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Parents And Students Ponder Loss Of Clifton Elementary

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By Jonathan Wilson

Parents and Students in Clifton, Virginia are reacting to the Fairfax County School board's decision to close the town's elementary school.

Erin Tengesdal has two young children at Clifton Elementary, and she's been closely following the debate over the school's future.

But a day after the board voted to shut the school down because of declining enrollment projections and a rundown building, Tengesdal isn't sure she's ready to have her children share the town's somber mood.

"They know what's going on, they know it's been on the table, they know we've been fighting it, and I have not yet broken the news to them," she says with a laugh.

Nine-year-old Alison Hopkins is going into fourth grade. She hasn't been able to remain oblivious; her mom, after all, is the Parent-Teacher Association president at Clifton Elementary.

Hopkins is already imagining what it'll feel like to no longer have classes at the school up the hill.

"There's like, not gonna be a school, and when you drive up there you're gonna remember the memories you had at the school," she says.

Students at Clifton will have at least another year to get used to the idea--the soonest the school could shutter its doors is the fall of 2011.


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