Rochester, Vt., Voters Want to Keep High School

Rochester, Vt. — Voters in the White River Valley town of Rochester, Vt., voiced support for their town’s small high school in an advisory vote Tuesday.

Of the 335 people who cast ballots, 220 were in favor of keeping the town’s K-12 school, while 113 voted in favor of cutting back to grades K-8. Two ballots were spoiled. About 47 percent of the town’s registered voters turned out for the day-long Australian balloting.

Rochester School has struggled with declining enrollment, and with only 55 high school students, some argue that the school’s upper grades are no longer viable. A proposal before the state Board of Education to disband the Windsor Northwest Supervisory Union threatened to draw off more students to other schools. The state proposal is on hold until June 1 to give school administrators in the towns of Rochester, Bethel, Stockbridge, Hancock, Granville and Pittsfield and in neighboring supervisory unions time to talk over ways in which they might collaborate. — Alex Hanson