After Closing 2 Schools, Fluvanna Still Has to Cut Spending

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Two schools are gone, but what's next? Fluvanna County schools still need to find funding. Even after Wednesday night's big decision to close Cunningham and Columbia elementary schools, there are still more to be made.

Because of the school closures, students are on the move and some employees are out of work. Thursday night, there's even more on the chopping block.

Fluvanna County School Board Superintendent Gena Keller says the next few months are a time to restructure. The district is looking for other expenses to cut down on, such as the Alternative Education Program.

"We don't want to give that program up; it helps with our drop out rate, it keeps students energized and engaged in school," Keller said.

The closing of Columbia and Cunningham elementary schools will leave 16 Fluvanna County School District employees without a job. School Board Chairwoman Camilla Washington says, although some workers will take a hit, the students won't.

"We wanted to make sure that those students moving from those two facilities had the same advantages of those students at Central that instructional initiatives were not going to be lost," she said.

The 300 displaced students will be moved to Central Elementary School. Washington also says having all of the students in one school will make an easier transition between grade levels.

"All of the K-1 and 2 teachers will be able to collaborate and work so closely together to make sure the curriculums are aligned and that those children are truly ready to move to the next grade level," Washington said.

Superintendent Gena Keller says employees being laid off will be notified next month. She says it is not yet known if the school buildings will be declared surplus once they are no longer being used, and that there is a possibility of organizations renting them out.