DATE: May 22, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
First Meeting of Advisory Committee on Whether Elementary School’s Name Should Be Changed Is Tuesday, May 28
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – The inaugural meeting of the advisory committee that will make a recommendation on whether the name of Paul H. Cale Elementary School should be changed will be next Tuesday, May 28, at 6 p.m. The committee will meet in Room 241 of the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville.
Dennis Rooker, former Albemarle County Supervisor and chair of the committee, said this week that 12 people have been appointed to serve on the committee or to support its work.
Three committee members are parents of students who attend Cale, including Lauren Eddy, Dr. Scott Heysell, and Paul McArtor. Also appointed were two members of the local community who do not have children currently attending the school, Dr. Carlos Armengol and Alice Justice.
Two Cale teachers, Sue Harris and Lori Ann Stoddart, are on the committee, along with Cale’s principal, Lisa Jones; assistant principal, Ben Allen; and the division’s Assistant Superintendent for School Community Empowerment, Dr. Bernard Hairston. John Gray, the former Assistant Director of Human Resources for Albemarle County, is the committee organizer.
The committee was authorized last fall by a School Board resolution that, in part, 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” and to “undertake a review of the naming of all schools in the division taking into account how faithful those designations are to the values of our school division.”
That directive led to a revised policy for the naming of school facilities that the School Board adopted earlier this year on January 24. The revised policy provides for an advisory committee to meet “as needed with a goal of presenting its findings to the Superintendent or designee within three months of the first committee meeting. During this three-month period, the committee will conduct at least one community meeting to provide an update on their work and to solicit feedback.”
Rooker said that the community meeting likely will be next month and that details on its location, date and time will be communicated to the public as soon as they have been finalized.
“The naming of public buildings and how that impacts a community has received a great deal of attention from school divisions and municipalities all across our nation,” Rooker said. “As the School Board noted in their resolution, this examination of Cale Elementary School will not be an examination of an individual, but an examination of community values,” he said.
An addition to the policy in March included values as a criteria.
The meeting next week will review research on the post-Brown v. Board of Education era in Albemarle County.
The renaming policy specifies that the committee should complete its work and forward a recommendation to Dr. Haas within 90 days of its first meeting, which would be August 26. The Superintendent, in turn, will make a recommendation to the School Board on whether the school name should be changed. If the School Board decides to rename the school, the advisory committee will reconvene and have an additional 90 days to recommend a new name to the Superintendent.