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By Lisa Loomis
Enrollment in the schools of the Washington West Supervisory Union is down this year with 2,080 students heading back to school this year, compared to 2,141 last year.
Under blue skies with an autumn chill in the air local students, teachers, support staff, bus drivers, food service people and others headed back to school on August 27.
In Waitsfield, 146 students returned to the classroom this year, down 24 students from last year's enrollment of 170.
In Fayston, enrollment was up by 14 students with 130 students this year, compared to 116 last year.
At the Moretown Elementary School there are 124 students enrolled, down 30 students from last year's enrollment of 154.
At the Warren Elementary School enrollment was nearly static, with 155 students this year, compared to 156 last year.
The Thatcher Brook Primary School serves families in Waterbury and Duxbury. Enrollment at that school this year is down slightly, with 417 students this year, compared to 422 last year.
Total elementary school population last year was 1018, compared to 972 this year. Some of those students will have graduated from elementary school and gone on to middle school at Crossett Brook or Harwood Union Middle School, although numbers for those schools are also down.
Crossett Brook, the middle school for Duxbury and Waterbury, has 287 students enrolled this year, down 10 students from last year's enrollment of 297.
Harwood Union, which serves as the high school for all Warren, Moretown, Waitsfield, Fayston, Duxbury and Waterbury (as well as the middle school for Warren, Moretown, Waitsfield and Fayston) has a combined student population of 821 this year, down 5 students from last year's 826.
Under Vermont's education funding formula, a town's statewide property tax rate is based on that town's per pupil spending -- which is based student population.