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Our Culture

Voice. Choice. Meaningful relationships. That Leads to Engaged Students and Engagement Leads to Achievement.

Essential to the unique culture at VNS is a new paradigm that defines the relationships among the students and adults at the school. Advisors and students, along with other school staff and parents, act as true partners in designing, supporting, and evaluating project work.

The VNS learning community operates in an essentially businesslike atmosphere. Visitors are greeted by the quiet hum of 70 people at work: some at workstations, some in the music room, the science room, the shop, some talking, some helping others, some temporarily off-task.

Everyone is in sight of everyone else, leading to a natural sense of responsibility for the work culture. Disruptive behavior, typical of students in traditional schools, is rare at VNS and is often eliminated through peer suggestion.

No hands are raised to get a drink, go to the bathroom, or take a break and yet none of these activities are abused. Students and advisors are free to access one another for their help and expertise. The atmosphere is purposeful.