At Vandermont, through our personalized learning paths, we empower inquisitive students to develop their interests and God-given abilities to achieve their highest goals while inspiring them to learn confidently and lead purposeful lives.
We are not a traditional school. We are an innovative K-9 21st-century private Christian school focusing on developing each learner’s God-given talents and interests with standards (+) curriculums and Inquiry and Project-Based Learning. Through a learner-led and student-centered model, we apply real life to offer a purposeful education and give freedom to students to dive deep into their education by being curious, creative, collaborative and empowered to take charge of their learning. We are in Rockwall County- 9 minutes east of Costco.
**Important to know: We are not a program for individuals with significant learning differences. We do not have the professional certifications, curriculums, and programs to support students who are English Language Learners, have visual or hearing impairments, require services through an IEP, 504, or similar plan, or with significant social, intellectual, emotional, or behavioral issues. We do not offer speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, therapeutic counseling, or social skills training. We are not a 1:1 program.
Vandermont will fulfill its mission by developing each student’s intellectual curiosity, educational capabilities and emotional/character development in a vibrant learning environment where students gain understanding of themselves as well as their relationships to the local community and the world beyond our community.
Being rather than seeming to be
Open, honest, and direct communication
Asking questions before forming assumptions
The local community as learning laboratory
Collaboration as well as rugged individualism
Change, not charity
Self-esteem as a by product of hard work and a job well done
Rigor plus joy equals mastery.
LEARNER PERSONAL VALUES
I am a Self-Directed Learner. I am able to set and meet my goals, as well as manage my time wisely. I am curious and strive to understand and/or master new ideas and skills.
I am a Collaborative Contributor. I work with my studio mates to complete work and challenges effectively and efficiently. I am also able to communicate my ideas, listen, and consider input from my studio mates to come to a consensus when working together on how to proceed in a task, work, or challenge. In a group, I am dependable; I complete my part of a project on time.
I am a Quality Creator. I strive to produce quality work and persevere through challenges in my learning path.
I am a Problem Solver. I am a researcher and innovator. I use the design thinking process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test). I reflect on my work to improve as I learn and grow.
I am preparing myself to be Future Ready. I am developing my financial and digital literacy, and I am investigating my post-secondary opportunities. These endeavors pave the way for me to realize my aspirations and goals and plan a pathway for success.
I am practicing the foundational values of the Habits of Mind (grit, initiative, mindfulness, and productivity). I reflect on my learning and experiences, and I can articulate my strengths and where I have opportunities to grow.
Through developing these core personal values, Learners will be able to navigate life experiences successfully and achieve my goals for the future.
1. Student-driven, self-paced learning
2. Real-world projects (and apprenticeships coming soon)
3. Student self-governance through studio contracts created by students
4. Mixed-age studios
5. Teachers serve as guides
6. Socratic discussions rather than lectures
7. Exploration and assessment of skill levels
CHARACTERISTICS THAT DIFFERENTIATE OUR MODEL FROM TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS ARE:
WHAT IS A "LEARNER-DRIVEN" COMMUNITY?
First, we are self-directed, meaning the young people are in charge of their own learning. Second, we are a community of learners, in which students are bound together by their pledge to hold themselves and each other to high standards. We believe self-directed learners with strong character will be the leaders of the next generation.
WHERE DID THE NAME COME FROM?
The "Vander" comes from being inspired by the older historical generations of the Vanderbilt family from the 1800's. They were innovative in their ways of thinking and very entrepreneurial. They did things that were hard, took risks, problem-solved, and took great care of the people around them.
The "Mont" part comes from being inspired by the works of Maria Montessori's educational method which built on the way children naturally learned. She was an Italian doctor-turned-educator in the early 1900's.) Her methods foster growth for independence, grace and courtesy, accountability, freedom with responsibility, a prepared environment, hands-on learning, and citizenship. The learning environment is rigorous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in all areas of their development—cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. They learn to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly and with integrity. Although we are not technically a Montessori school, we are deeply grounded in the roots of her methods to apply proven research applicable to the 21st century.