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School Names and Dedications: Selection and Change - August 2005 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in August 2012. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

Selecting a Name for a New Facility

A facility-naming committee will review suggested names using the following guidelines:

  1. High schools will be named after geographic locations. Middle schools will be named after late United States presidents. Names of persons who have provided positive role models for APS students will be considered in naming elementary schools.
  2. Recognizing that the ethnic and cultural composition of a local school community will change and that school/facility names are permanent, the name selected should have broad acceptance in a multi-cultural society and have a unique association with that school community.
  3. In naming or dedicating a school/facility after a person, primary consideration should be given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to education in the community, the state or the nation.  In addition to societal contributions, the moral character of the individual must be considered.
  4. Recommendations for names of elementary schools and other facilities may be selected from any appropriate category.
  5. The principal will submit no more than four recommendations to the appropriate associate superintendent. Names will be referred to the Board for action.

Requests to Change the Name of a Facility

The Superintendent will submit to the Board a request for a facility name change after receiving the required number of petition signatures requesting such a change. Any request for a school name change must include signatures representing boundaries.

In addition, the Board may consider a name change if the majority of its members agree that there is a compelling reason to do so.

The new name and justification for the request must be submitted through the principal of the school to the appropriate assistant superintendent, who will submit it to the Superintendent for review.

The Superintendent will make recommendations to the Board for action.

To Name or Dedicate a Portion of a School or Facility (Not Previously Named)

A school may name or dedicate a library, special facility, or other portion of a school with the consent of the Board of Education. The naming or dedication may honor a person, living or deceased, whose valued contributions to the school have been substantial and sustained over time.

A proposal to name or dedicate a facility may be introduced by a member of the staff, a parent, or a member of the school community. The proposal may be brought to the designated governance body of the school or of the school's parent organization. By majority vote of either governing body, a petition may be drawn up to determine school community support for the proposal. The petition must include the following:

  1. Place or facility to be named or dedicated
  2. Proposed name
  3. Rationale for the proposal
  4. Total number of faculty/staff at the school
  5. Spaces for 60% or more faculty/staff to sign the petition
  6. Spaces for 60% or more members of parent organization to sign the petition or 100 members of the school community, whichever is greater
  7. Date of authorization of petition
  8. Expiration date of petition (90 days after authorization date)

A single petition or identical copies of the petition may be circulated for a period not to exceed 90 days and may be signed by any faculty or staff member whose name was included in the list of total faculty/staff and any parent whose name was included in the membership list from which the count of members was made.

At the end of 90 days, or sooner if all faculty/staff and parent members have been given an opportunity to sign, the governing body of the parent organization will certify the eligible signatures of parents on the petition.

The governing body of the school will certify the eligible faculty/staff signatures on the petition. If fewer than 60% of each organization signed the petition, any remaining days prior to the 90 day expiration date of the petition may be used to gain additional signatures. At the end of 90 days, the petition will be declared null and void if fewer than 60% of each group has signed. If at least 60% of each group has signed, the petition, along with letters of certification from the parent group and the school governing body will be forwarded to the principal.

The principal, upon receipt of a petition with the required number of certified signatures, will present the petition to the Superintendent in order that the item may be scheduled on the agenda of the Board. If the petition is approved by the Board, dedication ceremonies will be planned by the school at a time not in conflict with official Board responsibilities.

Renaming a Portion of a School or Facility

The procedures for renaming a portion of a school or facility will be as above except as follows:

If the portion of a school or facility proposed for renaming has been previously named through action by the Board, or if the facility has been named and dedicated by school action to honor a person (living or deceased), permission of the Board is necessary prior to circulation of signatures proposing to replace that name with a new name. In seeking the Board's permission, sufficient rationale will be presented to justify overturning the previous action.

After receiving the Board's permission to propose the renaming of the facility, petitions will be proposed and drawn up as outlined above; however, the petitions must clearly state that the newly proposed name will replace the current name.

Cross Ref.: Board Policy F.02

NSBA/NEPN Classification: FF

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: August 2005

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