Beginning today, members of the Virginia L. Murray school community will have the opportunity to choose whether they prefer to keep the existing name of their school or select a new name. A community advisory committee, appointed this past November, has been conducting a school naming review these past few months.
The review follows enactment of a School Board policy that requires all schools in the division named for an individual to conduct a review of their school name. The purpose is to ensure that school names are consistent with the school division’s values of excellence, young people, community, and respect.
The first two school naming reviews resulted in community support for name changes, which were approved by the School Board. In addition to Virginia L. Murray Elementary School, a separate advisory committee is reviewing a name for the school division’s charter school.
Members of the Murray Elementary School community are being asked to take an online survey that includes a listing of 10 names, including the school’s current name. In addition to Virginia L. Murray, the other choices are Blue Ridge, Country View, Creek View, Dogwood, Ivy, Ivy Depot, Mechums River, Morgantown Road, and Riverside. The survey will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 18.
In the committee’s first community survey in January, which began the process of identifying possible names, more than 90 percent of those who responded said they preferred keeping Virginia L. Murray as the school’s name.
Following the current survey, the advisory committee will hold an online public meeting on Wednesday, March 24, to discuss the results of the survey and to assist the committee in deciding upon the name it will recommend to Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas. Haas will take the committee’s recommendation under advisement and make his recommendation to the School Board, which will decide on whether the school will remain Virginia L. Murray or will be renamed.
Virginia L. Murray was born in Albemarle County in 1897. She received her elementary education in Albemarle County and graduated from Howard University in 1927. At the age of 56, Murray received her master's degree from New York University. She was appointed Jeannes Supervisor of Elementary Education in 1931 and served as the first black supervisor ever appointed in Albemarle County.
If the advisory committee decides to retain the school’s current name, the committee will review Ms. Murray’s career to ensure it aligns with the school division’s values.
Those wishing to speak at the March 24 meeting should send an email to SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org. This address can also be used to submit comments to or ask questions of the advisory committee.
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Strategic Communications Officer