VTVLC Administrator Profile
Get to know VTVLC K-8 Principal, Jennifer Hindes
VTVLC K-8 Principal Jennifer Hindes comes from a long line of educators. Her father was a high school social studies teacher and middle school principal, and both her grandmother and great-grandmother were teachers in one-room schoolhouses. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was a little girl,” Hindes said.
Hindes is entering her second year in her post as VTVLC K-8 Principal, but before helming the K-8 program, Hindes got her start with VTVLC teaching Grade 6 during the pandemic, the first year VTVLC offered grades K-6. “I loved teaching online,” Hindes said. “I found that, for many of my students, it was successful.”
After over 25 years of teaching in the classroom, Hindes joined VTVLC as the Dean of Elementary Programs and leveraged her elementary classroom experience to help launch VTVLC’s full-time program. “I enjoy connecting with students and families while building partnerships with schools to provide Vermont’s elementary and middle school students a vibrant online education,” Hindes said.
Leaving the classroom to become an administrator was not part of Hindes’ original plan, but she saw an opportunity for growth when VTVLC launched their full-time K-8 program, available to students throughout Vermont. “Being on the ground level, planning and implementing a new flexible pathway for Vermont’s elementary and middle school students has been exciting,” Hindes said. “Developing relationships and collaborating with schools around the state to provide an online opportunity for students has been an amazing experience.”
Things have changed a lot since VTVLC originated its K-8 program. “VTVLC has grown so much since 2020,” Hindes said. “Learning online in Vermont today is not like it was during the pandemic. VTVLC provides a supportive, flexible pathway for Vermont’s youngest learners to learn and grow.”
|Principal of VTVLC’s Full-Time K-8 Program|
Years at VTVLC
Role before become a principal
|Grade 6 Classroom Teacher|
In her tenure at VTVLC, Hindes and the VTVLC elementary teachers have endeavored to transform online learning for elementary and middle school-aged students in Vermont post-pandemic. The K-8 program features events and field trips, both virtual and in-person, and a variety of student clubs. “VTVLC has a rich online learning community,” Hindes said. “Students and teachers feel connected and engage in rich learning experiences.”
The program also boasts an innovative educational team. All VTVLC’s teachers must hold their Online Teaching Specialist endorsement (OTS), making them especially suited to the online environment, and Hindes says the full-time K-8 teachers are some of the finest educators in the state. “They are forward-thinkers who are pioneers in Vermont’s online educational landscape and provide students with a safe, rigorous learning environment,” Hindes said.
Learning online in Vermont today is not like it was during the pandemic. VTVLC provides a supportive, flexible pathway for Vermont’s youngest learners to learn and grow.
Buttressing the educators’ work is a curriculum that VTVLC partnered with Instructure Design to create. “We provide a rich curriculum at the elementary level that content experts across the state have written that meets and exceeds standards,” Hindes said. With a consistent look and feel throughout all elementary courses at VTVLC, students and other stakeholders, such as caregivers and learning coaches, can easily access class meeting schedules, weekly assignments, and course content.
Learning online is not the same as learning in a brick-and-mortar school, however. Hindes has some advice for learners new to the environment: “Being home means students must set up and follow routines and maintain a workspace free of distractions.”
Looking ahead to the next school year, Hindes is looking forward to expanding the K-8 program to welcome more students, seizing opportunities to present around the state to answer questions and share students’ wonderful successes as online learners, and upcoming school events.
Later this month, students will virtually venture to the New York Wolf Conservation Center to learn about how important wolves are to the planet’s ecosystem. Down the road, students can enjoy events such as rock climbing, a puppet show, and learning about some birds of prey with the Vermont Institute of Natural Science.
“I love the potential a new school year holds. It is an opportunity to set new goals, make new friends, and learn new things,” Hindes said. “I can’t wait to meet our new students and welcome back familiar ones.”