Fighting to save an elementary school

SILVERADO CANYON For over a century, children who live in the canyon communities of rural Orange County have attended Silverado School.

It's the only elementary close to home, but it could be forced to close its doors.

"We have to respond to the worst case scenario, which is what the Governor has proposed right now," said Asst. Superintendent Jon Archibald of Orange Unified School District of business services.

Closing Silverado school might be necessary if state law makers finalize proposed cuts in education funding. The district said small schools are expensive to run, and Silverado school has just 93 students.

"It's like its own little small family here," said Aimee Bryer, a parent.

Bryer worries about how her third grader would adapt to a new school.

"She'd have to make all new friends and start in a brand new school before she gets to middle school. She'd have two years at a brand new school and then going on to middle school, so it'd be a huge transition for her," Bryer said.

At the Silverado Children's Center next door, they're collecting signatures to save Silverado School. It's a tragedy they hope to prevent after the devastating wildfires.

"Now we're running to protect our schools. We feel like we're just constantly having to protect what we have, and it's exhausting," said Chay Peterson, a Silverado Canyon resident.

Orange Unified has the lowest administrative costs in the county, but it said it's running out of places to cut. One other possibility is to eliminate small class sizes.


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