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School Names and Dedications: Selection and Change

General Provisions

All names and dedications of Albuquerque Public Schools facilities shall be subject to Board of Education approval.  As a general rule, facilities, school and portions of facilities and schools shall not be named after living individuals.

New Facility Names

Upon construction of a new facility, a facility-naming committee shall be convened.  That committee shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Representative from the Board of Education
  • District administration
  • School principal of proposed facility (if known)
  • Staff member of the proposed facility (if known)
  • Student of the proposed facility
  • Community members of proposed facility

The facility-naming committee shall review suggested names using the following guidelines:

  • High schools ought to be named after geographic locations. Middle schools ought to be named after late United States presidents. Elementary schools ought be named after persons who have provided positive role models for Albuquerque Public Schools students.
  • Recognizing that the ethnic and cultural composition of a local school community may change and that school/facility names are permanent, the name selected shall have broad acceptance in a multi-cultural society and have a unique association with that school community.
  • In naming or dedicating a school/facility after a person, primary consideration shall 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 may be considered.
  • Recommendations for names of elementary schools and other facilities may be selected from any appropriate category.

The district administrator or school principal shall submit no more than four (4) recommendations to the appropriate associate superintendent along with documentation proving the above guidelines were taken into consideration by the facility-naming committee. Recommended names shall be referred to the superintendent for approval.  Upon approval from the superintendent, the recommended names shall be referred to the Board of Education for action.

Requests to Change the Name of or Rename a Facility

The Board of Education may consider a name change if the majority of its members agree that there is a compelling reason to do so.  Any request to change the name of a currently constructed facility shall follow the same process as a request for name a portion of a school or facility which is outlined below.

Requests to Name or Dedicate a Portion of a School or Facility

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 whose valued contributions to the school have been substantial and sustained over time.  As a general rule, portions facilities shall not be named after living individuals unless there are extenuating circumstances that are explained in the request.

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

  • Place or facility to be named or dedicated
  • Proposed name
  • Rationale for the proposal
  • Total number of faculty/staff at the school
  • Spaces for 60% or more faculty/staff to sign the petition
  • Spaces for 60% or more members of parent organization to sign the petition or 100 members of the school community, whichever is greater
  • Date of authorization of petition
  • 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 ninety (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 family whose name was included in the membership list from which the count of members was made.  Each family with a child enrolled in the school shall be entitled to one vote per family.  Each certified and classified staff member shall be entitled to one vote.

At the end of ninety (90) days or sooner if all faculty/staff and family members have been given an opportunity to sign, the parent organization shall certify the eligible signatures of families on the petition.

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

The principal, upon receipt of a petition with the required number of certified signatures, shall present the petition to the appropriate associate superintendent for presentation to and approval by the superintendent.  Upon approval from the superintendent, the appropriate associate superintendent shall present the request to the Board of Education for approval or denial.

If the petition is approved by the Board of Education, dedication ceremonies shall be planned by the school.

Renaming a Portion of a School or Facility

The procedures for renaming a portion of a school or facility shall follow the same process as outlined above for naming a portion of a school or facility except as follows:

  • If the portion of a school or facility proposed for renaming has been previously named through action by the Board of Education, or if the facility has been named and dedicated by school action to honor a person, permission of the Board of Education 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 of Education’s  permission to propose the renaming of the facility, petitions shall be proposed and drawn up as outlined above; however, the petitions shall clearly state that the newly proposed name will replace the current name.

Administrative Position:

  • Chief Operations Officer/Associate Superintendent for Elementary Education/Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education

Department Director:

  • Director of Facilities Design and Construction/School Principal


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NSBA/NEPN Classification: FF

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: August 2005
Reviewed: August 14, 2012
Revised: August 17, 2012