What is the process for renaming schools?

June 17, 2020 – On Tuesday, the Duval County School Board voted unanimously to start the process of considering renaming six schools with Confederate-era names.

These schools are:

  1. Joseph Finegan Elementary
  2. Stonewall Jackson Elementary
  3. Jefferson Davis Middle
  4. Kirby-Smith Middle
  5. J.E.B. Stuart Middle
  6. Robert E. Lee High

Does this mean the school names will now automatically be changed?

The answer is no. The vote is the first of a multi-step process outlined in Board Policy 8.59. This policy governs how the name of an existing school can be changed.

Below is a brief overview, but the entire policy can be viewed here: Board Policy 8.59

(Note – The actual policy is not broken down into steps. It is broken into steps in this article to help make the process more clear.)

  • Step 1 –  A written request is submitted to the School Board during a regular Board meeting. This request can come from the superintendent, a board member or a school-initiating entity (SAC, PTA, students, alumni, or community members within the school’s attendance zone).
  • Step 2 – The School Board decides by majority vote whether to accept the request or refer to the superintendent for further review.
  • Step 3 – If the School Board votes to accept the request, the superintendent develops a process for gathering community feedback from the school’s SAC, PTA, students, alumni, and community members within the school’s attendance zone).
  • Step 4 – Using the community’s feedback, the superintendent submits a recommendation (can be a recommendation of a new name or a recommendation to keep existing name) to the School Board.
  • Step 5 – The School Board votes on the superintendent’s recommendation.

After Tuesday’s vote, the process is now at Step 3. The superintendent and district leaders will now develop a process for engaging the stakeholders (SAC, PTA, students, alumni and community members within the school’s attendance zone).