More than 92 percent of local school community residents responding to an online survey said this week that the current name of V. L. Murray Elementary School should remain the same. The survey was conducted by the school’s Community Advisory Committee as part of their review of the school’s name.
Next Wednesday, February 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m., the committee will host a public meeting to hear from community residents about the online survey, which drew 458 responses. While the large majority of survey participants supported retaining the school’s current name, the most popular suggestion for a new name was Ivy Elementary School, a reference to the school’s location in the western part of Albemarle County.
Next week’s conversation, which will be held virtually on the Zoom streaming platform, can be viewed by community members through the ACPS Media Streams page. Those who wish to speak at the meeting should register in advance by emailing SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org. Signups will be accepted through February 9. Those who register to speak will receive a separate, dedicated link to join the meeting. Any member of the public who would like to speak but cannot join the meeting may share their thoughts with the Advisory Committee via email at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.
V.L. Murray Elementary School is the fourth school in the division to have its name reviewed following the School Board’s 2018 decision to have Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas evaluate all schools named for individuals. Of the division’s 25 schools, 14 are named for individuals.
Committee Chair Teller Stalfort said of the upcoming meeting, “Our committee volunteers are very much looking forward to hearing from community members. This is such a valuable part of our name review process because it brings everyone together to make a decision that is so important to our school and its values. All of the feedback we receive will be considered as we move forward in the name review process.”
Committee members were chosen from those who expressed interest in serving, and the committee consists of school and division staff, parents, community members who do not have children who attend the school, and four school alumni. Additionally, two committee members are leading a parallel student committee that is working closely with the advisory committee and is intended to ensure that student voices factor into the name review process. The student committee designs activities to keep students informed of the advisory committee’s progress and elicit name suggestions.
The committee’s recommendation on a school name will be provided to Dr. Haas, who, in turn, will make a recommendation to the School Board. The School Board will make the final decision, which will take effect on July 1 if the name is to change.
CONTACT: Helen Dunn, Legislative and Public Affairs Officer