Members of the Meriwether Lewis Elementary School community are being asked to share their opinions about their school name through an online survey that now is active. The survey, accessible at https://survey.k12insight.com/r/gUQGdH, asks participants which naming categories should have priority and also asks for name recommendations for the school, including retaining the school’s current name.
The survey, which closes at 11:59 p.m. next Wednesday, November 2, is being conducted by a volunteer community advisory committee in accordance with a division-wide policy. The policy requires all schools in the division that are named for an individual to conduct a community review to ensure that the name of their school is consistent with the values of the school division, which include equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness.
The advisory committee will be sharing the survey results prior to a public meeting that will take place on Wednesday, November 9, at 6:30 p.m. At this meeting, which will be conducted virtually over the Zoom video conferencing platform, community members will be able to offer comments and share their thoughts about the history of the school and the survey results. Members of the community who would like to speak at the meeting should register by emailing SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org no later than 9 a.m. on the 9th.
Karen Waters, the advisory committee project manager, said: “We look forward to hearing the Meriwether Lewis community’s ideas about the name of their school. This process works best when we hear from a wide array of voices, and we urge all members of the school community to take a few minutes to provide their input through the survey and to attend the public meeting on November 9.”
The Meriwether Lewis community advisory committee includes the school’s principal, Jennifer Underwood, and assistant principal, Laura Morris, and is chaired by Cheryl Wetmore-Simpson, a teacher at the school. Four committee members are parents of students who attend the school, and five other members live in the school community but do not have students attending Meriwether Lewis. Two of those five are school alumni.
Throughout the division, seven naming reviews have been completed by volunteer community advisory committees, with the school board voting to change the name of four schools and retain the name of three others. Summaries of all completed reviews and those in progress are accessible from the school division’s School Names Under Review web page.
Following the public meeting on November 9, the community advisory committee will narrow the list of names under consideration to five for further community input. Ultimately, if Meriwether Lewis is among the committee’s three finalists, the committee will conduct and share research into the life of Meriwether Lewis, an early American explorer born in close proximity to the school.
Updates regarding the Meriwether Lewis Elementary School Naming Review are accessible on the school division’s School Naming Review website, along with current information on all school naming reviews. Community members with questions or suggestions about the Meriwether Lewis naming review can email the advisory committee at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
Any member of the public who would like to watch the November 9 public meeting without making public comment can access the livestream at the following link: http://streaming.k12albemarle.org/ACPS/schoolnamingreview.htm
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Deputy Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer