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Community Advisory Committee Reviewing the Name of Sutherland Middle School Narrows List of Names Under Consideration to 10

DATE: May 15, 2020
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Community Advisory Committee Reviewing the Name of Sutherland Middle School Narrows List of Names Under Consideration to 10

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Residents in the Sutherland, Baker-Butler, Hollymead, and Stony Point school communities are being asked to share their views on 10 possible names for Sutherland Middle School in a new public opinion survey that went live today. The survey was authorized by the Sutherland community advisory committee that is reviewing the middle school’s name, as directed by a School Board policy adopted last year.

The policy required a review of the names of all 14 schools in the division that are named for individuals. Sutherland is the second school to undergo a review.

An initial survey seeking suggestions about the school’s name from the public generated more than 400 responses. Following a community meeting on May 11, the advisory committee narrowed the list of names under consideration to 10. They include Hidden Trails, Lake Ridge, Lakeside, Mortimer Y. Sutherland, and North Piedmont. Also, Northern Albemarle, Northside, Rivanna, River Ridge, and Willow Creek.

In the new survey, available at https://survey.k12insight.com/r/9D4fJ2, members of the public are being asked to select their top three choices for the school’s name. The survey will be active until Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m., and results will be posted on the division’s School Naming Review website at https://www.k12albemarle.org/acps/division/school-naming-review/Pages/Sutherland-Middle-School.aspx.

On Tuesday, June 9, the community advisory committee will conduct its second public meeting at 6:30 p.m. using the Zoom online platform. At this meeting, members of the public will have the opportunity to offer their comments about the survey’s findings and the 10 names under consideration.

Following this meeting, the advisory committee will select three names that will be recommended to Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas for his consideration. If any of the names are of individuals, the policy requires that the advisory committee research that person’s role in the community in view of the school division’s four core values of excellences, young people, community, and respect.

“On behalf of our entire committee, we want to thank everyone who has participated in this process, especially under the current challenging conditions,” said Jasmine Fernández, who is facilitating the work of the advisory committee. “The committee feels strongly that the best decisions are those that are inclusive of as many points of view as possible. We look forward to receiving that input, both through the online survey and during our second public meeting,” she added.

Also, to that end, Fernández said the committee is hoping to fill two vacancies in the near future. “We are seeking a parent who has a child at Hollymead to represent their school community as well as a local resident who does not now have a child attending school in our division. Anyone who is interested in serving their community or knows of someone who might be interested, please email SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org,” she said.

The same email address can be used to send comments or questions to the advisory committee.

The school division has created a website to enable members of the public to track the progress of the Sutherland name review. The site also has information on the relevant School Board policy and about other reviews that have been completed or are planned. The division’s School Naming Review website is available at https://www.k12albemarle.org/acps/division/school-naming-review/Pages/default.aspx.

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