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Albemarle Schools Respond to Allegations of School Closings - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Schools Respond to Allegations of School Closings

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Albemarle County Public Schools is responding to allegations that one of three elementary schools may be on the chopping block.     

Albemarle Supervisor Chris Dumler brought up the issue at a town hall meeting Thursday night, saying ScottsvilleYancey, and Red Hill elementary schools may close.   Now school leaders want to clarify that isn't the case.

The school system admits board members have their differences when it comes to possibly closing schools, but says those plans are not on the table at this time.  

"The planning committee, the advisory committee report in July, didn't recommend or urge the closing of any schools," said Albemarle County Public Schools Spokesperson Phil Giaramita.

He says the school board made it clear to the Long-Range Plan Advisory Committee not to suggest closing schools before reporting their findings in July.  

Giaramita explained, "At the board meeting in July, there was some discussion by some of the school board members as to whether what the financial efficiency would be of some of these recommendations. And there [were] some questions as to whether it's a wise investment to spend money at some of these schools that have low enrollments."  

Although discussed, the school system says nothing is set in stone. Meanwhile, Dumler stands by what he told people at Thursday's town hall, that Scottsville, Yancey, and Red Hill elementary schools are on the chopping block.    

"There were several school board members who expressed a willingness to consider reversing that policy, the policy that they should not consider it.  And as I understand it, just based upon the cost and how much they have to spend, I think Yancey is the most endangered followed by Red Hill," stated Dumler.  

Dumler says he's concerned potential plans are moving faster than most people think.  He says a preliminary version of the Capital Improvement Plan must be submitted by August 3.    

"So this is a decision that the school board could make by the end of next month. Of course it's a terrible time it happens with very little public notice, very little public comment," said Dumler.  

Albemarle County Public Schools say that any final decision is months away and they hope to have a series of public hearings.

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