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Independent Schools

The Vermont State Board of Education Rules (Rule series 2200) governing independent schools provides four choices for Independent Schools:

  1. Approved Independent School: means an independent school that meets the requirements in Rule 2223.3 as well as the requirements in SBE Rule 2225 (tuition from public funds) and SBE Rule 2226 (Application).
  2. Approved Independent School Ineligible to Receive Public Funds: means an independent school that meets the requirements in SBE Rules 2226 (Application) and 2227 (Approval) but does not meet the requirements of rules concerning the delivery of special education services in SBE Rule 2229.
  3. Therapeutic Approved Independent School (or Therapeutic Independent School or Therapeutic School): means an approved independent school that limits enrollment to students who are on an IEP or plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794 and who are enrolled pursuant to a written agreement between an LEA and the school. These schools are eligible to receive public tuition, which is inclusive of both general and special education services and is at a rate approved by the Agency of Education.
  4. Recognized Independent School: means an independent school meeting the requirements in 16 V.S.A. § 166(c). A recognized independent school is not eligible to receive public tuition.

The Vermont Approved and Recognized Independent School Directory contains contact information for approved and recognized independent schools in Vermont, as well as approved distance learning schools, tutorial programs, teen parent education programs and state operated facilities.

Approved Independent Schools 

Independent School Approval Process

Approved Independent Schools apply under guidelines identified in 16 V.S.A. § 166 (b) and State Board Rules 2223–2227 and 2228. Upon receipt and review of an application, an individual(s) is identified to conduct an onsite visit and provide a written report of findings to the Agency of Education. This process includes receipt and review of an application, an onsite visit, and a report of findings/recommendation from the individual(s) conducting the onsite visit.

The process for initial approval and renewal of approval are the same. The State Board of Education has the ultimate authority for approval of independent schools.

Any school or entity seeking an application to apply for independent school approval should contact Pat Pallas Gray at

    Technical Assistance and Memos for Approved Independent Schools

    Recognized Independent Schools

    Enrollment Notice

    The Recognized School Enrollment Notice form is required to be submitted annually as a part of maintaining a school's recognized independent school status. Completed forms must be received by the Agency prior to the opening of the public schools in your area.

    Recognized Independent School Enrollment Notice

    Other Educational Programs

    Distance Learning Schools

    A Distance Learning School is an independent school located in Vermont that offers a distance learning program and that, because of its structure does not meet some or all the rules of the State Board for approval of independent schools. Approval of these schools is pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 166 (b) (6) and State Board of Education Rules 2236-2239.

    Tutorial Programs

    A Tutorial Program is education provided to a student who is placed in a short-term program for evaluation and treatment purposes not administered by a school district. Approval of these programs is pursuant to 16 V.S.A. §§ 11 (27), 828, and Vermont State Board Rules 2235.

    Teen Parent Education Programs

    A Teen Parent Education Program is a program designed to provide educational and other services to pregnant pupils or parenting pupils, or both, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. §§ 11 (33) (A) (B), 1073 (b), and State Board Standards I-IV.

    Independent School Rate Approval

    For the 2021-2022 school year, the Agency will review special purpose independent schools’ requests for rate increases that are based on a demonstrated reasonable, necessary and allowable increase in costs. See: SBE Rule 2228.8. 

    Email requests and supporting documentation to


    For independent school initial approvals, program renewals and State Board of Education information please email Patricia Pallas Gray or call (802) 917-2583.

    For independent school tuition rate setting and education quality please email J. Deborah Ormsbee or call (802) 828-1226.