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What is the Portrait of a Student?

The VMS community developed a set of learning outcomes that tie together our mission statement, vision statement, strategic initiatives, and curricular and co-curricular goals. These outcomes are grouped into the pillars of our mission statement: Develop Character, Seek Knowledge, Build Community. The Portrait of a Student outcomes extend throughout the VMS program, Kindergarten through Grade 12.

VMS Portraits: Student, Teacher, Parent

The VMS program ensures that students have the skills and confidence to thrive once they leave VMS. The path to their post-VMS destination varies for everyone but our caring community of faculty and peers ensure that students are able to take the measured risks necessary to find their passion, excel academically, and emerge with strength of character.

Develop Character

  • VMS students speak articulately, respectfully, and confidently to all members of the community.
  • VMS students understand and employ empathy, recognize different perspectives, and see the value of diversity in the world.
  • VMS students are guided by an ethical framework and a strong ethical code, providing them with integrity in the face of challenges and injustices.
  • VMS students possess strong self-advocacy skills and have the courage to ask for help, not for the answer.
  • VMS students take responsibility for the consequences of their actions and behaviors both in and out of school.
  • VMS students approach life’s challenges with perseverance and grit.

Seek Knowledge

  • VMS students find joy in learning, in thinking open mindedly, and in exploring areas that are important to them.
  • VMS students respect knowledge; however, they also question doctrine in order to find their own answers to life’s questions.
  • VMS students work well both independently and collaboratively in order to achieve personal and group success.
  • VMS students utilize strong executive functioning skills.
  • VMS students are curious and willing to engage in courageous and often uncomfortable discussions about issues of power, privilege, and inequality.

Build Community

  • VMS students appreciate the natural world around them as they thrive in the surrounding mountain environment.
  • VMS students are kind and considerate to people of all ages, exemplified by relationships with their younger peers.
  • VMS students recognize that their education provides them the opportunity and skills to serve a public purpose both locally and globally.

When I got to college I was able to take advantage of all that was offered. I played soccer, I was in a band and I still took honors chemistry. I did not realize at the time that this is so rare, it just seemed natural to me. To this day, the broad knowledge base that I established at VMS helps guide my decision making and provides me with a level of confidence and comfort to interact with a wide range of people and ideas. Alumnus ‘93

Portrait of a VMS Teacher

• VMS teachers model the school’s mission in an exemplary fashion and truly understand their role as positive and proactive ambassadors in all public and private interactions. • VMS teachers willingly take on leadership roles in the school culture and perform these roles with honesty and integrity.
• VMS teachers believe that social-emotional and physical well-being are the foundation for all learning.
• VMS teachers commit to understanding the school's Inclusion & Belonging goals and to partnering with the administration to successfully implement them.
• VMS teachers work to prepare each student for life after VMS in all of its complexities.

• VMS teachers strive for excellence in their subjects. They are passionate about the subject matter and secure in their knowledge of the content.
• VMS teachers’ pedagogical skills serve every student in the class, and they possess the flexibility to support our athletes, thespians, musicians, artists, and diverse learners, in and outside of school.
• VMS teachers love working with other teachers, sharing ideas, and collaborating on projects in a positive, inclusive, and proactive manner.
• VMS teachers bring joy into the classroom every day–inspiring, engaging, enriching and empowering their students with creative and innovative lessons. Excellence and joy are not mutually exclusive.
• VMS teachers are willing to have brave conversations and think critically about issues of power, privilege, and inequality.

• VMS teachers are deeply committed to their students and treat them all equitably at all times. They are always by the student’s side–student-centered not self-centered.
• VMS teachers give their best to their students when they have a healthy work-life balance.
• VMS teachers form educational partnerships with their students, parents, their colleagues, and their administration. A key to this partnership is consistent, open communication based on trust and mutually understood expectations.
• VMS teachers embrace an unparalleled collaborative relationship with our community and mountain environment.
• VMS teachers actively create and reinforce a safe a welcoming environment for every student.

Portrait of a VMS Parent 

• VMS parents foster perseverance and grit and recognize that making mistakes is a part of learning.
• VMS parents understand the school’s mission and their role as positive and proactive ambassadors in all public and private interactions.
• VMS parents encourage ownership and independence in their children and their learning.
• VMS parents are willing to have brave conversations and think critically about issues of power, privilege, and inequality.
• VMS parents commit to understanding the school's Inclusivity & Belonging goals and to partnering with the administration and faculty to successfully implement them.

• VMS parents respect the core curriculum at VMS including outdoor education and understand the value of full participation not only for their own child but for all the children involved.
• VMS parents have carefully chosen VMS as the right school for their children and entrust VMS with their children’s education because they understand and support the school’s mission.
• VMS parents respect the expertise, knowledge, and professionalism of the faculty and staff.
• VMS parents attend parent education opportunities offered by the school.

• VMS parents participate in fundraisers because they understand the importance of investing in their children’s education.
• VMS parents regularly attend school events to support their children and to be fully informed members of the community.
• VMS parents see diversity, equity, and inclusion as a positive and desirable component of the VMS community.
• VMS parents are respectful and considerate to all members of the community including faculty, staff, students, and fellow parents.