“I hear you’re starting a school?”
This was the opening line of Village Tech.
What began as a collaboration of PK-12 public educators, community members, parents, and university professors each dreaming of a better school design became Village Tech Schools. Beginning in 2011, informal gatherings of these individuals led to a deeper understanding of the need for a place where students could learn who they are, learn things that last and learn they belong.
In their ideal school, students would be given the opportunity to develop their own voice and leadership skills. In addition, they would work on meaningful design challenges gaining not only academic knowledge but also technical expertise where they could actually turn their ideas into reality. Students would also be known well by their teachers and peers while serving and leading in their local communities and beyond.
Starting with a founding team of ten educators - synthesizing the research, building on their own experience and applying the needs and wants of parents, businesses and higher ed - Village Tech Schools was designed.
After a highly competitive charter application process, Village Tech was one of only four unanimous approvals by the State Board of Education. In 2013, VT opened its doors to 640 PK-8th graders. Today, Village Tech serves 980 PK-12th graders at two locations.
In just three years our students have grown in our 3 C’s of character, challenge and community.
Our students participate in Jobs Alike: working dismissal duty, making morning announcements and hosting student-led tours for parents, business leaders and civic officials. They were involved in the research and selection of our new food service vendor leading to a 25% increase in breakfast and lunch sales. They have designed and built a tiny house for the homeless, a 3D model of our campus to analyze energy efficiency, and solar lights to light up our outdoor decks at night. They have produced original videos and artwork and have published a book.
Through presentations and exhibitions of learning, our students have presented their work to thousands of people including local college and university students and area teachers at professional conferences. Also, they have donated to local charities and worked with the local police department to build a K9 training obstacle course. Finally, our students have traveled the world to places like China, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Switzerland for educational tours and to participate in international leadership summits on topics like social responsibility in the global economy, education and innovation and the future of food.
Most importantly, their eyes shine when they come to school, they are excited for their futures and they work hard to make a difference.
How We Got Here