About Rivendell

Since its creation, Rivendell has built upon its founding principle: Providing equitable educational opportunities for all children in a way that can be governed by and connected to our communities.

Established by voters on October 13, 1998, a dedicated group of Rivendell founders banded together to pool financial and human resources and create a district to unite three towns in Vermont (Fairlee, Vershire, and West Fairlee) and one in New Hampshire (Orford). It is one of the only PreK-12 interstate public school districts in the country. On July 1, 1999, the Rivendell Supervisory Union assumed responsibility for the central office functions of the four existing school districts. On July 1, 2000, Rivendell assumed educational responsibility for all students in the four towns and ownership of the existing school properties. On Monday, August 28, 2000, Rivendell opened its doors to approximately 550 students from member towns and about 32 students from neighboring towns.

Community volunteers, who devoted hours to the concept, made much of the planning and groundwork possible. Administrators and educators excited about this new concept in the district's plan came together and their professional expertise helped to guide the process. Teachers from all four schools worked together to plan the curriculum. The ideals of Rivendell also garnered support from both state agencies and private foundations, which gave legislative help and grant funds, as well as technical and program assistance.

Change is controversial and complex when it involves peoples' lives, local identity and the passing on of traditions. The transition to one district built new standards and an educational environment with its own unique culture. The process continues to be fluid and continual, directed by the collective actions of everyone. Working together with patience, civility and persistence toward solutions, Rivendell continues to achieve its goals.

Our history, progression, program development and full financial picture are available in our annual reports. Please feel free to request one from our district office.


The design principles guiding development of the Rivendell program

  • An engaging team-taught curriculum that results in well-educated students who are able to meet high academic standards, problem solve across disciplines and contexts, and take leadership in their communities
  • Significant and ongoing connections between school and community
  • Structures and practices that support teaching and learning
  • New standards of accountability and excellence for our school, our staff, and our students.