Elementary and Middle Grades

The Elementary/Middle Grades Program supports educational transformation at the elementary and middle school level by focusing on the concepts of student-centered learning and leadership in a student-centered learning environment. Student centered learning requires a comprehensive system that supports, empowers and motivates students to take responsibility for their learning and to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be successful now and in the future.

A system that supports student centered learning includes:

Program staff provide assistance to elementary and middle schools in a variety of areas that include:

Program staff work closely with content area specialists, educational support system staff, special education staff as well as the school support coordinators to help elementary and middle schools meet the needs of all learners. Outside of school day opportunities are also available through the 21st Century grants program.

The Middle Grades program works closely with the Vermont Association for Middle Level Education (VAMLE) and the Middle Grades Collaborative to deliver high quality professional development to educators who work with young adolescent students in the State of Vermont.

Staff also serves as a liaison with the regional educational services agencies (ESAs) around the state and support the subject area professional development networks.

Links To Currently Available Information

Roots of Success: Effective Practices in Vermont Schools

The Vermont Agency of Education, with the help of an advisory panel representing K-12 schools and higher education, studied what it takes for schools—and therefore students, particularly low-income students—to succeed. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was employed to identify the characteristics common to effective schools. Through a large-scale survey of more than 2000 Vermont teachers in 87 schools across the state as well as intensive site visits to three schools that are “beating the odds” (schools whose Reading and Mathematics scores on state assessments defy expectations and exceed those of other schools with similar demographics), the panel discovered a set of attitudes and beliefs as well as specific school practices that are associated with student, particularly low-income, success. These characteristics form the foundation for school effectiveness and are essential to ensuring that all children, regardless of background or socioeconomic status, reach their full potential.


Ken Remsen, School Effectiveness Program Manager, at ken.remsen@vermont.gov or (802) 479-1444

Page Last Updated on December 4, 2014