GMU School District Proposes Move Back to One-Room Schoolhouse

CAVENDISH – At a contentious first meeting of the newly formed Green Mountain Unified School District on Tuesday evening, Two Rivers Supervisory Union Superintendent Meg Powden proposed a consolidation of school functions that was met with concern by those in attendance. Powden first suggested that the new school district might have only one principal for all three of its elementary schools, and then followed that suggestion by also asking that the one principal be asked to serve as school nurse for the three locations.

As residents rose to complain about the proposals, which Powden claimed were for budgetary reasons, board members became increasingly uncomfortable and tried to assure those in attendance that “kids don’t like principals anyway.”

Things really got heated when Powden then went on to her final proposal, that all schools in the SU merge into one large classroom and all K-12 students be taught by one teacher. Which room would hold the almost 1200 students had not been determined, but all agreed that the measure would cut costs immensely.

“Yeah, it would save money,” said Chester resident Tom Smythe. “But I thought if we all did this merger thing, that was to get the money from the state and stuff. Why are we worried about money already?”

“I love the idea of reducing the budget this much,” said Mt. Holly resident Sarah Tonnin, “but there may be a chance it would reduce the quality of education. I think they need to do a study or something to see if the trade-off is worth it.”

The proposal, and accompanying budget, was not finalized, and the meeting was ended after significant discussion. All other agenda items were tabled until the next meeting. Powden says she is hopeful that the measure will be approved.

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