Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Fitting in 600 unexpected guests

I’ve been receiving a few calls from parents and educators who have been amazed at how smoothly things went at Grafton Village Elementary School and Dixon Smith Middle School last week.

As you may remember, those schools absorbed 600 students from Ferry Farm Elementary School on Thursday and Friday, when the southern Stafford school had no heat.

The gas line is expected to be repaired so students and staff can return to Ferry Farm tomorrow.

But what many have been astounded by is how seamless the transition was last week.

“I’ve never been prouder to work for a school system,” one teacher said.

And a Stafford parent emailed me to say: “I have four kids that were at DSMS…….and each day I had four happy kids that came home!”

I’m working on a small follow-up story and would love to know what your experiences were last week. You can get in touch: or 540/735-1973. Thanks!