First committee meeting on school name set for next week

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A committee that will consider changing the name of a local elementary school will meet for the first time next week.

Albemarle County Public Schools says the inaugural meeting of the advisory committee that will look into changing the name of Paul H. Cale Elementary School will meet May 28 at 6 p.m. in the County Office Building on McIntire Road.

According to a release, former Albemarle County Supervisor Dennis Rooker will chair the committee, which is made up of 12 people.

Three members of the committee are parents of students who attend the school and two are members of the community who do not have children attending the school.

Two Cale Elementary School teachers are also on the committee along with the school's principal, assistant principal, and ACPS's Assistant Superintendent for School Community Empowerment.

These members are Lauren Eddy, Dr. Scott Heysell, Paul McArtor, Dr. Carlos Armengol, Alice Justice, Sue Harris, Lori Ann Stoddart, Lisa Jones, Ben Allen and Dr. Bernard Hairston.

The committee organizer is John Gray, a former Assistant Director of Human Resources for Albemarle County.

The committee was authorized last fall to review the division's policy on the naming of school buildings and facilities in order to add division values to the criteria for naming such facilities.

It will also review the naming of all schools in the division to take into account how faithful the names are to the values of the division.

The Albemarle County School Board has revised a policy concerning the naming of schools, and that policy allows for an advisory committee like this one to meet "as needed with a goal of presenting its findings to the superintendent or designee within three months of the first committee meeting."

The committee will also conduct at least one meeting open to the community where residents can get an update on its work and give feedback. Rooker believes that meeting will take place sometime in June.

The initial meeting next week will specifically be reviewing research in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 and its impacts on Albemarle County.

The committee is expected to complete its work and send a recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas by Aug. 26 and Hass will then make a recommendation to the county School Board.

Should the decision be to change the name of Cale Elementary, the advisory committee will reconvene and have another three months to recommend a new name.

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