Chairs and tables were borrowed from the Community Hall, filling the Burton School gym on Tuesday, June 19 for the community farewell to the school. Burton Elementary School is closing its doors as a school for local kids, with enrolment no longer large enough to justify keeping the building open as a public school.
The potluck dinner was well-attended, with around a hundred people occupying seats in the gym, and an unknown quantity of children dining and playing and giggling and shrieking outside too. Former teachers and students joined the Burton community for the farewell evening, and during the open mic session, their love for the school was loud and clear, delivered in speech or song. Tears were shed for the end of the school’s public education era, with everyone remembering how the little school had given so much to both teachers and kids over the decades.
The beautiful building is very much a community resource still, with many activities being run in the school during the evenings. A movement has been afoot to keep the building open as a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. A dedicated group of individuals are researching options and figuring out how to keep the building alive and thriving, as a centre for learning, if not a school for kids.