VERMONT SCHOOL WILL CLOSE THIS YEAR DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT
A Vermont school has a three-student population this year. The school population has been dwindling over the years and will be closing down. Vermont is a very rural state and the town of Rochester is the least populated. The student population has declined 1,300 kids per year. Rochester intended on merging its school district with others. But the request was denied. The residents of this area are considering home-schooling their kids or even moving to neighboring communities. One of the best options is for families to drive four miles to a neighboring town and drop their kids off to then bus over to the school, which is forty minutes away. Meaning that they don’t have many options.
A THREE-STUDENT POPULATION, IS SCHOOL BETTER?
Many teachers from the middle school and high school decided to leave, giving the school board only a month and a half to find new teachers. The school board instead paid the tuition of the three remaining students and students to attend neighboring communities. One of the students, Kimberly Taylor, didn’t have enough time to research the other limited options, and decided to stay. Her brother attends the middle school which has a larger population than the three-student population. Her mother works in the kitchen of the middle school. Most of her friends opted to go to the neighboring school and/or early college program at Randolph. She will most likely attend Randolph next year. She said it’s lonely, less social, but she has never felt very social herself. It’s hard to be social when you know no other kids!
MANY FAMILIES WILL NEED TO DRIVE FAR AWAY FOR THEIR KIDS TO ATTEND SCHOOL
Come September, the district will finally merge with the neighboring school district of Stockbridge. All the towns in that district will keep their schools open, whereas the three-student population school will finally close. Parents will need to provide their own transportation. Many residences whose children went through the school system are content that they don’t need to worry about any of this. As it is, it’s a very difficult time for most families of children living in Rochester, Vermont.