Word for 11/10 – Bulk

The elementary school in my little town.

The bulk of Vermont towns and cities have a single elementary school.  But with enrollment declining many towns are having a hard time keeping an elementary school open.  Back when I was growing up combined grade classrooms were not uncommon.  I even taught as a traveling specialist (music) to a town where there were 2 classrooms, one for grades 1-2-3, and the other for 4-5-6.  Then I drove up the road to another town that had a one room school-house where the one teacher taught grades 1-6.  The classroom enrolments ran between 20 – 30.

These days the bulk of parents in Vermont  hail from a background of large elementary school and have no understanding of multi-age classrooms.  They are adamant that their children be educated in a single grade setting.  In the town where I reside that means class sizes average 11 students.  Now I think that is mostly a wonderful thing for the teachers and students.  However it is not cost efficient.  It makes school consolidation — busing students from a number of towns to one central building a hot topic.

The two towns I referred to above have both closed their elementary schools and their students are now bused to other towns.  Time will tell whether the town where I reside will remain open as currently structured, opt to remain open with combined grade classrooms, or close and have students bused to a neighboring town.  I have no idea what the bulk of the voting public will decide.


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