Naming Policy

Building and Naming Facilities

The Albemarle County School Board’s (“Board”) goal is to provide facilities that will best support and accommodate the Albemarle County Public Schools’ (“Division”) educational program, other school-related activities and the number of students enrolled. The School Board strives to provide new and remodeled facilities that will offer the best possible physical environment for learning and teaching.

For purposes of Board policies, a “facility” is defined as a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a specific purpose. This includes, but is not limited to, schools, other School Board buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds and parking lots.

The Board’s facilities development goals are to:

  1. Construct buildings and renovations that will accommodate and facilitate those organizational and instructional patterns that support the Division’s educational philosophy and instructional goals.
  2. Meet all safety requirements through the remodeling of older structures.
  3. Provide the renovations needed to make public school facilities accessible to disabled persons in accordance with federal and state laws.
  4. Approve design and construction that will lend itself to low maintenance costs and the conservation of buildings.
  5. Consider the viewpoints of staff, students and the community when determining the educational specifications for new buildings and projects involving major additions or renovations.


Adopted: July 1, 1993

Amended: May 26, 2005; March 12, 2009; January 8, 2015; May 14, 2015; March 28, 2019

Reviewed: January 24, 2019; October 24, 2019

Legal Refs: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-79

Cross Refs: FEA, Facility Design​



 A. Key Elements

These procedures will be followed for all Capital Improvement Plan projects that involve the building of a new school, new administrative building, or major renovations to an existing school or administrative building. The School Board (hereinafter “School Board” or “Board”) will identify the key elements that should exist in the facility, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. The level of instruction or type of program to be accommodated by the new facility;
  2. The likely number of students/staff/community members to be served by the facility;
  3. The budgetary limits established for the project;
  4. The land that has been purchased for the facility and how it can best be used to support the facility; and
  5. Pertinent local, state, or federal laws/regulations governing the building of such a facility.


 B. Design Committee

The Superintendent/designee will be responsible for forming a committee to work with the architect in the design of the building. For new schools, the members of the committee will be representative of the diversity of Albemarle County and promote equity of voice and thought and will also include representatives of teachers, principals, and support services staff that can advise on the best instructional design for the building. The design committee, after it has established its priorities for building design, will submit these priorities to the Superintendent for review prior to beginning the actual schematic design phase. The Superintendent will establish

with the Board its expectations for involvement in the approval of the design for the facility, i.e., whether more than one option for the design is to be brought for discussion prior to the committee's consideration of actual building designs.

 C. School Board Approval

The School Board will approve the schematic design for the facility and the design development before approval to proceed to the construction document phase. The Board may hold a public hearing on the schematic design if the facility involves a regional interest such as a school located within a specific community area. The Board will also provide the Board of

Supervisors information about the design for the facility. 


A. General Provisions

The School Board reserves the sole control and authority over the naming of any school and the right to rename a school at any time if the name is deemed by the Board to be inconsistent with the current Board adopted vision, mission, goals and values. It is the

intent of the Board to involve students, teachers and interested citizens that reflect the diversity of the Division’s community in the process of naming or renaming schools.

The Board shall name schools in recognition of:

  1. The geographic area in which the school is located.
  2. Any entity, quality, or ideal, the Board deems worthy of recognition.
  3. Individuals, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions to the local community, or contributions of state, national, or worldwide significance in light of the Board’s adopted vision, mission, goals, values, and the greater Albemarle community’s values and contemporary view on history.

A review of each school’s name for relevance to the community and school population and alignment with the School Board’s core values shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) years from the date of the original naming or previous review.

B. Naming of New Schools

To the extent practicable, when opening a new school, the procedures established in section D shall be followed. Should a recommendation to name a new school after an individual be made, the Board may direct the Division to prepare a brief on the achievements and personal and professional conduct of the individual after whom the school is recommended to be named. The Division, at its discretion, may elect to contract with an outside entity to assist in conducting such review.

The Board shall use the brief to determine whether the individual, on the whole, has made outstanding contributions to the community or made contributions of state, national or worldwide significance and exemplified the Board’s current vision, mission, goals, and values.

C. Review of Existing Names

The Superintendent or designee shall conduct a review to determine whether the school should be renamed if:

  1. A petition requesting that a review be conducted is signed by the parents or guardians of at least seventy-five (75%) percent of the students enrolled in the school and at least five (5) years have passed since the school has last undergone a name change or review;
  2. A petition requesting that a review be conducted is signed by at least seventy-five percent of the students enrolled in the school and at least five ​(5) years have passed since the school has last undergone a name changeor review;
  3. The Board directs that a review be conducted; or
  4. The Superintendent decides that a review is necessary for any reason.


D. Procedures for the Renaming of a School Facility

1. Upon direction from the School Board, the Superintendent or designee shall form an advisory committee (“Committee”) to conduct a review of whether the school should be renamed

2. The Committee shall include, at minimum, the following representatives:

  • A committee leader designated by the Superintendent; the Superintendent’s designee need not be a School Division employee;
  • The current school principal;
  • A minimum of three (3) parents who currently have students in attendance at the school. In the case of middle or high schools, the committee shall include at least one (1) parent from each feeder school;
  • A minimum of three (3) teachers/staff currently working in the school;
  • A minimum of two (2) student representatives if the school is a high school;
  • A minimum of two (2) community members who do not currently have children attending the school, but reside within the school attendance boundary; and
  • A minimum of one (1) central staff member who will serve as the committee organizer.
  • When practicable, the Committee may also include school alumni.


3. When forming the Committee, the Superintendent/designee, in conjunction with the Office of Community Engagement, will work to ensure that, in addition to meeting the above criteria, that the committee reflects the diversity of Albemarle County and promotes equity of voice and thought.

4. If a school named after an individual is subject to a renaming review, the Committee shall make reasonable efforts to inform relatives of the individual after who the school is named of the proposed change. Relativesshall be offered an opportunity, at one of the community meetings described below, to express opinions, if any, about the renaming of the 

5. The Committee shall conduct its renaming process as follows:

  • The Committee shall begin with an organizational meeting during which it shall prepare and distribute a written survey to the community and school staff and students to elicit potential names (“Naming Candidates”) for the school. In addition to these Naming
  • Candidates, the Committee shall also include the original school name on the initial list of Naming Candidates for review and consideration. All completed surveys shall be returned to the Committee within three (3) weeks of their distribution.
  • As soon as practicable following receipt of the survey information, the Committee shall compile and publish on the Division’s website a complete list of Naming Candidates and schedule a community meeting to obtain public comment with respect to all of the
  • Naming Candidates on the list.
  • Following the community meeting, the Committee shall meet internally to review and consider the input received, and based upon this information, select ten (10) semi-final Naming Candidates.
  • The semi-final list of Naming Candidates shall be posted on the Division’s website within five (5) days of the Committee’s internal meeting. An additional survey form containing this list of Naming Candidates shall be prepared and distributed in accordance with subparagraph (a) above to solicit further comment specifically relating to these ten (10) Naming Candidates.
  • As soon as possible after the information obtained from the surveys is compiled, a second community meeting shall be convened for comment on the ten (10) semi-final Naming Candidates.
  • The Committee shall schedule an internal meeting to review and consider the survey information and community comment and, following such evaluation, select three (3) final Naming Candidates for continued consideration.
  • If one of the three (3) final Naming Candidates is the name of the individual for whom the school was originally named or the name of another individual advanced during the renaming process described herein, the Committee shall examine whether such individual has made contributions to the community or contributions of state, national, or world-wide significance and whose personal and professional conduct exemplifies the School Board’s current values.
  • In its internal meeting, the Committee shall consider all of the information obtained through public comment and its own research and make the final selection of the Naming Candidate that it will recommend to the Superintendent. If the Committee is unable to make a final recommendation, the Superintendent shall select the final name to be submitted to the School Board from the three (3) final Naming Candidates.


6. Based on the findings of the committee, as well as any additional information that the Superintendent or designee deems appropriate, the Superintendent or designee shall bring a recommendation to the School Board regarding whether the name shall be kept or the Board should vote to adopt the Superintendent’s recommendation for a new school name. If the Superintendent or designee recommends that the Board vote to rename the school, the Superintendent or designee shall also provide information regarding the location, cost, and construction timeline for designing and erecting new signage.

In the event that the Board votes to rename the school, the current name shall continue in use until the Board determines a new name pursuant to the process below. Furthermore, a plaque or other appropriate signage that will evidence and provide historical context to past names of the school shall be placed conspicuously in an area of the school building where it can be seen by the community and school staff and students.

Nothing herein shall preclude the School Board or Superintendent from initiating and conducting more than one school renaming process at the same time.

If a review of an existing name is underway, the Superintendent will not act on another petition for review of a school name until:

  1. Any preceding naming process has been completed, and
  2. The Superintendent has reviewed the effectiveness and implications of the procedures detailed in the regulations, and
  3. A proposal to revise or let stand the relevant policy and regulations are included as part of a report to the Board.


 A. General Provisions

This regulation provides the procedure for action on a nomination to name any facility other than an entire school, unless the School Board has approved the use of this procedure for the naming of a specific school. In addition, this regulation governs funded naming right proposals for the naming of intangible things, such as scholarships and endowments. This regulation does not apply to naming portions of facilities or fixtures within facilities, such as dedicated benches, lobby areas and trees, if their individual values do not exceed $1,000. In such instances, principals should solicit appropriate input from their school communities and select names that are consistent with the division’s vision, mission, goals, and values.

The School Board retains the sole discretion and authority to name or rename all Boardowned properties, facilities and portions of facilities, such as gymnasiums, playing fields, media centers and science labs. Names of all Board-owned properties, facilities and portions of facilities, such as gymnasiums, playing fields, media centers and science labs shall be consistent with the values espoused in the current Board adopted vision, mission, goals, and values. The School Board reserves the right to decline any recommendation, request or donation which does not contribute toward the Division’s adopted vision, mission, goals, and values. In all cases, the

School Board retains control and ownership over the areas of named facilities and any named programs, funds or services. Naming rights will not convey any input or control over Division programs, activities, services, policies or employees. In all decisions regarding naming rights, the Superintendent and School Board will act in the best interest of the School Division, and in accordance with its division’s policies, vision, mission, goals, and values.

The School Board reserves the sole control and authority over the naming of any facility and the right to rename a facility at any time if the name is deemed by the Board to be inconsistent with the current Board adopted mission, vision, goals, and values.

Following the procedure outlined below, the Board shall name facilities in recognition of:

  1. The geographic area in which the facility is located.
  2. Individuals, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions to the local community or contributions of state, national or worldwide significance and whose personal and professional conduct aligns with light of the Board’s current vision, mission, goals, and values.
  3. Any other person or entity the Board deems worthy of recognition.


 B. Procedure for Nominating, Considering and Approving All Proposals

The procedures in this section will be used for all naming rights proposals, whether they are honorary or funded.

1. Nomination Procedure

Interested groups or individuals must submit a written nomination to the Superintendent.  The nomination should identify the facility (or intangible thing) to be named and provide other relevant information, including any connection between the individual and the school.

Upon receipt of the nomination, the Superintendent will consult with the School Board Chair to determine whether the School Board should consider the nomination directly or after committee consideration. In addition, the Superintendent/designee will consult with the principal(s) of the school(s) where the proposed naming would occur.

Division employees with knowledge about the potential for a funded naming right proposal must notify the Superintendent's office. Any preliminary discussions occurring prior to an official nomination should be held with the Superintendent/designee and the principal of the school and be treated confidentially.

2. Committee Consideration

If the School Board Chair and Superintendent determine that a committee should be convened, the Superintendent/designee will create an ad hoc committee and appoint its members.  The committee membership will include an administrator from the school, a representative of each school-affiliated organization affected by the naming, a representative from the community, as appropriate, and any other person recommended by the school administrator. The Superintendent/designee will charge the committee to review the naming proposal and recommend whether it should be accepted and, if so, the duration of the naming. The committee may also recommend alternative names or locations, or recommend against naming.

3. School Board Consideration

After receiving recommendations from the committee, if one has been convened, the Superintendent shall determine whether to recommend approval of the naming rights nomination to the School Board. The School Board will consider the Superintendent’s recommendation in the form of a resolution at a regular Board business meeting that provides for public comment. The original nomination and any committee recommendations will be submitted. At the discretion of the School Board Chair and Superintendent, representatives of the nominating party and/or the committee may be permitted to make a presentation. 

The School Board shall base its decision on whether the proposal serves the best interest of the Division and is consistent with the Division’s policies, vision, mission, goals, and values.  For all funded naming right proposals involving capital improvement contributions, the Board shall also consider the criteria provided in Section D(1), on pages 5-6.

4. Gift Agreement

The Superintendent/designee shall ensure that a draft gift agreement (“Agreement”) has been developed in accordance with this regulation (see Section D(3)), prior to submitting any funded naming rights proposal to the School Board.

C. Honorary Naming

Exceptional contributions to a school or to the Division may be recognized by naming an appropriate school facility in honor of an individual not actively serving the Division. The area named should be substantively related to the area in which the individual has contributed or be otherwise appropriate. If the name of a living individual is under consideration, it shall be with the consent of this individual. The School Board retains the authority to rename a facility, to transfer names to different facilities, and to discontinue naming.

D. Funded Naming

The School Board accepts private contributions from individuals and businesses in order to support its goals and objectives. This regulation will be used whenever private donors seek naming right recognition for their contributions.

The Board authorizes two (2) types of funded naming rights: (1) the naming of new or renovated facilities, called “capital improvement contributions;” and (2) the naming of existing facilities or intangible things, such as scholarships and programs, called “non-capital contributions.” Absent a vote by the Board that a facility will be named for a permanent duration, all funded naming rights will be for a limited duration as prescribed by the applicable gift agreement.

The Board has the final authority to accept or refuse any contribution, capital improvement project, or other proposal from private donors. The Board also retains the authority to rename a facility, to transfer names to different facilities, and to discontinue naming, subject to any specific provisions contained in an applicable Agreement.

1. Capital Improvement Contributions – For New Facilities and Renovations

The School Board may grant individuals and businesses naming rights for new facilities and major additions or renovations to existing facilities in recognition of substantial monetary donations.

The following shall be considered by the Superintendent/designee and the School Board when considering all capital improvements naming right proposals:

a. Whether the improvement is consistent with the School Board's identified priorities for projects, including those identified for private fund-raising;​

b. Whether the improvement benefits the school and/or the Division;

c. A calculation of anticipated consequences of the improvement, including the future financial liability in annual operating costs;

d. Whether the improvement would foster or exacerbate inequality among schools, including exploration of whether other schools would want a similar feature; the desirability and comparison of "extras" among schools; and maintaining the attractiveness and appeal of all Division schools; and

e. Whether the contribution will fund the improvement fully and if so, whether permanent naming rights are to be offered in exchange for funding.

2. Non-Capital Contributions - For Existing Facilities and Intangible Things

The School Board may also grant individuals and businesses naming rights for substantial monetary donations made for purposes other than designated capital improvements. These purposes must be consistent with the Board’s vision, mission, goals, and values. Examples include, but are not limited to: general operations funding, scholarships, endowments, faculty positions, programs, services, and equipment.

3. Gift Agreement Required for All Funded Naming Right Proposals For all funded naming right contributions, the Superintendent will ensure that an Agreement is signed by the donor and the Superintendent on behalf of the Division. The agreement shall be based on the donor's proposal and include, at a minimum, the following elements:

a. The facility or intangible thing to be named;

b. The proposed name;

c. The amount of funding provided and the schedule for payment, if donations will be made in more than one installment;

d. The duration of the naming, which shall be for a limited period unless authorized to be permanent by a vote of the School Board;

e. The conditions, if any, under which the naming may be discontinued, such as the closure of a facility or critical changes to the use of a facility;

f. A statement that the School Board retains full control and maintenance of the facility, all programs which occur within the facility and, if applicable, the named intangible thing;

g. A statement that all facility improvements (including in-kind contributions) financed with private contributions, become the property of the Division;

h. A statement that any privileges to be granted to the donor concerning the facility or any Division program are limited to those specifically listed in the Agreement; and

i. A statement that the School Board reserves the right to terminate or amend the Agreement under exigent circumstances, including donor wrong-doing or criminal conviction, changes to corporate existence in the regular course of business, or other circumstances caused by the donor which in the judgment of the School Board will harm the reputation or mission of the Division.

All Agreements must be approved as to form by the School Board Attorney.


Adopted: August 9, 1993

Amended: August 23, 2001; March 12, 2009; January 8, 2015; January 24, 2019;

March 28, 2019; October 24, 2019

Reviewed: May 14, 2015​