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.
Registration has closed for the October 22 public hearing session.
A second registration period for the October 29, 2020 public hearing session will open on Friday, October 23, 2020 and close at 5 PM EDT on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Please use this link to register if you would like to speak at a hearing. You may also submit written comments for the hearings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The School Renaming Consideration Survey remains open through Wednesday, October 28; see below for details. A central email address for renaming questions has been established at email@example.com. Technical questions regarding the survey should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board will consider a variety of factors in deciding whether to change either school’s name, one of which will be 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.
Students, parents, and staff and faculty will receive emails with an invitation to participate and a one-time use survey link. We invite the community to participate as well using this link. The survey will be open October 14 through October 28, 2020.
K12 Insight will administer the survey and compile the results, reporting to the School Board the overall results of the survey without including identifying information for respondents. If you have technical difficulties with the survey, you can contact K12 Insight at email@example.com.
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.
Parents, students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the Falls Church City Public Schools and residents of the City of Falls Church are welcome to speak during these sessions. Speakers must register in advance using this link.
Registration is closed for the October 22, 2020 session. There will be a second registration period for the October 29, 2020 session, which will open on Friday, October 23, 2020, and close at 5 PM EDT on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Registrants will receive, via email by 12 noon EDT on October 28, a speaker number, and a link to access the session.
Each hearing session will begin at 6 PM and will last for a maximum of four hours. During the sessions, individuals will be invited to speak when their speaker number is reached. Individuals will speak in the order of registration, except that the first 10 speaker slots each night will be reserved for current students of Falls Church City Public Schools. Comments will be limited to a maximum duration of three minutes per speaker; no video or images may be shared.
Members of the public can also submit written comments for the hearings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. These 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, 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 - review draft survey report from K12 Insight|
|November 13||K12 Insight delivers final survey report|
|November 17||Board work session - review all information|
|December 8||Regular Board meeting - vote planned on whether to change either name|
Meetings with renaming comments or discussion
|October 22, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments / Speaker List||
|October 13, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|October 6, 2020||Agenda||Public Comments||Video|
|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|