What is holistic nature-based education?
Holistic nature-based education allows children to unfold to their fullest potential-- emotionally, socially, intellectually, physically, creatively, artistically, and spiritually (non-sectarian). The children learn about themselves as individuals and as part of a community while speaking a language of kindness, respect and compassion for all. Nature is one of the main classrooms in which children learn through nature-based activities and open explorations. Drawing on their innate knowing, children cultivate empathy and understanding by exploring the connection between all living things.


What is the holistic approach at Mountain River School?
Our approach from a holistic perspective honors all parts of a child's development; social, emotional, physical, spiritual, our connection with nature and intellectual development. Our unique model offers opportunities for children to learn in a nurturing, learner-centered environment focused on foundational curriculum that offers students both choice and voice in their education. By honoring each child’s passion for learning, inspiring curiosity and empowering students, the Mountain River School's approach fills a unique niche in Vermont. Daily mindfulness practices and a commitment to every child’s social, emotional and spiritual needs cultivate and deepen self-awareness, relationships and connection to community. View our video about our collaboration and training with Teton Science Schools to learn even more!

What is the student-teacher ratio?
Our mixed grade classrooms will strive to have a low student to teacher ratio. There is a potential for older programs to have a slightly higher ratio than younger programs.

How many grades are at MRS? 
Currently we have four programs at MRS. We have the Rivers (K), the Meadows (1st-3rd), Forests (4th-6th) & the Mountains (6th-8th). MRS is currently exploring expansion and are working to expand to a K-12 program.

What is the family involvement at MRS? 
Family involvement is an integral part of the MRS community. We honor each child’s familial relationships and how they are an essential component to a vibrant school community. We expect families to sign up to bring snacks and it is our hope that families volunteer for special projects and/or events. Our teachers encourage families to share their expertise, interests, and culture with students.

Are there standardized tests at MRS? 
We do not have standardized testing. Instead, teachers assess students’ growth by compiling a portfolio of learning which includes photo documentation, sample work, and student voice. Teachers also maintain a running record of each child’s growth in the following areas: social, emotional, literacy, artistic, mathematical, physical, and scientific. At the conclusion of the school year the teachers will summarize each child’s learning in narrative form.

How much time is spent outdoors each day?
Nature is one of the main classrooms at MRS.  Our community will be outside for at least two hours a day and depending on emerging curriculums or other scheduled adventures, this time might be longer.  If our students are excited about climbing a tree, building a fort in the snow, or following a hopping frog, we want to make sure they have the space and time to see these journeys through.

How are relationships viewed at MRS? 
MRS honors and celebrates the whole child and the relationship he/she has with his/her  learning, and communities. We realize the importance of cultivating loving, respectful relationships that allow children to learn in a safe and supportive community. This helps to nurture emotional balance within each individual child and allows the children to develop personal responsibility for self and an understanding for others.

Is MRS a recognized school?
Yes, MRS has recognized independent school status with the Vermont Agency of Education.

Is MRS a non-profit?
MRS is registered as a non-profit corporation with the State of Vermont and approved by the IRS for Federal 501(c)3 status.

What is the annual tuition?
Please refer to our tuition section as well as contacting us with any further questions.

Is there financial assistance available?  
We currently are offering a tuition assistance program for the 2017-2018 school year! Please refer to our tuition section for more information or please feel free to contact us to discuss.

Are donations made to MRS tax-deductible? 
Yes they are. Since we have received our 501(c)3 approval, any donations made after May 15, 2015 will be considered tax-deductible.