East Burke School Photo #1 - Erica adds to the mulch in our Food Forest.
East Burke School Photo #1 - Erica adds to the mulch in our Food Forest.
The East Burke School is a community that fosters learning as a natural process of satisfying human curiosity.
It is a place for anyone who has the desire to make sense of the world within and around us.
Through the development of intellectual skills, the acquisition of knowledge and emotional maturity, we strive for respectful and responsible citizenship in our local, regional and global environment.
Our school is a place where students, parents and teachers model the intellectual, emotional, physical and social attributes of a purposeful and fulfilling life.
In our small, flexible and student centered school, we encourage students to establish comfortable and productive relationships with peers and teachers.
We are convinced that in a small school, students are more able to see themselves as participants in the learning process.
They develop the belief that their personal interests and aspirations are important, and that their school is there to help them make sense of the world around them.

Quick Stats (2022)

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 7 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Grades Offered
Grades 9-12

Student Body

Total Students
7 students
Student Body Type
Students by Grade
East Burke School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
3 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Classroom Dress Code
(Ready to go hiking, work in a garden, or start a campfire at any time.)

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Tuition Notes
Tuition is fully paid by Vermont School Choice; no Vermont family needs to pay to attend.
Admissions Director
Charlie Delany

School Notes

  • East Burke School was founded in 2003 by a coalition of local educators seeking to serve a key need in the Northeast Kingdom: an institution of student-centered, progressive education at the high school level.  Almost two decades later, our brave little school is still meeting that need.
  • In 2021, following a year of introspection and revitalization, the school re-examined and revised its mission, goals, and purpose.  Recognizing that the most pressing needs of the 21st century all demand the strength of character and critical skills necessary to overcome challenges both known and unexpected, EBS has dedicated itself to becoming what we call a resilience school.  This transition marks a new direction in some ways, but in other ways it serves to fortify what the school has always stood for: independence, self-sufficiency, and lifelong learning.
  • The revitalized EBS mission and vision are as follows:We are a resilience school.  We prepare our students to confront 21st-century challenges through critical literacy, creative thinking, and collaborative action.We recognize that our youth will inherit a society in political, economic, and ecological crisis, and that facing these challenges will require bold and innovative action.  Emphasizing Vermont`s democratic values of freedom and unity, we cultivate a spirit of overcoming adversity among our students.Together with families and community partners, we are raising the next generation of Vermonters to steward our land and communities for the sake of generations to come.
  • East Burke School is small, and intentionally so.  With three faculty members and a maximum enrollment of eighteen, our students often comment that EBS feels rather like a family than like a school.  This observation speaks to more than just our size; because we purposefully limit the number of students on campus, we are better able to treat learning as a natural process unfolding differently within each member of our community.  By tending to the innate curiosity within each student, we foster joy and creativity in the natural learning process, promoting senses of identity, purpose, and responsibility as our students seek to define their place in the world.
  • At East Burke School, you will not find much that divides members of the community.  We do not formally separate students by age, by grade, by academic prowess, or by other means that most schools employ.  We differentiate our approach to each individual, which means we do not see a series of test scores or a list of proficiencies to fulfill, but the interests and needs unique to each student.  In our classrooms, students collaborate with their peers at all levels, much as they will need to in their lives beyond high school.  Whether they are still mastering the basics of a subject or have advanced to more rigorous and complex applications, all students learn and engage the same topics together.  A student at age 18 has no more learned all there is to know about Mary Shelley, or trigonometry, or the Greek language, than has a student at 14-or, for that matter, than has a teacher at 40.  By showing the depth and richness of knowledge available in our courses of study for learners at all levels, we show the benefits of practicing lifelong learning.
  • Our teachers, as learners-in-chief, do not go by titles.  Students, teachers, and guests on campus alike call each other by first name; the respect we show for each other must be deeper than a formal title.  Teachers have earned the respect of the students through wisdom, expertise, preparation, and experience.  Our goal, ultimately, is to have students achieve those same degrees of qualification for themselves, rather than to bow and scrape to degrees on paper.
  • We are specifying here a lot of what our education is not, which we must do because of so many misguided approaches to education.  Education must not be a battery of tests to pass, nor a series of boxes to check, nor a stack of books to ingest, nor a sentence of years to serve out for the state.  Teachers and families come to East Burke School because we have seen too many schools follow one or another of these paths that misdirect education.
  • Here, however, we strive to remain true to the heart of education-a word and an ideal rooted in cultivating the youth of a community to full maturity-while seeking out new and pioneering ways to engage and inspire.  We blend the timeless with the innovative, understanding the virtues and the limitations of each.  In this way, we may honor and benefit from our heritage while we recognize the need and opportunity to grow beyond what has come before.We draw strength and inspiration from our pioneering ancestors who established the communities of the Northeast Kingdom; at the same time, we acknowledge that we must adapt and improve their methods to leave a more just, sustainable, and healthy Kingdom to those who come after us.  For the wisdom and humility necessary to steward the land, we look to the native peoples who made their homes here for generations before those settlers arrived.  We use computers and technology as tools of learning, rather than ends in themselves.  We study classic literature and the full range of history precisely because we seek to understand our present culture and how its crises and struggles have developed.  Our purpose in pursuing science and mathematics is not to play with the latest gadget or score highest on an assessment, but to apply these forms of knowledge for the benefit of ourselves and our community.  We follow traditions without being chained by them, and we examine new ideas without rushing to follow passing trends.
  • As the man for whom our town is named observed, "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors."
  • By learning what a community is, has been, and must be to endure, we raise students who will enrich and strengthen the community wherever they go.  Our students will have the knowledge, the skills, and the character to leave a legacy of integrity, self-sufficiency, and good citizenship.  If sending such young adults forth into the world is not the fundamental purpose of education, then we would ask, what kind of world will our schools create?
  • Learn more by visiting or by emailing us at
Profile last updated: 11/12/2021

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Quick Stats (2022)

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 7 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Vermont is $17,738 for elementary schools and $32,117 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Vermont is 82% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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