It's a sad day for parents and students - both present and former - who toured Barrett Elementary School the day before it closes for good on Thursday, the last day of school.
Barrett is one of three Akron schools that close at the end of this school year to help balance the district's budget. Essex and Rankin Elementary are the other two schools closing for budget reasons.
But Barrett is different than the other two schools...it is home to about 40 special education students out of 239 total.
Barrett PTA president and parent liaison Christine Pope says those families are watching the district's promise to follow the students' needs to their new school.
"We're always going to have wonderful teachers and wonderful assistants," Pope tells AkronNewsNow.com. "But the space, and care, and the equipment that's here at Barrett is hard to match. And they're hoping that everything goes with the students, but we're going to keep our fingers crossed to make sure it does."
Chante Kightlinger is now 21, and spent her first six years in Barrett's special education program.
"Great people, I had so many memories with my friends," Chante remembers. "And I don't like to see this (Barrett) go down."
Christine Pope, PTA president and parent liaison for Barrett Elementary with Chante Kightlinger by MPWard
Barrett students will go to Firestone Park or Voris next school year, for parents who didn't choose open enrollment or other options.
Pope and others say whatever the district does for the special education students, it won't be the same as having students with special needs cared for in one building at Barrett....and families are watching for the results...
"PTs, their therapists and stuff, they're going to be spread throughout the school, they are concerned," Pope tells AkronNewsNow.com, "A lot of the parents had visited other schools before they chose Barrett as their school, so they are very concerned if they're gonna be able to have their needs, but mostly on a space value."
But she hopes that the students' needs will be able to be met at their new schools, with minimal disruption in a transition from Barrett.