Process and Information for School Renaming Consideration (June - December 2020)
Process and Information for School Renaming Consideration June - December 2020
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 adopted a two-stage process; the first stage was a nearly 6-month deliberation on whether or not to change the names. During this first stage, the Board solicited and received public comment and other relevant information to guide the Board’s decision about whether to change either school’s name.
On December 8, 2020 the School Board voted unanimously to change the names of the elementary and high school. The second stage of the renaming process will be carried out in accordance with Board Policy FFA (Naming School Facilities).
Timeline and Documentation
This table lists major events in the first stage of the process.
June 9, 2020
June 16, 2020
June 30, 2020
July 14, 2020
July 23, 2020
July 28, 2020
August 11, 2020
September 1, 2020
September 8, 2020
September 22, 2020
October 6, 2020
October 13, 2020
October 22, 2020
October 29, 2020
November 17, 2020
December 1, 2020
December 8, 2020
December 15, 2020
Regular School Board Meeting Cost Information & Updates
Public Hearing Session 1
Public hearing Session 2
Board work session - K12 Insight presentation, review information
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 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).
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
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.