Franklin County superintendent responds to frustration over school closures

Burnt Chimney and Henry Elementary schools are set to close next school year

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Two beloved elementary schools in Franklin County are closing, to the frustration of parents in the county.

“We understand what it means to these communities to have their elementary schools closed,” Superintendent Kevin Siers said.

10 News spoke with Superintendent Kevin Siers to get answers about the quick decision.

He said it was something no one in the county wanted to do.

“This was not a decision that was made easily. There was a lot of heartache and a lot of thought went into the process,” Siers said.

During a public hearing Saturday, Virginia Senator Bill Stanley asked the board to hold off on a decision until the state budget was finalized, but Siers tells us that wasn’t an option, with the schools’ budget deadline of March 5.

“We do not know when that will be approved and we don’t know if we can count on that funding to be there when all is said and done,” he said.

He said they want to walk alongside parents and students to make this a seamless transition — with meetings for parents and open houses for students to see their new schools.

“We want to go ahead and start building those relationships,” Siers said.

Siers tells us the consolidations are for the best.

“There are a lot of moving pieces right now and we’re still trying to figure a lot of this out, but we have a good, solid plan going into it and we’re starting to execute the steps of those plans,” he said.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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