Process and Information for School Renaming Consideration
On June 30, 2020, the Falls Church City School Board decided to consider changing the names of George Mason High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. The Board has adopted a two-stage process; the first stage is currently underway. During this first stage, the Board will solicit and receive public comment and other relevant information to guide the Board’s decision about whether to change either school’s name. If the Board decides to change either name, there would be a second stage process, carried out in accordance with Board Policy FFA (Naming School Facilities).
This page provides information for the community related to the process of considering changing either school’s name. It will be updated as new information or events warrant; please check back regularly for the latest.
The Board is considering all the input and information received during the renaming process and anticipates a final vote on whether to change either school’s name during our meeting on December 8, 2020.
The Board will consider a variety of factors in deciding whether to change either school’s name, one of which is direct feedback from students, parents, staff and faculty, and the community. We have partnered with independent research and communications firm K12 Insight to administer a school renaming consideration survey and compile the results into a report for the Board.
The renaming consideration survey closed on October 28, and K12 Insight presented to the Board on November 17 their final report on the School Renaming Consideration Survey. The presentation is available on BoardDocs, and you can see video of the presentation and subsequent discussion on the FCCPS YouTube site.
The Board wants to hear directly from interested students, parents, staff, faculty, and alumni of Falls Church City Public Schools and residents of Falls Church City as we consider the renaming decision. The Board has allocated eight hours to hear public comment, over two sessions, one on Thursday, October 22, 2020, and continuing on Thursday, October 29, 2020, starting at 6 PM. The hearings will be broadcast live via the FCCPS YouTube channel.
The Board held two public hearings to hear directly from interested students, parents, staff, faculty, and alumni of the Falls Church City Public Schools and residents of Falls Church City, on October 22 and October 29. Videos from each session are available on the FCCPS YouTube channel ( October 22; October 29). A list of registered speakers for each session (October 22; October 29) and the written comments we received have been posted to Boarddocs (October 22; October 29). Please note that not all registered speakers for each night participated during the hearings, while some individuals spoke both nights.
Members of the public can submit additional written comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by emailing School Board Clerk Marty Gadell at email@example.com; please include the subject line “Public Comment - Potential School Renaming”. Written comments will not be read into the record, but will be posted to Boarddocs and available from this Web page.
The cost to develop and administer the survey and provide reports to the School Board is $8,500.
Information on potential costs that may result if the Board decides to change the name of either school is available here. For George Mason High School, the estimated total is $96,760; for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, the estimate is $13,500.
Information regarding Thomas Jefferson
- Monticello Research and Education resources, including Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia and Jefferson Library
- Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello, an exhibition originally held at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and on display at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia through November 29, 2020
Information regarding George Mason
- George Mason University Center for Mason Legacies, “dedicated to engaging student researchers in studying the past and present influences of the university’s namesake”, including links to the Enslaved Children of George Mason project
- NBC News Interview (August 8, 2020) with Dr. Gregory Washington, President, George Mason University.
This table lists major events in the first stage process.
|October 13||Regular Board meeting - cost information and updates|
|October 14-20||Registration period for public hearing|
|October 14-28||Public survey period|
|October 22||Public hearing session 1|
|October 27||Board work session - update|
|October 29||Public hearing session 2|
|November 10||Regular Board meeting|
|November 13||K12 Insight delivers final survey report|
|November 17||Board work session - K12 Insight presentation, review information|
|December 8||Regular Board meeting - vote planned on whether to change either name|
Meetings with renaming comments or discussion
|December 15, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||
|December 8, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||
|December 1, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||
|November 17, 2020||Agenda||K12 Presentation||
|October 29, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments / Speaker List||
|October 22, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments / Speaker List||
|October 13, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|October 6, 2020||Agenda||
|September 22, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|September 8, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|September 1, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|August 11, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|July 28, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|July 23, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|July 14, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|June 30, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments ( Part A) (Part B)||Video|
|June 16, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|June 9, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|