Committee preparing to make recommendations on renaming Clark, Venable elementary schools
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A Charlottesville committee is close to making a decision regarding the names of two city schools.
The Charlottesville City Schools Naming of Facilities Committee was created in 2020, including teachers, parents, administrators and members of the community.
It is finalizing its recommendations for the future names of Clark and Venable elementary schools.
The committee recently decided to select new names for both facilities and has also decided that names honoring individuals will not be used.
According to a post on the CCS website, third- and fourth-grade students at the schools have also held elections on the possible new names. Venable students cast ballots on Nov. 7 and students at Clark voted on Nov. 21.
The results of the student elections have not been posted.
For Venable, the final two options being considered are Trailblazers Elementary, in honor of the Venable Nine and other Charlottesville desegregation pioneers as well as the spirit of encouraging students to blaze new trails, or 14th Street Elementary, for the geographic connections to the school’s Civil Rights history.
Over at Clark, the options are Friendship Elementary, for the relationships that are at the heart of the school community and the nearby Friendship Court, or Summit Elementary, for the school’s location with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the idea of reaching summits by accomplishing goals.
Students at both schools also had the option of submitting write-in votes.
The CCS post says that an October 2022 survey found a majority of respondents felt the schools should no longer maintain a connection with their original namesakes.
However, the survey also drew mixed opinions about selecting brand-new names or repurposing the existing ones by selecting new namesakes.
The committee eventually decided that maintaining the names, even with new namesakes, would still uphold a connection to people who directly enslaved humans, perpetuated damaging myths about slavery, and/or led in genocide against Native Americans.
The committee will be making its recommendations regarding the school names at the Charlottesville School Board meeting in December.