The Downtown School

  • VT


106 Main Street
Manchester Center

United States

About Us

The Downtown School is an independent, progressive education elementary school located in Manchester, Vermont.


The Downtown School promotes exceptional academic achievement, intellectual flexibility, deep learning, creativity, and whole-child growth through an authentic, experience-based curriculum that creates a landscape for learning out of the world around us.


•How children learn is as important as what they learn. Strong, lifelong learning is naturally interdisciplinary, seamlessly connecting many different skills.

•Children have powerful natural intelligence and boundless curiosity. The deepest learning occurs when children are taken seriously and play an ongoing, active role in their academic experience.

•Children learn to solve complex problems by creating and exploring questions, not by simply memorizing answers. Children learn to make good decisions by actually making decisions, not by simply following directions.

•Learning is fundamentally a social rather than solitary act. When children learn how to work together and learn from members of their community, they become lifelong learners.

•The highest level of individual intellectual development and academic achievement occurs within a context of shared goals, mutual respect, teamwork, and cooperation.

•Learning is most engaging and effective when it takes place in an environment where children feel comfortable, safe, valued, and free to take risks

•Manchester and the surrounding areas are an essential part of our educational experience; our local community and our downtown provide a valuable landscape for learning.