A Vermont High School Has Just 3 Students A tiny high school in a rural Vermont will close at the end of the school year. Scott Simon asks freshmen Nicholas Steeventon and Hap Ingramthere what it's like attending a school with three students.
NPR logo

A Vermont High School Has Just 3 Students

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/588500092/588500093" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
A Vermont High School Has Just 3 Students

A Vermont High School Has Just 3 Students

A Vermont High School Has Just 3 Students

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/588500092/588500093" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A tiny high school in a rural Vermont will close at the end of the school year. Scott Simon asks freshmen Nicholas Steeventon and Hap Ingramthere what it's like attending a school with three students.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You could hold an assembly for all of the high school students at the Rochester School in Vermont in a broom closet. There are just three high school students on campus. Because of declining enrollment, the town's combined middle and high school will close at the end of the school year. We are joined now by two of those three students. Nicholas Steeventon (ph) and Hap Ingram are the two freshmen at the Rochester School. They join us via Skype. Thanks so much for being with us.

HAP INGRAM: No problem.

NICHOLAS STEEVENTON: Yeah.

SIMON: So do you know everyone in school?

HAP: (Laughter) Yeah.

NICHOLAS: Yeah, definitely.

SIMON: Is there a football team?

NICHOLAS: Definitely not, no.

HAP: No.

SIMON: Spring play?

HAP: We used to do a lot of plays. I don't think that there's one this year.

NICHOLAS: No.

SIMON: So how did this happen? Do you know?

HAP: Well, we've always had not that many students because we live in a small town.

NICHOLAS: Yeah.

HAP: But I think since last year, there's been, like, a huge decline because of school choice.

NICHOLAS: Yeah. This year, kids were allowed to go to any of the surrounding schools. And many of them chose to go to some of the neighboring schools. But we decided to stay here because it's really close. We didn't want to have to travel to get to school.

SIMON: Yeah. I have to ask you both, do you feel you're missing out on something, or you're gaining something from this extraordinary experience?

NICHOLAS: I think, personally, I'm gaining a little bit of - I don't know - work ethic. But I'm also losing a little bit of the social aspect. But it's not necessarily negative or positive overall.

SIMON: Yeah - and Hap Ingram?

HAP: I think that it's definitely lonely. But I've always felt like independent work was a lot easier for me. And I don't know. I don't really feel like I'm missing out because I'm just - I'm not really that much of a social person. So yeah.

SIMON: Aw. Do you folks have any idea of what you're doing next year?

NICHOLAS: I will be going to a neighboring school that's about 45 minutes away from where I live. So it's going to be a bit of a change. But I'm looking forward to being with more kids.

SIMON: Yeah - and Hap?

HAP: I think I'm going to try to go to Randolph, which is a neighboring school.

SIMON: I went on the school website. And I see that you're selling hoodies.

NICHOLAS: Yeah.

HAP: Yeah?

SIMON: Yeah. Well...

HAP: I didn't know that.

SIMON: ...I almost bought one - hoodies inscribed, our time has come.

HAP: Oh.

NICHOLAS: Yeah.

HAP: That's appropriate.

SIMON: Do you folks have them?

HAP: No, but I would love to buy one.

NICHOLAS: Yeah.

HAP: You know, I've been going to the school for a long time in and out. So it's kind of cool to me to be, like, the last class.

NICHOLAS: It's a little bit sad that our school's going away because our school's been dwindling for a while so...

SIMON: Forgive me for not knowing - is there a Rochester school song?

HAP: A song?

SIMON: Yeah. Like, I can - you know, my high school song - (singing) hail to the green. Hail to the white. Hail to the school with the honor - that was Senn High School in Chicago. Does Rochester High School have a school song?

HAP: We...

NICHOLAS: No.

HAP: We've never had a song.

NICHOLAS: No, I think we're too small.

SIMON: (Laughter).

HAP: I mean, we're the Rochester Rockets. But, you know, we don't have any song.

SIMON: Well, you know, all you need is a song in your heart.

NICHOLAS: Yeah.

HAP: Yeah.

NICHOLAS: Thank you for the interview.

HAP: Yeah.

SIMON: Thank you for working us into your schedule. Nicholas Steeventon and Hap Ingram - freshmen at Rochester School in Vermont.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BAHAMAS' "LOST IN THE NIGHT")

Copyright © 2018 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.