• “Kurn Hattin was the best choice my family ever made for me. When I was in the 8th grade I didn’t want to leave.”

    ~Kristen McDaniel, Class of 1991

  • "I love Kurn Hattin and miss it like crazy.  Kristi Lisai, thank you for being the BEST English teacher ever, being so easy to talk to, and teaching me how to be such a good writer!  Richard M. Long, thank you for never giving up on me when I would do so badly in social studies.  And to all of the other teachers and staff, just thank you for being my ... AWESOME TEACHERS!"

    ~ Chelsea Candello, Class of 2012

  • "I support Kurn Hattin partly for sentimental reasons and as a teacher, I know the needs of children who no longer can live at home. I like their philosophy—to return the children home to their families. The families are given time to strengthen and heal. The children are given every chance to succeed and find their own niche whether it is with music, sports, writing, or animals."

    ~ Carol Howe, Friend & Supporter

  • "Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth. It’s a phrase I associate with my upbringing at Kurn Hattin. I attended Kurn Hattin from 3rd to 8th grade and was given security, consistency, guidance, and direction. The girls, boys, teachers, and houseparents became my forever family.”

    ~Kim (Sherrick) Dawson, Class of 1982

  • "Kurn Hattin gave me guidance and structure when I needed it most. Kurn Hattin was the most perfect support my parents could have asked for. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Kurn Hattin is that village”

    ~Gizenia Boyd, Class of 2005

  • "I was so proud of my girl, getting up on stage and singing her heart out. Kurn Hattin is building her up with so much confidence. I will be forever grateful for what you are doing for my little girl."

    ~ Brenda Boisjolie Arce, Mother

  • "Discipline, respect, loyalty, and love are what I learned from the houseparents. I have 3 older brothers and we all went there. Thanks Kurn Hattin–Always the place I call home."

    ~Stephen Smith, Class of 1994

  • "I still remember walking into Kurn Hattin. The scared little girl I was. Seeing myself grow over the years has been a blessing. But I never could have done it without the backbone of my forever home. Thank you, all of you. I really did it. I graduated high school!"

    ~ Makiah Curtis, Class of 2012

  • "The area I came from wasn’t the best environment. Though I didn’t want to be here at first, I’d say my mom did the right thing. The houseparents are like family. They changed my life. I matured in all aspects from being a little kid to growing into a man.”

    ~Jacob Edwards, Class of 2018

  • "Kurn Hattin provided advice, support, and encouragement to pursue my dreams. The most important lesson I learned was to be humble, kind, and help those who were less fortunate. Because of Kurn Hattin, I have found my voice, my purpose in life, and my passion to help those who are in need.”

    ~Heather Kampfer, Class of 2001, Alumni Association President

  • "My son has since graduated from high school and just turned 18! He’s an accomplished jazz musician and artist. Thank you Kurn Hattin for all you do for children.” 

    ~Chantal Paulino, Mother

  • "The lessons of life that I still carry today were taught to me at Kurn Hattin 50 plus years ago. Although many of my teachers who stood at the ‘fork in the road’ are gone, I carry on their legacy. And now I stand at the fork in the road to point the way for those who follow.”

    ~Jerry L. Bardwell, Class of 1973, Trustee

  • "I didn’t know how to make friends. I had a lot of problems. I felt like I was stuck in quicksand. Then I came to Kurn Hattin. It was a slow process, but I was given a lot of structure and I needed and responded to that structure.“

    ~Christiana Mylott, Class of 2018

  • “Best years of my life. I’m now 36 married and have 3 beautiful daughters. Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for everything this school did for me. Kurn Hattin definitely made me the man I am today.”

    ~Tom Adkins, Class of 1995

  • “I’m so proud to have been at Kurn Hattin. It turned my life around and put me on the right track. I’m not sure where I would have been otherwise. And I believe I was the only boy who made ‘Eagle Scout’ at that time.”

    ~ Peter Stavrou, Class of 1951

  • "I’m grateful to have had the experience at Kurn Hattin Homes, which was my and my brother’s ‘village’ that made such a positive mark on our lives.”

    ~Rhonda (Gaudreau) Nolan, Class of 1977, Incorporator

  • "I can’t help reiterating my admiration and thanks to a wonderful haven for needy children and one which has provided guidance, education and encouragement to many, many children, who have gone on to lead meaningful adulthood lives, some who have become leaders in society.”

    ~James Barschdorf, Class of 1944

Student Life Photo Gallery

InlinePhotos StudentLife

Nurturing the Whole Child

Kurn Hattin places a strong emphasis on nurturing the whole child—mind, body, heart, and spirit. Programs and extracurricular activities cultivate strong social skills and foster emotional and physical development, as well as critical thinking and communication skills. Southern Vermont’s vast blue skies and seemingly endless rolling green hills provide a fitting backdrop for children at Kurn Hattin to explore their own boundless potential.

Residential Life – Calling Kurn Hattin Home

Kurn Hattin provides a safe, stable environment where caring adults surround children with nurturing structure and consistency that they need to grow and thrive. Wholly dedicated to meeting these needs, Kurn Hattin residential staff create a warm, welcoming family atmosphere, where children feel a sense of belonging and form strong bonds with others through mutual trust, respect, and cooperation.

Children live in cottages usually of 10 to 11 children per home. House parents are on duty to provide a caring and structured home environment. Families are strongly encouraged to maintain frequent contact with their children through visits, phone calls, and letters.

All of our cottages promote a family atmosphere. Live-in house parents, who often have families of their own, and relief house parents supervise cottage living. Our daily living emphases are geared toward the goal of developing healthy, happy, and socially successful individuals. From rising in the morning until bedtime, each child’s residential experience is filled with meaningful events. Free time, meals (usually in the dining hall), daily hygiene, choice of clothes, practicing a musical instrument, reading, working on homework for school, or completing chores are all part of an important routine.

Sample Daily Schedule 

N.B. Daily schedules vary somewhat by cottage, age, and time of year 

6:15 AM Rise and Shine – get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, and straighten room

6:45 AM Cottage Chore 

7:00 AM Walk to Breakfast in the Mayo Center

7:15 AM Breakfast with cottage in the Watson Dining Hall

8:05 AM Morning Assembly in the Higbie Auditorium

8:15 AM Morning Classes begin

11:45 AM Lunch in the Watson Dining Hall (usually unassigned-seating)

12:30 PM Afternoon Classes begin

3:30 PM Classes end - Afternoon Snack – return to cottage for afternoon activities and sports

5:00 PM Dinner with cottage in the Watson Dining Hall

6:00 PM Recreation time outside in warm weather or inside in cold weather 

6:45 PM Return to cottage for homework, reading, and showers

8:00 PM Bedtime for the younger cottages or Free-time for older cottages

8:30/9:00 PM Lights out for older cottages

Food Service and Dining Hall

Most of the children agree that one of the highlights of Kurn Hattin is the food! Most meals are eaten at the Mayo Memorial Center in the Watson Dining Hall.  At Breakfast and Dinner children sit at tables as a cottage, but Lunch provides a bit less structure for the older children, who can generally sit where they wish with their friends. The kitchen staff, led by Richard Johnson who has prepared meals at the Homes for over 25 years, delivers high quality, nutritious, and delicious food daily in a cafeteria-line style.  A fresh salad bar is almost always available for Lunch and Dinner. A wide variety of offerings throughout each week provides opportunities to broaden the palate of the children as they try new foods that perhaps they had been unaccustomed to in the past. It is the philosophy of the Homes (as well a Federal guideline) for each child to taste a little bit of each type of food to help them learn to enjoy new and different options. An emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients, much of which is grown on our own farm, as well as preparing meals from scratch rather than pre-prepared foods. Kurn Hattin operated a “farm-to-table” program long before it became popular in the restaurant world. The result is a wonderful array of delightful tastes and smells that children and staff alike enjoy.

Families are encouraged to join their children occasionally for dinner at no charge. Often families will utilize a smaller dining room, the Kelsey Room, for a more intimate setting for dinner with their children.

InlinePhotos StudentLife DiningHall

Weekends and Holidays

Often children go home one or two weekends a month and during school vacations; however, it has been noted over time that it is good for the children to stay on campus frequently over the weekends to maintain consistency in their routines and moderate behavioral adjustments. Because each family’s needs are different, residential life and outreach staff will work with families to decide what’s best for them and their children.  

InlinePhotos StudentLife Summer

During the summer months, children may remain on campus and participate in the summer recreation program. This program generally operates for 9 to 10 weeks each summer and offers activities such as weekly field trips, outdoor recreation, swimming. and crafts. Specialty camps in individual sports, a variety of camping and outdoor activities, technology, and more are also available in the summer months.  Some academic tutoring may be available during the summer as well.


Throughout the academic year, and the summer program, trips are available to children to get off campus. Some excursions travel to nearby parks, recreation centers, movies, and stores, but there are also many longer trips to amusement parks, events, musical and theatrical performances, and outdoor adventures as well. Children in the music program sing at venues all around the Northeast, and the choir trips often feature overnight stays. Trips to NYC, Boston, Portland, Burlington, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere provide many chances to have fun and see lots of interesting and educational sights.

InlinePhotos StudentLife Trips


Eating ‘smores by a wood fire, stream-stomping, sitting under a tree and reading a “really cool” (i.e. engrossing) book, playing capture-the-flag in the woods or a pick-up game of soccer, basketball, or ultimate frisbee – these activities and more are what children who stay on campus on the weekends can enjoy. Children are encouraged to remain on campus on the weekends to have fun together and relish all that Kurn Hattin and the surrounding areas have to offer. Participating in fun-filled activities designed to shed the responsibilities and pressures of each week allows for needed down-time while maintaining some of the structure of the Homes that helps children stay self-regulated. Structured and unstructured time on the weekends often allows for closer bonding experiences between children and also with their supervising adults. Activities such as playing outdoors, hikes and picnics, reading, gym time, watching movies, playing video games, excursions to local festivals and events, attending worship, and much more provide for fun and memories for a lifetime.

InlinePhotos StudentLife Relaxation

Kurn Hattin is a year-round home and school on 280-acres overlooking the Connecticut River Valley which is:

  • Licensed by the Vermont Department of Children and Families
  • Approved by the Vermont State Board of Education
  • Staffed by licensed teachers and counselors
  • Offering first-rate academic, athletic, and music programs
  • Conducting a comprehensive Social Skills Program
  • Comprised of nine residential cottages staffed by trained quality caregivers
  • Offering a full summer recreation program and camps
  • Operating a working/teaching farm

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