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Kindle Farm opened its doors as an independent school in 1996. The creation of the school was a response to the need for alternative educational approaches for boys and young men who do not succeed in the traditional classroom structure inherent in the vast majority of public and private educational settings. In 1996, the educational opportunities for boys and young men who struggled with the structures of their traditional schools were quite limited. Bob Bursky, the Founder, believed that this population of students was not well served by a behavioral modification and educational model reliant upon rigid behavior check-lists and limited to verbal/linguistic instruction. His vision called upon teachers and students to build relationships, born from shared experiences and mutual respect, that would facilitate academic achievement and social and emotional growth.
In 1994 a small group of staff, set out on a mission to create a small after-school program designed to create healthy social opportunities for students. Soon thereafter, the afternoon program expanded into a tutorial program, utilizing materials sent by local schools. The instructors focused their energy on spending time with students, creating professional friendships that ultimately facilitated their instructional goals. As word of the success of this alternative program reached the public, Kindle Farm began receiving referrals for more students from local school districts and social service agencies.
In 1997, Kindle Farm adopted the Oak Meadow curriculum school wide, and began the process of becoming certified by the state of Vermont as an independent school.
More than a decade later, as a result of the hard work, dedication, and leadership of many individuals, Kindle Farm is a state-approved independent school, serving students from over eight sending school districts throughout southeastern Vermont and southwestern New Hampshire. We serve over eighty students per year in our Elementary, Middle School, High School and Individual Needs programs.