Independent Schools

Vermont Statute provides two choices for Independent Schools:

  1. Approved: An approved independent school is a school other than a public school which provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or both, that is approved pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 166 (b).
  2. Recognized: A recognized school is an independent school for any school year that meets the requirements for recognized independent schools, pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 166 (c), that is not a home study program.

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 and State Board Rules 2220 – 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 and a recommendation for approval/non-approval to the Agency. Those schools seeking approval for special education apply under State Board Rule 2228. This requires receipt and review of an application, an onsite visit, and a report of findings/recommendation from the individual(s) conducting the onsite visit. A prerequisite to special education approval is general independent approval, see the following section for the special education approval process. 

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.

Independent Schools Serving Special Education Students, Approval Process and List

Approval for independent schools, general and special education, is pursuant to 16 V.S.A § 166, and the State Board of Education (SBE) rules 2220-2227 and 2228. 

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 2231-2234.7.

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 2230.

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-IVH.

Independent School Rate Approval

Pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 2973 and State Board Rule 2228.8 (1-4 (b)), each independent school approved for special education by the State Board of Education shall annually report its rates for special education tuition, related services and room and board to the Secretary of Education on a form prescribed for that purpose. The rates that an independent facility approved for special education purposes charges for tuition, related services and room and board shall be no more than the costs that are reasonably related to the level of services provided to its publicly-placed special education students. On November 20, 2001, and reaffirmed on October 27, 2009, the State Board waived its Rules to extend the deadline for independent schools that are approved for special education to request a new rate for the ensuing school year to July 1st of each year. If the request is not received on or before July 1, the most recent approved rate will be in effect until the following July 1, when the next rate request is due. Those schools seeking to have a rate set by January 15, shall submit a request for rate approval to the Agency prior to November 15. Direct questions via email to  Matt Bradstreet or call (802) 479-1137.


Email Patricia Pallas Gray or call (802) 479-1199.

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Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

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