockdown drag on.

Logo for The Frequency podcast, from VPR.
Lara Dickson / For VPR

How students and teachers are adapting to the digital classroom. Plus: what it’s like for Vermonters observing Ramadan, an update on a high-profile 2019 shooting, and a chance to hunt moose.

A child makes a heart shape with their hands into a laptop screen.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were closed with very little warning or preparation. And over the past few months, school districts, parents and students have been learning on the fly how to do remote learning in a state where internet service can be spotty, or not available at all.

A teacher works at home
Jennie Gartner, Courtesy

When high schools closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers had just days to figure out how to finish the year online. They needed to ensure students would stay on track academically and emotionally.

VPR reached out to several high school teachers to find out how that was going and all said the last two months have been draining, frustrating and, for those with kids, hard to balance with the needs of their own families. 

A student studies alone in a large array of empty chairs in a classrom.
Philippe Bout / Unsplash

The spring semester has been challenging for all students, and graduating high school seniors have dealt with canceled events and virtual graduation ceremonies. But for those who are — or were — planning on going to college in the fall, many questions remain: Can they afford school if family circumstances have changed? Will campuses be open? Will their school still be there? We talk with students, school counselors and colleges about their plans for the fall semester.

Starting Monday, Advanced Placement exams, which test high schoolers' knowledge of college material, will take an unusual form. The high-anxiety, college credit tests normally last three hours and are taken in person. But this year, in response to disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, the College Board, which administers AP exams, shortened the tests to 45 minutes and moved them online.

A person walking in front of a clock tower with foliage in the background.
John Billingsley / VPR File

Nearly two months after local college campuses made the call to send students home due to COVID-19, the disrupted academic semester is coming to a close.

Gov. Phil Scott said Friday that he won't participate in political debates this year until and unless Vermont improves its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Screenshot / ORCA Media

Gov. Phil Scott says the child care providers that were ordered to close their doors in March will be allowed to welcome kids back to their facilities next month. Administration officials qualified that, however, and said many child care centers will likely have to operate at a reduced capacity.

May 7 is the date that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, declared it was safe to open up schools. The state has had fewer than 500 reported cases of the coronavirus as of this week.

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