Thetford Academy’s campus is 295 acres of field and forest, with stunning views of the highest peaks of the Connecticut River Valley. The historic White Building, built in 1949 after the original building burned in the Great Fire of 1942, is the centerpiece and hub of Thetford Academy. Sitting at the head of the quad, it is flanked by the the Arts and Science Building, the Vaughan Alumni Gymnasium, and Anderson Hall.
Thetford Academy has an extensive trail network for hiking, walking, running, and Nordic skiing.
State-of-the-art Science labs
Weight room and gym facility
Timber-framed outdoor classroom
Greenhouse and outdoor vegetable gardens
Athletic fields with timber-framed dugouts designed and built by TA students; 2 batting cages
Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) heated yurt and outdoor classroom
Groomed and maintained 5K cross country trail, the Dan Grossman Woods Trail
Honors courses offered in all core departments in the high school
Juniors and Seniors may be eligible to take courses for college credit at Dartmouth College
Recent state championships: girls soccer, boys basketball, girls basketball, boys indoor track
What learning looks like now: Thetford Academy, like many schools across the country and the world, made a unprecedented pivot in March from a traditional classroom learning experience to a fully remote educational model. Now, we are taking what we learned from that experience--building on what worked, identifying areas for improvement--to create a high-quality, inclusive, and supportive hybrid learning model for our students this fall. TA's mission to "celebrate the unique worth of all students, to nurture their strengths, and challenge them to fulfill their potential" guides our work every day.
For fall 2020, Thetford Academy has chosen to provide our families with both on-campus and remote learning options, with built-in flexibility to move between these options as needed. In order to maintain equity among these choices, all coursework will be delivered through Google classroom with opportunities for both "live" sessions at set times each week and coursework that can be accessed and completed asynchronously. Our faculty and student support team will provide social-emotional support, as well as the academic support, that every student needs to succeed.
Thetford Academy's Safety Committee has been working all summer to ensure that upon school reopening, every student and every adult is safe. Daily health screenings, indoor masking (and outdoors when safe distancing cannot be achieved), and social distancing will be required for all students and staff on campus.
Gr. 7 - Gr. 12
What Thetford Academy says: This fall, Thetford Academy will offer students and families choice and flexibility. Students can choose among a 2-day or 4-day on-campus experience or a fully remote academic experience. All students will be assigned to a pod of 10-12 students with a designated faculty member support. Coursework will be delivered through Google classroom and accessible both remotely and during on-campus school hours. Every course will provide opportunities for both synchronous (live) and asynchronous learning, as well as one-to-one support from faculty as needed. On-campus pods will be structured to include time for group work, outdoor learning experiences, and independent study.
Baseball and softball fields with timber framed dugouts.
5K cross country running trail on campus.
The Martha Jane Rich Theater.
Design Technology shop.
Visual Arts classroom.
Maple sugaring shack.
Hoop house for overwintering gardens.
Insider Reviews and Perspectives
Our Take: Thetford Academy
Thetford Academy is delightful in so many ways it’s hard to know quite where to start. Founded in 1819, it’s the oldest secondary school in Vermont, and has been coed since it first opened its doors. The location, charmingly, was chosen in order to allow students a chance to study in a location described at the time as “remarkably healthy, and free from business, excitement, and every temptation.” While finding a place apart from the real world is certainly no longer a goal—the school is very much an international one in light of its curricular gaze and student population—many of the founding values remain. That includes a dedication to the liberal arts, a rigorous delivery, and a commitment to diversity of thought, perspective, and experience. Instruction today reflects the best practices or our time, with experiential learning, cross-curricular investigation, and a focus on relationships (peer to peer; instructor to student) as the basis of instruction. The campus is extensive, and with a recent purchase of an additional parcel of land adjacent to the main property, has direct access to State Forest. Much, rightly, is made of those outdoor resources, including recreation, physical education, and outdoor instruction. There’s also a maple sugar shack. Again, it’s a stellar setting that hosts a world-class program, just as it’s been doing for more than two centuries.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at Thetford Academy: Progressive
Thetford Academy has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 28%   Traditional - 42%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 2%
Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Traditional math - 30%   Discovery math - 4%   Equal balance - 66%
What Thetford Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.
Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.
Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
What Thetford Academy says: Thetford Academy offers exciting physical education through a wide variety of activities. These units challenge the individual to master fundamental motor skills;develop coordination and overall fitness; maintain or increase positive attitudes toward peer groups; practice social skills necessary for participating in individual and team activities; demonstrate physical skills based on observation and listening to instructions; understand physical, mental, and emotional health; and increase knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at Thetford Academy: Standard-enriched
Thetford Academy has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at Thetford Academy: Supportive
Thetford Academy has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
[Show: About Supportive?]
A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Supportive - 51%   Rigorous - 49%
What Thetford Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
What Thetford Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
What Thetford Academy says:
2020 Champions! Panther Boys Earn Division III State Basketball Title
2020 Champions! Panther Indoor Track and Field Takes Top Spots in State Finals: Division II title (boys) and a TA-best second place overall finish (girls).
TA’s Founders’ Day tradition began in 1944, two years after the original White Building was devastated by fire and with World War II raging across Europe. Then headmaster Carl Anderson hoped, that in this dark time for TA and the world, a celebration of Academy and its founders would raise the spirits of the school community.
Since then, Founders’ Day has become a beloved tradition at TA, serving as both a connection to the school’s history and a celebration of its present. The day always begins with a retelling of the school’s early history and a candle lighting ceremony honoring TA’s commitment to the values of faith, hope, dedication, knowledge, cooperation, courage, and responsibility.
2019 Champions! Panther Girls Win Third Div. III State Soccer Title
Vermont State Cross Country Meet Held at Thetford Academy. (See Valley News article):
Competitive sports: 7 Recreational sports: 3
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Thetford Academy offers 6 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What Thetford Academy says about their tuition: Total tuition&fees includes room&board with a host family for 10 months (excl. December recess), daily school lunch; administrative assistance for passport, I-20, visa management; iTEP or TOEFL prep and testing twice annually; college counseling and writing instruction; ELL study when applicable; transportation to/from Boston Logan Int'l Airport on arrival and departure; ISP excursions and events.
Need-based financial aid
Thetford Academy does not offer need-based financial aid.
Merit based Scholarships
Thetford Academy does not offer merit-based financial awards.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12
Average class size
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
9 - 12
SSAT (out of province)
9 - 12
Day students: Rolling Homestay students: Rolling Offer mid-year entry:
Mail, fax, or email as soon as possible after your online application is submitted.
International Application Essays
Have you ever studied abroad or lived away from your family? If so, please tell us more. Also, please tell us about any other international travel experience (150 words or less)
Thetford Academy seeks students who will benefit from and contribute to the educational program at our school. We are interested in students who want to try hard, help others, and join a respectful learning community. We believe in five fundamental principles: excellence, commitment, cooperation, diversity, and caring. In your words, please tell us what these principles mean to you (500 words or less).
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Day Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Homestay Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Type of student Thetford Academy is looking for:
Thetford Academy seeks students who will benefit from and contribute to the educational program at our school. We believe in five fundamental principles: excellence, commitment, cooperation, diversity, and care. We are especially interested in students who want to do their best, help others, and be a part of a respectful learning community.
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
Thetford Academy Graduates’ Post-Secondary Studies:
This information is not currently available.
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 25% - Business/Commerce 5% - Fine and Performing Arts 14% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 6% - Other
Services Offered to Students
What Thetford Academy says:
Class of 2020 post-secondary plans:
69% planned to attend four-year colleges
21% planned to attend 2-year colleges
10% planned to pursue a career or military service
Carrie Brennan joined Thetford Academy as Head of School in July 2019. With a new, five-year strategic plan in place, and with the school on the cusp of its third century, Carrie Brennan is focused on TA’s future: “I am awed by the rich history of Thetford Academy—and inspired by what a vibrant and dynamic 21st-century school TA is today!” Knowing that she would be leading a team of such dedicated and skilled faculty and staff, sold Carrie on the leadership position. “With this team we can accomplish anything for students.”
Formerly the executive director and co-founder of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning in Tucson, Arizona, Carrie’s work in education and education leadership has been widely recognized. In March 2019, she was named one of Tucson’s “Women of Influence,” an award honoring the region’s most impressive female professionals.