Consolidation of schools in Vermont is not a new concept. Vermonters have long been known for being practical and creative and to strive for excellence.
“He bought a bus” is the title of a long-ago article in the Saturday Review about my late father, Llewellyn Roberts. Dad was superintendent of schools in Danville for many years.
Among the schools in his numerous districts were four one-room schoolhouses in the Walden-Stannard area — with one teacher teaching all eight grades in each building.
He saw a need, had an idea, wrote a grant, got the money he requested and bought a small school bus. Voila. Four one-room schoolhouses became four schools with two grades each. The students came to their neighborhood school and then were bused to one of the others as grade indicated.
The bus also provided transportation for class trips to the Fairbanks Museum, the planetarium, Athenaeum, the State House and other educational opportunities that may not have been available without a bus.
Did he face opposition to his plan initially? I don’t remember, but probably. Change is often difficult for people. I think the involved parents and voters knew Dad had been hired to provide a good education to the students, and that is what he was attempting to do.
There has to be trust on the part of the community to respect the expertise of the educators. The educators are obligated to use their intellect and explore every resource at their disposal — both federal and local resources available to provide the best education opportunities for all our Vermont students. They are our future.
Priscilla R. Carpenter
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