TA News

Five Transferable Skills for Lifelong Learning

On a daily basis in TA classrooms, faculty engage and inspire students with their deep knowledge and passion in specific academic disciplines. However, many of the most essential skills, attitudes, and concepts that students learn and practice in their classes transcend single subjects. Problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication are just a few of many examples. These are the kinds of big-picture skills students are challenged to use throughout their academic experiences – and in all areas of life. The Vermont Agency of Education refers to these as ‘transferable skills.’

This school year, we are piloting our newly-adopted set of Thetford Academy’s Transferable Skills. Faculty participated in multiple design sessions this summer to finalize the list of skills and indicators, and used resources from the VT AOE and models from some of our peer institutions to help guide the work. Each transferable skill includes a set of performance indicators, designed to provide clarity for students (and for all of us in the school community – teachers, parents, coaches, internship mentors, and more) about what the skill looks like in real life and ways to work toward and demonstrate mastery. 

TA’s Transferable Skills are:

  • Effective Communication and Expression
  • Self-Directed Learning
  • Creative and Practical Problem Solving
  • Caring and Involved Citizenship
  • Informed and Integrated Thinking

With support from advisors and classroom teachers, TA students will track and reflect on their progress in these big-picture skills over time. In advisory, students will collect evidence from their own work, document their growth, and compile a portfolio of assignments, projects, and activities that demonstrate their journey toward mastery in these five overarching skills. 

  • Watch an introductory video about transferable skills created by TA Counselor and Teaching & Learning Coordinator Rebecca Walter. During the Community Day on Wednesday, Sept. 1 students in all grades (except 9th) used this video as part of an activity designed to learn about the new TA Transferable Skills – and to provide input on what they mean and examples.
  • Save the date: Later this year, on March 17, 2022, our Student Roundtable event will be an opportunity for students to present to family members, peers, and teachers highlights of their academic work this year and their personal progress with TA’s Transferable Skills.



We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.


We value initiative, courage and dedication. We take personal responsibility for the goals we set and work hard to achieve them.


We work and learn together. We see teachers as coaches, students as team members, families as partners, and learning as practice and action.


We provide individuals with personalized support and guidance. We care about each other and the larger community.


We respect differences among people. We welcome the contribution of varied perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.