Community Schools at WRVSU

Community schools are places where educators, local community members, families, and students all work together to create opportunities for transformative student learning, enduring relationships and community vitality. As partners, community school teams organize in- and out-of-school resources, supports, and opportunities so that young people thrive in and with their communities.

In 2021, the White River Valley Supervisory Union was awarded a State grant to support the development and implementation of a community school model in our district. Our goal is to support the emergence of a model where our schools are at the center of a revitalization of our communities. We believe our children and our communities are worth every effort we can give. We’re getting started by:

  • Nurturing learning that is co-created in partnership with teachers and community partners;
  • Increasing opportunities for student self-directed learning;
  • Increase engagement of families and community partners in school related activities, meetings and events;
  • Opening more shared decision making opportunities between the WRVSU Community+School Team, faculty and the community;
  • Developing co-created student and community opportunities for diverse, engaging, real-world learning.

We know we cannot do this alone - we need your ideas and energy! Please contact Community and Schools Coordinator, Mary Schell at to get involved.

Mary Schell : Community + School Coordinator
picture of a woman smiling outside.

Mary Schell currently serves as the Community+School Coordinator for White River Valley Supervisory Union. Mary moved to Vermont in the early 1990's because of the vision of progressive education in Vermont. It was a time of excitement to remove barriers and create systems to empower students to become agents of change in their own learning. Vermont was leading the national dialogue and practice for this revolution in education. Mary sees the current commitment to Community Schools through Act 67 as an evolution of Vermonters seeking to create systems for equity, learner agency as well as establishing reciprocal relationships between our schools and communities. She believes our community schools not only characterize who we are but can mobilize what our schools and communities can be. Mary is a Vermont Public Education Ambassador.  She has had the opportunity to serve as a secondary social studies teacher at Windsor High School, Twinfield Union School & Harwood Union School. Mary has prioritized collaboration with youth and adult leaders as a Rowland Foundation Fellow and the Director of UP for Learning and Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together.  She is grateful for the time she can spend with her family, friends, dog, and horses. You can reach Mary at


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