UPDATE: Chelsea, Tunbridge approve school merger

Chelsea, Tunbridge vote on school merger

CHELSEA, Vt. - UPDATE: Both Tunbridge and Chelsea approved merging into a unified school district.



  • Yes: 207
  • No: 61


  • Yes: 197
  • No: 110

There are currently 176 students at Chelsea Public School. The school is graduating only 7 students in spring 2018.


Principal Mark Blount says the graduation rate is expected to return to normal (about 11-15 graduating seniors) in the next five years.


If the merger is approved, Chelsea will lose its high school.


High school-aged kids in nearby Tunbridge already choose a high school to attend out of town. Tunbridge’s K-8 school has 112 students enrolled this year.


Both towns would keep their separate elementary schools under the merger. However, the newly-elected school board (comprised of three members from each town) would decide what to do about the middle schools after one year.


“The kids need to be exposed to as much as possible. They need after school activities,” said Larena Pickett, who lives in Chelsea and voted in favor of the merger. “They need more sports to choose from. They need art programs. They need to have more kids that they mingle with.”


“We have to go with the times. Times are changing. There are lower numbers of students and if we don't take charge of our destiny, someone else may do it for us,” said Lori Berger, who lives in Tunbridge and also voted in favor of the merger.


Many voters say Act 46, a law enacted in 2015 that encourages and eventually requires school districts to merge, sped up the process. They say they feel if they don’t make a decision now on the local level, the state will make it for them.


In June, Tunbridge voters rejected the merger after a revote was petitioned. The vote had passed in both Chelsea and Tunbridge in April.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center