June 4, 2021 – Following a year-long process that included dozens of meetings and tremendous engagement with stakeholders, the Duval County School Board officially approved new names for six schools named for Confederate leaders.
The action took place at the Board’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June. 1. The names officially change on Aug. 3.
Approving the name changes for the six schools follows Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene’s recommendations to the Board.
The Board also approved the superintendent’s recommendation to retain the current names of Jean Ribault Middle, Jean Ribault High, and Andrew Jackson.
The schools with changing names are:
|Joseph Finegan Elementary School
|Stonewall Jackson Elementary School
|Hidden Oaks Elementary School
|J.E.B. Stuart Middle School
|Westside Middle School
|Kirby-Smith Middle School
|Springfield Middle School
|Jefferson Davis Middle School
|Robert E. Lee High School
|Riverside High School
“The level of community engagement in this process was unlike anything we have ever experienced,” said School Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Andersen. “The support of organizations like the Jax Chamber, the Florida Times-Union, and the NAACP demonstrate how meaningful this was to our future as a community. Every message we send our children needs to be about inclusivity and belonging. Removing Confederate names from our schools helps accomplish that.”
What happens next?
The district is actively raising funds to cover the costs of the name change. Dr. Greene committed to meeting the funding needs without the use of taxpayer dollars.
As a public-private partnership, the district has committed more than $250,000 of beverage fund proceeds and is seeking donations for the remainder of the estimated $867,223 estimate cost. Already, more than $430,000 of cash and in-kind gifts have been received, leaving less than $200,000 needed to meet the goal.
The Jacksonville Public Education Fund has opened a special fund for community members to give tax-deductible donations. More information is available here: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E344655&id=52
While the funding is being raised, the district will work with each school on a timeline for the changes needed including uniforms, exterior and interior signage, and gym floors.