@teriatthespec It is with great disappointment that we, as the Barton community receive the news of a decision to close our school and our neighbouring schools Mountain and Hill Park. We all have different vested interests in each of these buildings, the spirited community and the programs of choice in these schools. As a current Barton secondary student, the president of Barton's Student council, and a member of Barton’s school council, I can see that we, as a community have maybe taken a more silent approach to the ARC process. I understand that ‘Option F’ may have made some sense in satisfying the upset Sherwood students, parents, and staff, but it is also worth noting that Ms. Peddle arguably has a very different agenda for her future endeavors in City council. A mentor of mine once said "...The road of least resistance is often the easiest to travel, but it may not be the most correct route." I believe last night’s decision may be that easier path. Barton and Hill Park did not vocally demonstrate the need for these assets to remain in their community. It is estimated that one in five students at Barton do not speak English at home, and it was to my amazement that the public ARC resources were not made to be multilingual. It seems the HWDSB deliberately excluded this large immigrant and ESL population. The same can be seen at SJAM, the board’s most culturally diverse school. As we can see the community at SJAM didn’t complain about the decision in the northern ARC either. The non-participation of the Barton community may also be attributed to the misconception of Barton's supposed safety during this process. The initial options set out by voting members showed a very slim likelihood of closure. Option F does not make sense in any fathomable fiscal way. It is simple to see the finances needed to carry out this plan would greatly exceed the cost of other options. It is speculated to cost just shy of 6 million dollars to keep Barton functioning and approximately 30 million to bring Sherwood up to appropriate standards for a learning environment. Barton is asbestos free received a large financial investment a few years ago to bring it up to a safe and comfortable environment. It should also be noted that Sherwood has not received these upgrades and does not meet the standards for a safe school, yet somehow it as seen as the more logical choice to keep open. It does not take a financial planner or a major in economics to see the more reasonable choice for closure. It is my hope that the Trustees will be able to overturn this decision in the Committee Of The Whole meeting on Monday evening. If the Ministry of Education has the needed money available to continue with Option F, then they should proceed as they are, however Ontario should be investing in projects that do not add up.

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