The School’s commitment to equity and diversity guides the admissions policy. The School recognizes the transformational power of rigorous school education and welcomes students and families who accept our mission and methodology. There are no specific criteria in determining the students who are accepted. Rather, we work with the family and the student to ensure that there is a good fit for the student and the school community. There are many factors that are considered in making the final determination. We hold high expectations for the students, but a student who has performed poorly at a previous school should not assume that he or she would not be accepted. The transitional nature of an integrated curriculum, high expectations, and interactive instruction allows students to grow significantly during their tenure here: socially, academically, and personally.
The School seeks students who wish to discover and enhance their interests and who hope to participate fully in a school environment. As a First Amendment School, the focus on democratic participation permeates all aspects of school life. Learning to balance the rights of the five freedoms with the needs of the common good is an ongoing process at Thaddeus Stevens School. From behavior to clothing to conversational interaction, the school community engages in ongoing awareness of the School culture. The teachers, the staff, and the Board believe that a receptive, respectful environment promotes thoughtful responses to the curricular demands in the classroom and compassionate behavior in the school at large.
All interested families are encouraged to apply to the School. Please check with the Admissions Director for specific information or to arrange a visit to the School.
Families are encouraged to review the materials included in the information packet.
Once you have decided that Thaddeus Stevens School might be the right place for you, the following will be scheduled:
The student or students should arrange to have a shadow day at the School in the grade that the student is currently enrolled. This allows the student(s) to experience the peer group he or she would be joining.
Parents or guardians should schedule a time to meet with the Director of the School.
If you are still interested in the School, fill out the application forms. The application is included in the informational packet. Included in the application is a form for parents, one for a personal reference, two for the students’ current teachers, and one for the student applicant.
Upon receipt of your completed application, the School will schedule an interview for the student. Students in the elementary grades (1-4) will be interviewed with their parents. It is preferred that students in the middle grades (5-8) meet on their own with the Director and at least one other teacher. These interviews are scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays after the school day.
It is important to know that the School believes that school can be a transformational experience for students. It hopes to provide an atmosphere that encourages academic achievement, civic development, and personal growth. Such an atmosphere depends upon a shared commitment that includes the parent, the teacher, and the student.
Admissions decisions are based on serious consideration of all aspects of the components involved in the process.
The School recognizes that some families, for a variety of reasons, may wish to change schools during the school year. Students may transfer in to Thaddeus Stevens School at the beginning of each trimester; the dates vary but are approximately the first week of January and the first week of March.
For Those Interested in Entering at the Eighth-Grade Level
Over the years we have found that students entering at the eighth grade level are not always able to achieve the goals of the coursework. In order to ensure that they are fully prepared for the demands of eighth grade, we ask that applicants for eighth grade sit for a diagnostic math exam and submit a piece of writing that is written on site. If the work is appropriate for entrance into eighth grade we will proceed with the admissions process. If there appear to be gaps that would create obstacles to the student’s acquisition of the eighth grade course material, we will suggest that he or she enroll in the seventh grade to ensure adequate preparation for high school.
The school requires a personal commitment from the student and the student’s family. In turn, the school dedicates itself to academic excellence, joy in learning, responsible citizenship, and personal growth. The school will make every effort to:
- Promote a safe learning environment by insisting on respectful and courteous behavior.
- Maintain a high academic standard designed to enable students to succeed in learning.
- Involve parents in their children’s education, keeping all lines of communication open.
- Encourage the student to find and enjoy meaningful interactions with the school, civic community, and global community.
- Offer a challenging and supportive learning environment.
In return the student promises to do his or her best to:
- Arrive at school prepared to learn (on time, rested, fed, with completed homework and necessary books and equipment).
- Participate fully in his or her education (read, think, discuss, listen, work, share, and confer with teachers to set appropriate goals).
- Support all students and the school by demonstrating respect for self, for others, and for learning.
The parents or guardians of this student commit themselves to:
- Supporting the student as he or she works to keep these promises.
- Communicating openly with the school about academic, social or family concerns.
- Attending school events and activities whenever possible.
Thaddeus Stevens School strives to ensure that all students who want to attend the school can do so regardless of the family’s financial resources. However, every family pays a minimum amount for tuition.
The school commissions School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS), an organization that assists the National Association of Independent Schools, to assess each family’s financial need. In order to maintain privacy and consistent treatment, all families requesting financial assistance from Thaddeus Stevens School must submit an application with their requested financial information to this independent organization. The cost of submitting the financial information to SSS is $37 if done on-line,
Once SSS determines your family’s “ability to pay,” you will be contacted by a member of the Thaddeus Stevens School’s financial aid committee to discuss a tuition payment plan. The plan may include payment over twelve months as long as all payments are completed by June 30. Typically, a package provides for assistance for all the years the student will be at Thaddeus Stevens School as long as the family annually updates its financial information with SSS.
Submit your financial application to SSS by May 1 to receive maximum benefit. Families which submit a $100 Application Fee by March 15 or shortly after a March shadow day must submit their financial information to SSS by May 1; otherwise they will be responsible for the School’s Application Fee amount due at the time they submit their financial information to SSS (i.e., either $200 or $300).
Thaddeus Stevens School is approved by the Vermont Department of Education. Towns that do not have a designated school for their community are called “sending” towns. Families who live in these towns fill out a voucher with their town that indicates that their child(ren) will attend Thaddeus Stevens School. The town is authorized by law to send the amount of the average announced tuition of public schools in Vermont to Thaddeus Stevens School. Families pay the difference between TSS tuition and and the town’s payment (approximately $700 annually).
The average announced tuition varies from year to year.
The following information applies for the school year 2015-16:
Grades K-6 Tuition is $12,995.00
Grades 7-8 Tuition is $14,995.00
The school works with families to ensure that tuition is not a barrier to attending.
Families can pay tuition in a lump sum by August 1, in quarters (July 1, September 1, November 1, January 1), or by specific arrangement with the School.
For families who do not live in a sending town, a $200.00 discount is available if the entire tuition is paid by August 1.
Application or Registration Fee (Not Refundable)
$100 if pay by March 15 (or within five days of March shadow day, whichever is later)
$200 if pay by May 1
$300 after May 1