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Duval school board mulls changes to district’s school name change process

Discussion follows nearly year-long, contentious campaign over nine campus names

The Duval County Public Schools board meets on July 13, 2021 for a workshop. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – During a workshop Tuesday morning, the Duval County Public Schools board discussed an update to the district’s policy on how it renames school buildings.

The discussion centered around a litany of adjustments to nearly every aspect of the process including naming a new school, naming a consolidated school and renaming an existing school.

The adjusted rules would still prohibit schools from being named after individual people, either living or deceased.

One of the recommended changes would dictate that once a school undergoes the renaming process, it may not be reconsidered for at least three years.

More recommended changes include:

  • A maximum of three schools at a time would be considered for renaming,
  • Parents or legal guardians of students attending a school under renaming consideration would be added to the list of groups from who input would be garnered, (adding that group to SAC members, PTA members, students, attendance zone residents and alumni), and
  • Community input from stakeholders groups would no longer be required when deciding on a name for a new school.

Board member Charlotte Joyce recommended additional language that would require more detailed funding information in name change proposals brought to the board.

Joyce cited a lack of funding clarity within the board proposals for renaming projects as to why she voted in opposition to the recent school name changes.

The board also talked about adding a policy language to establish a process for selecting or replacing a school’s mascot, an area that the current DCPS policy doesn’t cover.

The discussion follows an exhaustive, 11-month process that saw multiple public meetings, community balloting and superintendent recommendations on the question of renaming nine schools in the district, six of which were approved for new names by the board.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.