August 27, 2013
Fluvanna County is surviving with two fewer elementary schools this year. Columbia and Cunningham Elementaries both closed this year due to budget cuts. Most of those students were absorbed by Central Elementary.
Terry Edwards has been a teacher at Central for decades. She has a couple of extra kids in her class this year because of the transferred students.
"Last year we had about 18 children a piece," Edwards said. "This year we have 19 and 20 so we do have one or two more."
She says the students from Columbia and Cunningham are jumping right in.
"The kids are doing really well," Edwards said. "Kids are kids, and they make friends easily, and they're really enjoying all being together."
David Partusch's daughter is in Edwards' class. She was supposed to go to Cunningham Elementary, but Partusch says she doesn't mind the change.
"Everyday I come here and pick her up. She loves it," Partusch said. "She loves being around all the little kids."
He says, in some ways, he prefers having his daughter at a larger school, but he can see why some parents may not feel the same way.
"We don't live far from here," Partusch said. "But the other schools, you know Columbia school, that's a little bit of a drive."
One couple in Columbia, who preferred not to give their names, expressed concerns about the closing of their neighborhood school. They questioned why Fluvanna County paid to build a new high school, but couldn't fund their neighborhood elementary school.
The change has been a reunion for Edwards, who is now working with teachers she used to know when she taught at Columbia.
"In some cases it was friends getting to work with each other again when they hadn't worked with them for a few years," Edwards said. "So it's been a lot of joining together. It gives us a lot of time to get together and kind of put together what they've done at their school, so we can mesh."