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Community Members Being Sought to Join Cale Advisory Committee Reviewing the School’s Name

DATE: April 22, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

Community Members Being Sought to Join Cale Advisory Committee Reviewing the School’s Name, Including Two Members Who Do Not Currently Have Children in the School

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Following the School Board’s adoption of a new division policy on the naming or renaming of school facilities, applicants are being sought to serve on a community advisory committee that will conduct the first review under the revised policy. In October, the School Board directed Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas to “review our current policy on the naming of school buildings and facilities for the purpose of adding school division values to the criteria for such naming.”

The new policy said advisory committees, including staff, parents and community representatives, should be established whenever the name of a school was under review. The policy directed that school names should take into account how faithful these designations are to the school division’s values of respect, community, young people, and excellence.

Of particular interest are the more than one dozen schools in the division that are named for individuals. The first school name that will be reviewed under the new policy is that of Cale Elementary School, named in 1990 for a former Albemarle County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Paul H. Cale, who served in that role from 1947 to 1969.

The revised policy requires two members of a community advisory committee to be people who reside in a school’s attendance zone, but do not have children enrolled in the school. Residents of the Cale attendance zone who do not have children enrolled in the school and are interested in serving on the advisory committee or who would like to know more about the opportunity are asked to contact John Gray, the committee coordinator, at jgray@k12albemarle.org.

The advisory committee, in turn, will make a recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas on whether there should be a name change.

Earlier this year, Superintendent Haas appointed Dennis S. Rooker, who served three terms on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, to chair the Cale advisory committee. The committee will include Cale’s principal; three parents who have students enrolled at Cale; three teachers from the school; and two community members who do not currently have children in school, but who live within the school’s attendance boundaries.

From the time of the committee’s first meeting, it will have 90 days to report out its recommendation on whether there should be a name change to the superintendent. The first meeting of the Cale community advisory committee will take place next month.

As provided for in the revised policy, prior to their first meeting, members of the committee will receive a report on the life and achievements of the person for whom a school is named. Earlier this month, Dr. Shelley Murphy, Board Chair for the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society and a gubernatorial appointee to the Library Board of Virginia, was appointed to conduct the supporting research for the Cale committee.

Following receipt of the advisory committee’s recommendation on whether there should be a name change, the superintendent will advise the School Board. If the Board approves a name change, the advisory committee will reconvene to consider a new name. The committee will hold two community meetings as part of those deliberations. Names that are subsequently submitted to the School Board must be approved by three-fourths of committee members. If no alternative names generate that level of support, the superintendent will submit a recommendation to the Board.

During this period and until such time as a new name is approved by the School Board, the school’s original name will continue in use.

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