Province advises the Halton school board that they will appoint a facilitator to review the process that was used to close two of the city's seven schools.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 5th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“The Halton District School Board received notification today from the Ministry of Education, granting Administrative Reviews of the Burlington Secondary School Program and Accommodation Review (PAR) undertaken by the Halton District School Board during the 2016-2017 school year. Requests for these reviews were submitted to the Ministry of Education by the Lester B. Pearson High School and the Robert Bateman High School communities.

“According to Ministry Guidelines, an administrative review is a process by which an independent, impartial facilitator reviews that the Board has followed it’s pupil accommodation review policy. An administrative review is not an assessment of the decisions made by the Board of Trustees. In the near future, a facilitator will be appointed by the Ministry of Education.

miller-prep-at-central

Halton Director of Education Stuart Miller

“We welcome an independent review of our process,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “Having an independent third party review of our Program and Accommodation Review Policy and the Burlington PAR ensures that we have followed our processes and provides an opportunity to address community concerns. It is important for the HDSB, the community and the Ministry of Education that the process is thoroughly examined and reviewed.

“During this review period, the Halton District School Board will continue to keep student needs at the forefront. As such, we will continue to collaboratively plan for and implement the Board’s decisions made in June 2017. We will, however, be cognizant of minimizing the expenditures of the implementation during the review process.”

What does this mean?

It does not mean that the decision to close two of the seven high schools in the city is now reversed.

The review is a review of the process that was used and followed by the Board.  One of the decisions could be a requirement that the Board do the PAR all over again because the view of the facilitator is that the process was badly flawed.

PARC with options on the walls

Will the 14 members of the PAR get called back to do the job all over again? Nope.

That is a stretch but it has happened to Halton before. Given that the province has sort of admitted that the new PAR process, which was revised considerably, has some serious flaws there is an outside chance that the facilitator might send everyone back to square one.

There may be a number of people asking that they not rush into this and give some time to elect some new trustees.

What the two parent groups now have to do is lobby effectively at several levels.

Related news story:

Director of Education has been through a review before.

 

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54 comments to Province advises the Halton school board that they will appoint a facilitator to review the process that was used to close two of the city’s seven schools.

  • Stephen White

    Finally: Common sense finally prevails! Hallelujah!

  • Colleen A

    You people are unbelievable. Has it ever occurred to ANY of you that there were families & students (both with special needs & not) that were HAPPY with the changes? That they could see the benefits of new facilities & new buildings? Did you ever stop to think about the impact of the uncertainty that hung over this city last year? The same uncertainty that we all thought had finally come to end in June. Now thanks to you, I’m going to have to explain to my children who all have Autism that their future is once again uncertain…thanks to all of YOU…and for what??? Because you don’t like change??? Because you refuse to teach a very basic life skill that I’ve been teaching my children for years??? That change is a part of life-even for people with challenges??? My kids stress over uncertainty…not the outcome…because they know that even if they don’t like the outcome, they have the strength to face it…because that’s what their Dad & I have taught them. But not you guys…nope…you just see how this is going to impact you and to hell with everyone else…over what? A building. Way to go.

    • Deb

      Colleen…I am sorry you are feeling so frustrated. While it is difficult for you to explain to your children that they face uncertainty, it is also difficult for many others impacted by this decision to explain chaos to their kids. I am fine with you agreeing with the boards decision. That is the beauty of democracy. We don’t all have to see eye to eye. Another beauty of democracy is that we are allowed the right to stand up for what we believe is right, regardless of the blow back and angry comments we get from others. Those of us fighting this fight are not doing so because it is fun. We are not doing it because we are angry about a building. We are parents too. We are putting our own time and money into this because we believe it is the right thing to do. If our school had not been closed and another had, I would be thrilled to see those community members saying “we are not giving up. We are fighting for our school”. So while you refer to us as “you people” may I remind you at we are Moms and Dads too. Each with our own story and each with our own reasons for fighting. We are not doing this to make you angry. We are fighting for what we believe is best for our kids and our community. We won’t stop because some people don’t agree with us. We won’t stop because public opinion may not always be in our favour. And I would expect in our situation…you would do the same. And I would applaud you for it.

    • Tom Muir

      Collen A,

      I have been listening to you complain in this same know it all way almost since the PAR began.

      In sum, it appears to me that you are guilty of the same things you accuse everyone else you disagree with. You apparently only see how this is going to impact you, and to hell with everyone else. And using your own words again, over what, a building, or new facilities?

      And way to go with your dismissal of the apparent majority of parents at the 2 schools picked for closure, for exercising their rights to dissent.

      And for teaching their kids to never get discouraged, and to never give up, when you want to oppose changes that you find not right and not just.

      These values too are worth teaching. Not just your own.

    • HDSB Student

      Really? We are unbelievable? For what, trying to protect students, for trying to provide them a better education? For trying to provide kids with a better environment?

      The only school that’s really happy about this is Central. THEY are the ones that are really fighting for a building (a crappy one too, which is what numerous former students and staff have told me).

      Sure there are others who are happy (like you Colleen!), but I wouldn’t call them the majority. There are other solutions to their issues that don’t involve the destruction of a model school, and one of Burlington’s best facilities.

      Oh, and just so you are aware, there is good change and bad change. Sending 200+ CPP students into a completely new environment (new doesn’t always mean better), with a completely different, and less tailored atmosphere is not good change. Bateman is the school where you get picked on for picking on the kids with special needs. After one of the public meetings, a few Central kids went out of their way to pick on a CPP student who didn’t want to talk to the film crew. For the record, that is by NO MEANS WHAT SO EVER a representation of all of that schools kids. Now I know CPP students won’t be going to Central (they literally can’t), but it does give you an idea of how CPP students can be treated in other schools.

  • A very disappointed parent in burlington

    I am sure the above response is a central parent. One central got removed off the chopping block they went underground. This isn’t about a school closure this is about how it’s impacted every student in Burlington let me be clear about that. This was the wrong decision by the Board of Trustees that has destroyed Burlington. If you don’t see this your Head is on a cloud. This Final decision has not changed any programming for Hayden, Central, Aldershot. They did not get this right and this is a possibility of making it right. So the above comment is uncalled for

    • Kerri

      I am certain this anger is not from a Central Parent and for you to say so shows your lack of understanding of the issues of the PAR. The Central community is left pretty much status quo with the decision. There is no benefit to the community with Pearson and Bateman closing vs a no school closure option.
      What you don’t understand or didn’t take the time to listen to (while obviously serving your own agenda) is that the solution to no school closings is to change boundaries. This upsets many parents and children who do not want their boundaries changed. Students of Hayden do not want to be bussed to Bateman and students of Nelson do not want to be moved to Bateman. That is where the outrage comes from. It is most certainly not a Central parent who is simply at status quo. No anger from this community except to the individuals who constantly attack our community members and our community as a whole. Spiteful, sour person you are. Your accusation is uncalled for.

  • Sharon

    From my understanding of speaking to people this summer. And trust me I have spoken to a lot of people. The only parents and students that are happy with the decision of the HDSB are Central. Haydon is not happy that FI will no longer be available to them and it did nothing to solve the overcrowding and the portables. MMR parents are concerned that eventually their school will be overcrowded with the new developments that are being built on Brant St. and Tyandaga. Aldershot is not happy because it did nothing for their school and programming. LBP is not happy they are slated to close next June. Can you imagine going to school on the first day and know it was the last first day? Also, students have already started leaving LBP to either Notre Dame and MMR. Bateman is not happy especially our Special Needs students parents they are concerned about their children moving and others are concerned about the Skilled Trades, OYAP and Chisoms, IB students and parents have said they don’t want to go to Central since many of the IB students live in the Bateman catchment. FYI IB students have to find their own transportation because the HDSB do not. Why? Because of its an optional program. So who is left Central and as Tom said they have gone underground. And whatever school that was slated to close I would expect their community to continue to fight if they felt the decision wasn’t right. It’s fine to say way to go you have disrupted my children’s’ lives again. But it’s not your school!

    • Kerri

      Sharon, as I replied to ‘A very disappointing person’ the anger is not coming from Central. It is coming from parents who were happy with the decision because their kids could remain at Hayden and not be bused to Bateman.

      Sharon, I would love to see your documented research study on how Burlington feels about this decision. Please share, you don’t need to provide names but I’d like to review the number of students and families you’ve spoken to to back up your claims that ‘the only parents and students that are happy with the decision is Central’. It must be well researched for you to make these claims. Or is it that you’ve spoken only to a few people at a backyard party or perhaps at the grocery store? Or maybe you are simply making this all up?

      Oh and Tom Muir did not state that Central has gone underground. That was your friend “a disappointed parent’ who stated that.

  • Penny

    Has anyone been reading the newspaper or watching the news. There are not enough school bus drivers. If Central had closed all those students would have had to be bussed. I do not have high school aged children, but it makes no sense to me to close Bateman and spend 12,000,000.00 to upgrade other schools to be able to match the programs being offered. Keep the schools open and use the money to upgrade them all. Bring back the students who are being taught in portables at Hayden. This would certainly provide the much needed students in Nelson and Pearson.

    Is there no common sense at all at bureaucratic levels?

    • William

      Keeping Bateman open is not free. Over and above annual operating costs, required facility upgrade costs are estimated to be $10,374,935 over the next five years, plus another $925,634 to bring it up to AODA compliance. There may be compelling reasons for keeping Bateman open, but financial savings is not one of them.

      • Deb

        I’m not a mathematician but $10,374,935 is a smaller number than $12 million which is the “estimate” for the cost to renovate Nelson. Operating costs are a moot point as the cost will move with the students and the programs. These specialty programs cost money to run safely and efficiently. Wherever the HDSB decides to house them will thus incur said costs. So I would argue that closing Bateman is also not about financial savings. Building a $12 million wing to re-create facilities that already exist does not seem to be coming from a board that is concerned about money. Let’s also keep in mind that we were assured all along that the PAR was not about money. Clearly so…

        • Pria

          His point is $12M vs. $10.3M – very similar dollars here. Also, the HDSB has already explained that the operational savings of closing Bateman will be many times that of the $12M reno at Nelson. Obviously money plays a role, as it should. It’s not the only factor but its certainly an important one.

          • HDSB Student

            Nelson is a older, less specialized and less advanced school. Obviously it’s operational costs will be less…

            Bateman is also used in the summer (summer school), which means 200 or so thousand square feet need to be air conditioned during some of the hottest months of the year. Nelson has MINIMAL AC. Their AC only covers a few thousand square feet. And AC isn’t the cheapest thing to run or maintain.

            The full 12 million won’t even be going to Nelson (they said so at a board meeting that MMR needs a face-lift to make it more attractive).

            And as Deb said, at lot of those costs will be moving anyway if the school shuts down. So the real savings of closing Bateman are really non-existent.

        • William

          More precision is required here. The estimated costs of renovating Nelson and MMR to accommodate Bateman students and programs is actually $11.5M, not $12M. This includes $5.5M for the Technology areas’ space and equipment needs; $4m for renovating Food Services space; and $2M to design and build Special Education space at the two locations.

          The $12M figure was inflated by one of the trustees at the penultimate meeting and has taken a life of its own as an alternative fact.

          The total cost to address Bateman’s required upgrades and AODA compliance is $11.3M. The total difference is then $200k; and as Pria mentioned, the cumulative operating cost savings more than offset this deficit.

          Arguing that Bateman should stay open to avoid incremental costs is a dead end. Other arguments will bear more fruit.

          • Tom Muir

            Accuracy is needed too.

            Operating cost for Bateman is, by Miller report, $764,000 year.

            Some of this cost will shift to Nelson and/or MMR if Bateman is closed, as more expensive to operate specialty programs will relocate. So net saving is less.

            The cost to renovate other schools is uncertain, not precise, but $12 million is just as likely as $11.5, so we need to avoid spurious precision.

            Upgrades and AODA compliance for Bateman, are also uncertain, but say they are $11.3 million. So some relatively small difference maybe.

            Closures also involve a significant number of other costs, such as decommissioning, mothballing, needed ongoing maintenance, insurance, the pool, the day care, and so many other transition costs that are just ignored.

            For example, the HDSB just hired a new Superintendent, charged with transition. These people are very well paid, between $100 to $200 thousand a year I would venture.

            Closing 2 schools saves about $2 million/yr when added costs, lost revenues, and staff reduction savings are accounted for. Now we have the new cost of the Superintendent.

            This $2 million (less Superintendent cost) is all there is to provide more possible courses.

            But Steve Armstrong showed that similar course offering and program enhancements can be achieved by optimizing enrollment in all schools, rather than thinking only about maximizing utilization, which is misleading, as it does not prove itself in the actual data.

            There are no savings for instruction in closures.

            What kind of savings is $2 million (again, less new costs) out of a $700 million budget (0.003%) to be so concerned about?

            Any real money savings, looked at closely, are likely to be vanishingly small, in the neighborhood of rounding error in the Board budget scale.

            It also doesn’t account for the huge cost to the Burlington community of the loss of two schools, a cost and loss that is so unnecessary.

            Closing 2 schools is by far the most expensive option there is.

            And I haven’t even mentioned all the rancor, vindictiveness, anger, conflict, and hate that we have seen throughout the PAR, and still, today, on these pages.

            We need a moral awakening, not tribal warfare, to the harm being done to ourselves by the Board.

          • William

            Tom,

            Public discussion has descended into the abyss. To your list of words, I would add vengeance and shaming as the primal impulses driving the ugliest manifested behaviours. They surfaced once the Director’s final decision was made.

            I don’t accept your implication the nasty behaviours arose simply because of the “harm being done…by the Board”. We each are responsible for how we treat others; we’re not excused from disrespectful and vile conduct towards others because the Board made us do it. That includes those who we disagree with – whether they accept the school board’s decision or they don’t.

  • Colleen A

    Bang on Kerri, thank you…no I am not a Central parent-sorry to disappoint you person making rude assumptions. I am part of the pissed off majority who thinks it’s ridiculous that a vocal minority can force their will & disrupt the majority.

    And side note to the Bateman group-that majority includes special needs students. So please stop saying you’re representing students with special needs because I can assure you, you are NOT representing mine or any other outside of your bubble.

    Sharon, I’m sure you’ve talked to lots of people who’ve drank your kool-aid…but THAT’S the problem. I, too know people who are very happy about the outcome for Hayden, and are willing to wait & see if the changes will help. There are also FI families that understand it’s an optional program that they need to follow in order to access it.

    So, the battle lines are drawn again…I will be doing my part to continue making sure that the voice on this side of the issue
    are heard throughout this review, and I strongly encourage those who agree with me to do the same.

  • Hans

    Stuart Miller may believe that he has done a good job and “followed our processes”, but it’s difficult to understand how an effective process could lead to such an unmitigated disaster for so many people: schools that are closing, while another is seriously over capacity with a trailer park of portables on their property and with a large new residential development under construction a few blocks away…

    And was adding Bateman to the closure candidate list so late in this wonderful process a tactic, to delay their involvement in advocating for their school? Shame!

  • Pria

    Agree with Colleen and Kerri. These groups are certainly the vocal minority. Burlington residents understand you can’t be running half empty schools which lack the programming and opportunity of other schools within the same city and region. This review will do nothing but confirm the HDSB followed policy correctly. It’s a waste of time and resources but at least it will vindicate the staff and trustees after months of having to endure insults and threats.

    • Tom Muir

      Pria,

      Kerri says to Sharon, “I would love to see your documented research study on how Burlington feels about this decision. Please share, you don’t need to provide names but I’d like to review the number of students and families you’ve spoken to to back up your claims.”

      Collen claims that Sharon is dispensing Kool-Aid and THAT’s the problem she says, as she knows what the majority think.

      Given this demand, and presumptuous tone, I would ask you, Kerri, and Colleen, to provide the same documented research study to back up your continued and insistent claims that certain groups are a vocal minority, and that your views represent the majority.

      I have already asked Colleen to stop the trash talk and to provide some evidence based argument as a basis for your claims.

      I ask the same of you and Kerri. Tone it down.

      • Kerri

        Hi Tom. Perhaps I need to clarify for you the basis for my comments on here. I was clarifying that the anger on this forum was not from a Central parent. I am sick and tired of folks on here saying ‘must be Central’ every time someone disagrees about something said here. I also understand that there other folks out there with different opinions. Colleen and Pria are fighting for their children and communities. There are parents who want their kids to continue to attend Hayden as is evident on here. What I have asked of Sharon is to back up her statements that only Central is happy. That is grossly incorrect. So Tom, please tell me why you ask Colleen for evidence to back her statements but you have no problem with Sharon making sweeping statements without evidence?

        • Tom Muir

          Hi Kerri,

          I agree with you about scapegoating Central. It really has to stop, all around, as it is only anger-inciting, and destructive to the community of schools.

          Regarding Sharon, I thought Colleen and you had done that with Sharon, and my point was that you guys then turned around and, in the same way you criticized Sharon for, made your own similar claims without evidence.

          That’s what my comments say.

          In any case, I’m sorry for any residual misunderstanding, but I have to agree with you that no one, including Sharon, should make the sweeping statements we have been seeing without evidence.

          Without a population wide survey, no one can know what the majority of residents think about the schools issue.

          Further, to me, that’s not the most important thing at issue. More important to me is that our society, I think, is founded on laws and principles that guarantee the rights of individuals, even call them minorities, to free speech, and to lawfully seek redress, and political change, through any legitimate means, for perceived wrongdoings.

          That’s what we see the Pearson and Bateman people doing.

          So we have to respect their rights to do that. Or we are on dangerous ground.

          I understand it’s sometimes hard to tone it down – I’m guilty myself at times.

          But without civil discourse, based on evidence and reason, it will turn into mob rule and garbage commentary.

          In my opinion, always extended in this situation from the start, we are all in this together, and I want all schools to remain open.

          I have provided conclusive evidence repeatedly here, and to the Board, showing how Board decisions over the last 10 years created the surplus seats with no PAR, and set up an after-the-fact PAR process that was obviously designed to pit ourselves against one another.

          In my opinion, this evidence shows that it was a Board-led political manipulation of the system to build a new school, that then later swindled all the schools really, with the possible loss of 2 schools, causing resultant implications we are all suffering, to make up the sting of the initial misrepresentation and overbuilding.

          By any credible investment analysis, documented willful over-expansion of capacity that leads to subsequent losses and closures of existing assets, can be felt as a swindle to the shareholders and owners who trusted those responsible to act in everyone’s interest.

          The Board created the crisis and conflict, and we have played right into their plans, which from the start was to close two schools to make up the known consequences of the new build.

          It’s the Board and trustees that we all should be going after, not our neighbors.

          We are all in this together.

          Or we go down together.

          Leave no school behind.

  • LBP Parent

    Colleen A

    Relax. You and your children are not the only ones being affected by this decision. Did it occur to YOU that there are many children who function best in a smaller school for a vareirty of reasons i.e. mental health issues, learning challenges, social insecurities and are better set up for success in a school that is not overcrowded. This decision affects them as well. It is offensive and selfish of you to criticize those who wish to fight for what they believe is right for their families and their immediate community. We live in an extremely close knit and well connected community and I have yet to meet or speak with one person who thinks that closing these schools makes any sense. Data has been collected and you would be hard pressed to find many who want this. What data does show is that a boundary change does make sense though the Board refuses to acknowledge or entertain this as a viable option. No one is stopping you or criticizing you for standing up for what you believe is right for your children. Your opinion counts, but don’t come on here disrespecting what others feel so passionately about. Wrong forum.

  • Denise

    If the process is so great it should be able to stand up to any scrutiny. For the past 20 years I have worked as a process improvement specialist and I can tell you this process will not stand up to scrutiny, it is way too flawed.
    Colleen A, your children may be receiving the support they need at their current school and I am very happy that your experience has been good. I can guarantee that is not the case for many of students who require special education supports. I am very active in the Special Education community and if you attend a SEAC meeting you will quickly learn the struggles families experience. I AM looking out for all students and this decision is NOT supported by the Special Education Community…maybe the people in your bubble support it and that is your right. I would prefer constructive conversations that make sure no student falls through the cracks rather than anger and finger pointing. This decision leaves way too many students to fall through the cracks.

  • Colleen A

    Dear LBP Parent,

    So…because my opinion is different than yours, I am selfish & offensive and this is not the forum I should be sharing on?

    Did you hear that everyone?? Apparently, I shouldn’t be sharing my opinion unless I agree with the vocal minority…did you know that??? and here I thought this is a community forum, open to views from all sides…silly me!!!

    • Denise

      What I read is the “No one is stopping you or criticizing you for standing up for what you believe is right for your children. Your opinion counts.” I believe it is anger we can feel coming from every statement you post. This has been a very emotional time but your anger seems a little over the top.

      • Colleen A

        Denise & Tom,

        I’m coming across as angry because I am angry…and I’m allowed to express that anger. As I’ve gone through this process I’ve witnessed name calling, threats, false accusations & invasions of privacy, all in the name of saving a school. I have not engaged in any of these behaviours-the most I’ve been guilty of, is a sarcastic/condescending tone…and I apologize for that.

        I want to address your comment Tom about all of us in this together…the only common ground that I have with those of you in the Pearson/Bateman group is that I want what’s best for the students. But that’s where the similarity ends…I passionately & wholeheartedly believe that the process worked exactly should, your voices were heard (and then some) in the delegations and the right decision was made for all students in Burlington (including your students), and I’m going to keep taking a stand for that until all of this finally comes to an end.

        • Tom Muir

          Colleen,

          Fine, to some extent we are all angry. We have all had much the same experience.

          But anger is not an argument.

          You can believe what you want to, as passionately as you want, but it seems to me that the main person really suffering your anger is you.

          You have stopped listening in my opinion. You seem to continue to rage at anyone who disagrees with you.

          I don’t understand your intensity to be right, and to say whatever comes to your mind to defend that position.

          You are not making a rational, fact based and constructed argument to support your case. Rather you seem to be yelling that you are right and we are wrong.

          Your resulting sarcastic and condescending tone, as you admit to, is what I find offensive.

          You try to dismiss me by labeling and lumping me in with some Pearson/Bateman group (which doesn’t exist as a unified group), but I am not lumped in.

          I have always been my own person in this, but will help anyone who asks, if I can, and if I see common cause. I can’t as effectively participate in exercising my rights remaining alone.

          I truly think we are all in this together and will get the best for the students if we can unite and collaborate. Getting better results by acting together is teamwork and is a truism.

          I think it tragic for you that you really see no common ground.

          In any case, all your anger is not going to stop the process we are embarking on, to try to find a better way to decide what to do.

          You are better advised to get used to it. Put down your anger. Listen to what it says.

          • Colleen A

            Hi Tom,
            After reading your last response to me, I took time to do some soul searching. I realized that I’ve let anger & frustration get a foothold in my responses to this process. I’m not an angry person normally-not by a long shot. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve found the tactics of some to be totally wrong & completely flying in the face of what I believe true advocacy looks like & it really got under my skin. Having said that, one of my core beliefs is that I should never let the actions of others influence the way I conduct myself and for that I take full responsibility. I give my word that going forward, I will do everything in my power to conduct myself respectfully.

            My case is simple…Hayden was built for the Orchard & Alton communities. As stated on the Board website, back in the mid 1990’s during the planning for those communities there was an intent by the Board to build a secondary school to serve the needs of those communities. When you look at the fact that 3 elementary schools were built to accommodate the needs of the Orchard community (and those schools were busting at the seams from when the doors first opened) to me that confirms that the planning of the Board was correct.

            I realize you believe that the numbers used by the Board were wrong and/or lies and that there was political backroom collusion going on. I remember one of the first things I read about your position on all of this was that you were looking for the Board to acknowledge they were wrong for building Hayden & apologize…my response to what you’ve said is twofold:
            a) let’s say for sake of argument you’re right…the way my thinking goes is that regardless of why the decision was made the fact is that it was made. Hayden is here, right or wrong. For me, you don’t focus on what if, you focus on what is. Hayden is here, it’s serving the communities it was intended to.
            B) Someone very close to me knows Director Miller personally…this person has direct knowledge of how Hayden came to be built, and is also a strong Bateman supporter. She has no doubts about the Director’s integrity in all of this. For me, that’s enough to trust what he’s been saying.

            The other part of my case is that when you talk about no school closures, not only are you not addressing the issues that were identified throughout the PAR process, but you are also talking about boundary changes. One of the biggest problems with that for the Orchard community is Hayden is the first technology based school in Burlington. Eventually the other schools will be as well, but for now it’s just Hayden. All the students attending elementary school in the Orchard are being taught & prepared for attending high school at Hayden. If there’s boundary changes that take some of the Orchard students out of the catchment for Hayden (which was proposed in many of the options being considered-and not just the FI students (which is an optional program) but also English track students), they will be entering a crucial time period in a learning environment that’s totally different from how they were taught…in particular, students with special needs/ challenges are especially at a disadvantage in that scenario, and I’m sure there are other families & students at other schools that having boundaries changed would be really detrimental for them as well.

            So that sums it up…as I said above, I will curb the anger & be respectful going forward. My sincerest & deepest apologies for taking my frustration out on here.

    • Tom Muir

      Colleen A,

      How do you know that you aren’t the vocal minority?

      Please prove that the “others” are the minority?

      How could you possibly know of what you speak?

      And can’t you see that your anger laden talk trashing folks who differ with you makes you as guilty as those you accuse.

      It’s this very bitter tone and language of yours that I find offensive.

  • George

    We moved to Burlington in 1969 because of the apparent environment and atmosphere of the city. It was an outstanding community with a tremendous culture and a great place to live and raise a family.

    These past few months Burlington is a city in chaos with citizens and community areas fighting and arguing due to school closures.

    Can the residents of Burlington not see what the Wynne Government has accomplished with the selling of taxpayer assets and claiming a balanced budget.

    The closing of Pearson and Bateman is apparently the same as the sale of our Ontario hydro provider i.e. selling assets and claiming fiscal responsibility.

    I have no doubt Director Miller and his Rasputin like direction of most HDSB Trustees is a political move to sell the two high school properties to developers to enable construction of large condominium units on the properties.

    Burlington residents you need to wake up and realize you are being scammed by the Wynne Liberals and their flunkies.

    Burlington citizens should stop the infighting and join together to make this community cohesive and great again.

  • Steve Atkinson

    The Minister of Education paused all PAR in Ontario 22 days after HDSB voted to close schools. No Trustee or official came forward to request a pause to Burlington school closures. It follows that the Administrative review is necessary as the process is hasty and poorly implemented as confirmed by Mitzie Hunter. I cannot believe that any parents support school closures in this city. It should be an absolute last resort, and is stated as so in the PAR guidelines. Those saying that it is a money issue are not listening to HDSB who clearly stated it was not. In fact, the Operations Superintendent said on record that: “$ 10 million IS NOT that much money”. And I am so glad to once again hear that “student needs are at the forefront”. And HDSB will “have an opportunity to address community concerns” !! Really? Have they no shame ???

  • Will

    Just a couple of comments. the only way the ministry will agree to an admin review is if the majority of the parents community and anyone a part of the PAR process support the review. There is your proof of majority.

    The other thing is that even with the majority the communities have to prove that there is areas that the board didnt follow in there only policy.

    The special education advisory committee who speaks at the board level for special needs kids did not support this. I know there was someone talking about autism and autism Ontario did not support this. they speak for the autism community.

    the numbers floating around are wacky for sure but argueing about them is not what this is about. people are talking about how their kids are hurt by the admin review but the review is about if the board did what they were supposed to do.

    there is your proof of majorities. now we will see if the board followed its own policies.

  • I'm alright now

    I sure hope that all the parents in all the wards are prepared to ask their delegates this question next fall; “In what community should the next Director of Education reside?”

  • Will

    the number for aoda for bateman was 900,000 or close to that. the operating costs will move with the school for specialty programs. the aoda cost for another school was 11.3 million plus another 8 million to bring up to standard without aoda. lots more than bateman. remember aoda at one school will be an elevator here, a ramp there, a different elevator here, another ramp there and so on to reach class. not welcoming it seems.

  • Denise

    Then Colleen I guess we will have to agree to disagree. Closing Bateman is not best for all students. We have already been told the board will not be able to duplicate everything that Bateman has. It is not good for the 300-400 current special education students who will have to move, after having been shuffled around the board and it is not good for the students who are going to need the unique environment Bateman offers. I too am angry, angry that the board only sees the weaknesses at Bateman and does not see it’s strengths.

    • Pria

      They didn’t say they won’t be able to duplicate anything from Bateman. They said the exact opposite at one of the final board meetings. Gerry Cullen addressed this exact issue and seemed almost surprised anyone would even think there were certain facilities that couldn’t be duplicated. I have no idea why anyone would think that either. He addressed the issue very eloquently and professionally – they absolutely can duplicate anything. His response was they built it in the first place, of course they could do it again but he hoped they wouldn’t “duplicate” things because technology has significantly improved of course and the new facilities would be far better.

      • Denise

        It is not a case of can they it is case of will they, and we have been told they will not. Bateman is not about infrastructure and technology, it is about culture and environment. The amazing, inclusive environment that exists at Bateman takes years to develop, not three short years we have to make sure that schools are ready for our students to attend. I personally don’t care about walkbility, facilities and technology, all I care about is that my children are able to thrive both academically and emotionally. We have cycled through 5 schools until we found Bateman. Prove to me with absolute data that my children will be better off and I will support the move….unfortunately the board has come no where close to showing this to me so I will continue to fight to keep Bateman open.

        • Tom Muir

          After I wrote my reply to Colleen last night, I read the latest comment by Pria. I really wanted to say almost exactly what Denise just said here, but I thought that I have said just about enough here.

          But I find this morning that I am moved to say something to support Denise’s heartfelt but accurate description of what Bateman really is.

          It is about culture and environment, not bricks and mortar that can be moved and built anywhere, of course.

          But you cannot move the heart of the place. It’s that heart that can’t be transplanted.

          No matter what the Board says, Bateman is the welcome home that so many students and parents have had to search for, in most cases, cycling through many schools.

          These students are the most in need, and if this is really about the students, as Miller constantly tells us, then closing this school is based on a lie. Denise is right in her judgement.

          And to make my personal position clear, I say that closing any of Burlington’s schools is all based on a big lie, that started with the plan to knowingly build too many seats 10 years ago, and continues to this day.

          It’s not about the best for students, it’s about covering up this lie.

        • Pria

          Denise – Your words “We have already been told the board WILL NOT BE ABLE TO duplicate everything that Bateman has”. You are suggesting right there that they can’t. And you’re not referring to culture or environment there, that certainly reads that you’re suggesting they can’t duplicate the facility. They absolutely can and covered this off extremely well in the board meetings. As for culture, enviorment and people – that is where this argumment is even less effective. Tom said “It is about culture and environment, not bricks and mortar”. Exactly, so it doesn’t matter what building it’s in, it’s the people that make the culture and environment and that will be presered – there are so many people on both sides working to ensure that happens. To suggest that this culture and environment cannot or does not exist elsewhere is completely ineffective and frankly is an insulting argument to the other schools. We all feel our community school is warm, welcome, filled with wonderful people etc – the suggestions that Nelson doesn’t have these things is so wrong and so uncalled for and needs to stop.

          • Tom Muir

            Pria,

            You incorrectly quote Denise. What she actually said, and I copy and paste, is;

            “It is not a case of can they it is case of will they, and we have been told they will not.” So your point on this has no legs because you are using a misquote to criticize Denise.

            I don’t know how you could have twisted Denise’s words in this way when they were so clearly contrary to things you then said. But it looks as if you did it on purpose to fit what you wanted to say.

            It looks like you are angry too and letting it cloud and bias your judgement.

            You misstated what I said as well, again to say what you wanted to. You used only part of it, and also out of the full context of my point.

            I was talking about the environment and culture as it exists at Bateman, not as an abstract concept, as you do.

            And you left out the most important part of what I said, the part about heart. That’s not made of bricks and mortar and the good intentions of people ordered at work to say they can reconstruct it anywhere, as you suggest. It’s like love – no one can buy you love, or arrange it.

            And I suggest that it is evident that closing Bateman will break a lot of hearts, and the staff people will not be able to mend them either.

            The heart part is a product of evolution, of the trial and error that Bateman went through in programs and students, and that takes lots of time to find the right mix and relationships and acceptance, to find the right “feel”. That too, I argue, cannot just be transplanted, as you say.

            And I certainly don’t imply or suggest that other schools don’t have their own warmth, as you indicate. And I don’t recall anyone picking on Nelson in any discussion here.

            It’s just that the cultures and environment and heart are different at each school.

            The special needs students at Bateman found many times they didn’t fit in other Burlington schools, likely including Nelson, and over time, and moving around, they found a “home” in Bateman that is unique.

            So I disagree with you saying that my views here, and in my other comment agreeing with Denise, are ineffective (you said completely), and “frankly an insulting argument to other schools”.

            This is extreme, distorting, and perhaps insulting. But in any case it is your own construction to again say what you want.

            And ending with your point on Nelson, which I have never seen any trace of here to stop, is to me, just a red herring.

            I think you need to put your anger down too.

  • Pria

    Tom, you’re reading the wrong quote, that’s why you’re you think I mis-quoted Denise. Check her previous message. And I’m not angry whatsoever. I won’t make that accusation against you, I think others can make their own opinions on that, though mis-quoting and making unfounded accusations isn’t exactly a calm way to go about things. As for Nelson, there have been many, many comments on here and other pages attacking the culture at Nelson and accusing them of being bullies. There were even delegations to the board on this exact topic. Like I said, it’s so so wrong and so uncalled for and needs to stop – it is a wonderful, amazing, welcoming school. As for your comments about culture, I already addressed that clearly and have nothing further to add.

    • Tom Muir

      Pria,

      I went back to her previous message, and saw as you said. I also saw that you had replied to that message.

      My reply to you right here was about the subsequent exchange, where you brought me into the discussion. This message from Denise included the quote I used. In this comment context of your reply you did misquote her. And me too.

      So in that context I did not misquote or make unfounded accusations. You did.

      I think you are cherry-picking from the messages to fit what you want to say. A bit from there that fits, mixed with a misquote you attribute to me, gives you what you want to say, regardless of the accuracy of what was said in the message of the moment.

      I don’t think there is much difference in the truth component of either of the ways Denise chooses to say what she said.

      And my comment about culture and heart is basically the same, whatever, and you did distort what I said to fit your view, and that is not an unfounded accusation. That’s what you are doing to me right now, again, projecting fault.

      And I don’t agree that you have addressed this clearly at all. Stop exaggerating please.

      I’m sorry if I missed the pick-on Nelson commentary, as I didn’t see very much compared to the mainstream of the discussion over the PAR, which includes a lot of vindictiveness directed all around. I do agree with you that it needs to stop, and have said that throughout.

      Finally, we are all a little angered by what we have had to experience in this fiasco of a PAR. I don’t know what else would motivate and drive the discussion abyss that William above says the school mess has descended into.

      But you disagree, as you are not angry whatsoever.

  • Denise

    Pria, you have totally missed my point and Tom stated it eloquently that it did take many years and trial and error to create the environment that currently exists at Bateman. As I mentioned we have been to 5 schools, 2 told us they could not support my son’s needs, one he experienced horrible bullying, one did not want the class there and that was made clear in how the students were treated, the finally school was Bateman where he found a home. I have a hard time trusting the board when they say we can do it, if they can’t get it right with one students how are they going to get it right with several hundred students. I know other schools are wonderful and amazing and each provides a unique experience for the students, I am just asking that children with exceptionalities get that experience and at Bateman they do.

    Colleen, I agree Hayden was necessary for the Orchard and Alton, so how then did Millcroft and North Headon Forest get there? No, high school should have 7 feeder schools while other ones have 1 or 2. This is where the board has created some of the issues we are dealing with and in my opinion the current solution does not solve them.

  • Colleen A

    Hi Denise,

    My guess is logistics…from what I understand, Millcroft students were sent to Nelson before Hayden was built…not sure where the students from North Headon Forest were sent before Hayden…but both neighbourhoods are basically right across the street from Hayden.

  • Colleen A

    Denise & Tom,

    I get where Pria is coming from, it’s very similar to what I’ve thought. The sense of community & atmosphere in any school is due to the people-staff, students & families. I would hazard a guess that what students at Bateman have experienced there is due in large part to the staff there. It was said during the PAR that the staff in the special needs programming would accompany those students. I think it would be a very different experience than the difficulties encountered at their previous schools (like what you’ve had to deal with Denise), because they wouldn’t be alone. My guys went through 3 elementary schools (my 2 oldest are in their 4th now when you include Hayden). I would have LOVED to have that kind of support. The students from Bateman would have at least some of their classmates (depending on where they live in the city) & the staff.
    The other thing is that there’s power in numbers. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that the review finds the Board didn’t do anything wrong & the schools are closed. If there’s one thing I have NO DOUBT about is that the same group of you that fought to keep your schools opened would be a force to be reckoned with in making sure your students are treated properly and get the support/services they need. I also I have a world of faith in Amy Collard advocating alongside you.

  • Sharon

    Colleen,
    Unfortunately, it’s not a guarantee that our staff that is with the Community Pathways would move with our students. In any school closure, the teachers’ union would step in to make sure that teachers with seniority get to move where they want to go. What people don’t realize or maybe not thought of is that there is going to be teachers bumping other teachers out of schools. And those schools might not necessarily just be Nelson and MMR it could be any of them. The other sad thing is there may be teachers, EAs, custodial and office staff out of work.
    Just one more thing about transitions my daughter went to 3 different schools before she reached Bateman. No one from the Board ever called me to make sure the transition was going well. No one from any school that she was at ever called me to see if she was feeling comfortable and making new friends. So I am having a really hard time accepting that the Board can transition 300 students that have varying degrees of Autism, Downs Syndrome and medically fragile students. I honestly don’t believe they can and I am terribly afraid that these children will again fall through the cracks. And that would be a terrible shame. But you are right if this does not go in our favor we will make sure our students are treated properly and get the services and support they need. And I agree with you Amy Collard will be right there beside us. As she has been right from the start.

  • Colleen A

    Hi Sharon,

    You’re right, I didn’t take the Union & seniority into account. I hear you about the lack of support from the Board in previous transitions, I went through the same thing. But then, I didn’t expect it because it was just my 3…and I hear you about the mistrust of promises being made…but isn’t it possible that between the power in numbers, the advocates you have on your side and the focus from the media will bring an added accountability that wasn’t there when we were managing transitions on our own?

  • Sharon

    Colleen,
    That is my hope

  • Steve Atkinson

    To echo Denises’ point I just do not have the faith that this Board can implement these wonderful changes so seamlessly. I certainly hope they do if the closures move forward. They set a tone of distrust from the outset.
    ( Remember the IPSOS survey? ) They were unresponsive and uncooperative. If the PAR was managed so awkwardly, what assurances do we have that the extremely vital needs of these children will be efficiently managed ? Just because they say so? During the delegations I was spellbound by the students and parents of Bateman ( I am in the Pearson community ). The combination of an IBL program with special needs children was brilliant, and inspiring. I was certain no citizen of Burlington could possibly ignore these emotional and professional pleas to save their school. And the welding expert with 30 years of experience contributing to schools saying it could not be duplicated elsewhere. And how proud he was of the accomplishments of the students at Bateman.

    Well HDSB and trustees disagreed. Because they feel closing Bateman is preferred over Central. Its’ better for the children.

  • Tom Muir

    This is in response to Colleen A’s message of Sept. 10 12.27 pm. We ran out of reply space there.

    Colleen,

    I’m glad you are making efforts to make sure you don’t lose your marbles in anger and frustration. I think there are many of us at risk.

    However, your making me the straw man by name as the springboard to get to your position and case, says to me that you need more work on your promise of being respectful, especially to others that you refer to by name. It’s frustration and anger-inciting I’m afraid.

    I do have a big problem with some things you say in this message. In casting me as straw man, you then basically disarmed me by attributing beliefs and stated positions to me, that you say you read but provide no evidence for, that are false.

    I don’t know what you read of mine, but apparently not much, which is okay by itself. But to see everything I have carefully researched, written and submitted, here at the Gazette, and to the Board, since before the PAR started, so trivialized, and then falsified, is hardly taken by me as being treated with respect.

    To say you “realize” that I “believe” the numbers used by the Board to be wrong or lies is false. And I ask you what numbers are you talking about, and where you got your “realization”, which implies I somehow agree with you?.

    Other people, not me, said the Board projection numbers of growth going forward were wrong, offered reasons, and showed inconsistencies suggesting Board error. But because the Board insisted they were correct, the lies comments started.

    I submitted evidence and analysis to the Trustees and Board (available to you there) raising the issues of possible forecast error, risk and uncertainty, in planning for the future. I talked about risk management for planning errors. I did not say the Board numbers were wrong or lies.

    I said that we are living in a period where rapid population growth, and intensification, is being imposed by the province, and associated housing costs are forcing families to live in medium and high density.

    Economic and social forces are changing past patterns of family formation and demographics, resulting in the possibility of higher pupil yields and more families per dwelling unit than the historical record that is used by the Board to forecast. This has already happened in the Hayden catchment, and one reason for the school being so overcrowded.

    My issue was that this was discounted by the Board and that there was no risk assessment and management being done. This is the case despite the Board projections showing Hayden to still be bursting at the seams, with maybe 1600 students, over-utilizing the 1200 OTG, and 12 or more portables, over the foreseeable future, and MMR being at capacity by 2020. So I asked, why are we closing schools?

    My point was that having all our schools open and functioning provides risk management, as low cost reserve assets that can be seen as risk insurance.

    You then go on to say, and generalize, that you “know from one of the first things you read about my position on all of this was that I was looking for the Board to acknowledge they were wrong for building Hayden & apologize”. This is also not true, and a distortion of what my well explained and refined position on this really is. I suggest you do more reading.

    You then jump to your own argument, setting up this falsely loaded straw man as being assumed right, but you say it’s too late, and so we have to accept what is. So it’s too bad, what’s done is done, so let’s move on and forget the past, and how the process was worked to a fixed result.

    You then, inexplicably, jump to the defense of Director Miller, who is vouched for by a friend of yours as a man of integrity, and so you trust his every word.

    Well, my experience with Director Miller is in a different context than that of your friend. Miller told me personally in a phone call in February, and I have reported this several times in my submissions, that Hayden was a mistake, and the cause of the present problems, but raising it was too hot for him politically, as it involved politicians and trustees, past and present, so he would not deal with it. On this he was a man of his word, as my subsequent experience, to this day, has proven.

    Further, through his direction and influence, he ensured that this transparency and accountability of the Hayden planning process remained something to deny and to willfully look away from. No one at the Board, or trustees, or any person in positions of responsibility and authority, will violate this denial.

    Only a former HDSB trustee at the time of the approved decisions to build Hayden, with which she dissented, came forward during the PAR to bear witness in the Gazette, that she saw the coming consequences that were being denied, and what the effects that we are now experiencing, would be on the other Burlington schools. She was out voted.

    As Miller put it to a Burlington Councilor, to raise this is an irresponsible questioning of the decisions and actions of the Board and previous trustees. So much for transparency and accountability at the HDSB.

    Despite my several formal requests, Miller provided me with no response, and any of what I asked for was only provided through an FOI, and even that was obstructed at his direction. This experience too is documented in my writing at the time, and submitted to the Board, and/or published in the Gazette. So my point is that in different contexts, people behave differently, and trust will be earned or lost with deeds.

    To your characterization of my position on Hayden, I have never said that Hayden was wrong to build, or built by mistake. The problem is that despite my reading of every LTAP and other report on the Board website, as far back as they go, and my FOI, I was never able to find your referral to mid-1990s discussions of a school for Alton and Orchard, or any other discussions, explanations, or rationales for this build. The first reference I found to this school was in the 2008-2012 LTAP.

    And to be clear, I have never stated the view that the needs of Alton and Orchard did not warrant being met, or that I objected.

    I have always started from the position that it was the way the build was planned and built that I found compellingly wrong. This is what caused the scenario and process that caused the crisis and conflict we are in.

    I have consistently said from the start that the NE Burlington secondary school (subsequently, Hayden) was built deliberately, with planning of, and full knowledge of the consequences we face now. And most importantly, done with no PAR, to let everyone in the Burlington community of schools know what the implications are. The PAR was warranted at the time of the planning, back then, when the consequences were so clearly known.

    I did comment that there was political backroom collusion going on to get the NE Burlington build planned and approved. This is where I see the political and Board collusion acting to get the build done, without a PAR, as that would have interfered with what was wanted, by having to involve all the schools, and the public, in PAR discussion, resulting from the public disclosure of what was being planned..

    Hayden effectively built almost all of the excess capacity we have now (1500 to 1600 seats), with no available record of a written rationale based on new pupil place needs, in terms of the enrollment greater than capacity, and the need for additional program and learning opportunities.

    These are the usual requirements to get a new build. In fact, at that time of 2009, overall enrollment trends were flat to down, and utilization was at high levels.

    Also, related to this, I cannot find any discussion that decided that this new build would be done without a PAR, despite the known consequences of excess capacity Burlington-wide, and that would result in the PAR we just had, but 10 years after the fact of knowing this, and too late to plan a more suitable option to build.

    Or any records that provide any information describing how a new SRA 101, created for the new build, was discussed and rationalized. Information I got from the FOI, and that I submitted to the Board, and the Gazette published, indicates the new build funding application of 2009 has the build included in SRA 100.

    I also cannot find records of discussion that the new build could be decided using a boundary review, and not a PAR, and how this was rationalized. I wanted to know if this creation of SRA 101 was used to justify a boundary review instead of a PAR.

    The point being that the due process was knowingly and willfully corrupted so as to put the day of reckoning off until after the build was done, and the students to fill it were drained from the existing schools to levels that would then be used to start a PAR. That’s why some people see this corruption of process as a swindle of the south Burlington residents of two schools to help pay for the surplus seats built at Hayden.

    Data I only got through the FOI, because the Board did not respond to my requests, show that this deliberate and knowing plan that had the consequences we are now suffering, was built right in from the start – Hayden bursting at the seams, and all the surplus seats created in the other Burlington high schools. The data show that this was all done by the Board in their planning, boundary and feeder changes, programs, and construction.

    In the 2009 plan, submitted to the Ministry but not the public, it showed Hayden overflowing with students within 3 years of opening, and continuing this trend. In planned consequences, back in 2009, MM Robinson utilization was planned to decline, by 2022, from 93.7% to 53.4%, and Bateman to decline from 99.2% to 43.9%, by 2018/19. Nelson declined from 108.7% to 95.6%.

    To repeat, Bateman was targeted before 2009, and in the 2009 Priorities Template of the Ministry, its planned UTZ of 43.9% was actually colored in Red.

    Most of these declines directly coincided with Hayden’s projected opening in 2010. By 2022, 1567 students were in these declines, many transferred to Hayden. This number coincides with the numbers cited in 2008.

    The more recent data, shown by the Board at the November PAR public meeting, and titled in a slide as, “Current Situation: Low Utilization”, paints an even worse picture of what has been done by the Board and only made public in this PAR.

    This data clearly shows Hayden continuously overfilled grossly with students transferred largely from the other schools, as part of the plan. And this is being facilitated with portables, as part of the plan too.

    From no students on 2010, Hayden goes to 129% UTG in 2016, and projected at 159% in 2020 and 141% in 2025. At the same time, the other schools continue the planned decline, but now there are 4 schools that are in that situation, not just the 2 schools identified in the 2009 plan, as I noted above. This data is as follows;

    – From 112% UTZ in 2010, Pearson declines to 61% in 2016, and projected to 55% in 2020, and 50% in 2025.

    – From 87% UTZ in 2010, Robinson declines to 53% in 2016, and projected to 47% in 2020, and 46% in 2025.

    – From 107% UTZ in 2010, Nelson declines to 75% in 2016, and projected to 83% in 2020, and 79% in 2025.

    – From 95% UTZ in 2010, Bateman declines to 59% in 2016, and projected to 55% in 2020, and 50% in 2025.

    Looking at the option 23e, in Miller, and the overall plan for Hayden from 2009, and you can see that according to that option outline, Robinson is also overfull by 2020, as Hayden is now, and to the end of the planning horizon.

    Overall utilization in this option will be around 100%. So why are we closing schools? Will Burlington never need another school, ever?

    Are future students to be bused or packed into portables?

    This is the actual data showing how building Hayden created new seats that then became surplus seats for the rest of Burlington schools. We now have a situation of over-utilization and under-utilization, the main cause of which is building Hayden and then over-utilizing it using boundary, feeder, and program policies.

    During the PAR, there was never any sign that Hayden would suffer closure, or even any significant change or downsizing in core programs. This recalcitrance to change, illustrated in your argument and position, and amply supported by other Hayden folks, are selfish obstacles to achieving a fair and just adjustment of enrollment to save our schools.

    In summary of my motives here, if you are going to put words or positions in my mouth, please make sure you get your facts straight, and remember that straw men are fallacious ways of arguing.

    Your position or case, as subsequently stated last, is better to me as a stand alone argument. Trying to knock me over in contrast is not needed, and I think, is objectionable.

    I have a few comments I could make about the possible implications of the technology based school basis of your rationale for not changing anything at Hayden because of this, as it sounds elitist to me, but I will not go further in this already lengthy response. I don’t know much about this technology plan, and you did make an effort to describe this rationally, so you deserve some respect for this, and not knee jerk criticism.

    I will end with the issues raised by your argument about the superiority of the technology option at Hayden, and where the Bateman special needs students enter this scene, and why the importance of their analogous programs seems to be overlooked in your argument and case.

    You are raising a lot of issues that have implications for every school.

    • Colleen A

      Tom,

      The purpose of my comment was to accept responsibility for my poor choices, apologize for the angry tone I used on here, state my position in a calm, factual way instead of ranting and to acknowledge my understanding of where you stand on this issue. I apologize unreservedly for any false impressions/statements I made about you. It truly was not my intent.

      You can respond to this if you wish, but please know I’m not going to go back & forth with you on this issue (my apology) any further. My father, who I’m very close to, passed away suddenly lastnight and I don’t have the energy or desire to continue this discussion with you.

      Respectfully,
      Colleen