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Petersburg School Board considers changing school names

Petersburg School Board considers changing school names

published Jan. 4, 2018

Petersburg City Public Schools is working to achieve its mission of developing 21st-century citizens able to effectively collaborate, communicate and innovate. To symbolize the district’s focus on the future, the Petersburg School Board during its Jan. 3 meeting began a process to consider changing the names of three schools named after Confederate generals:

·        A.P. Hill Elementary — The original A.P. Hill Elementary was built in 1915 on Halifax Street.
The current school was built in 1967 at 1450 Talley Ave.

·        Robert E. Lee Elementary — The original Robert E. Lee Elementary was built in 1911 on
West Washington Street. The current school was built in 1962 at 51 Gibbons Ave.

·        J.E.B. Stuart Elementary — The original J.E.B. Stuart Elementary was built in 1924 at the intersection of Elm Street and Dupuy Road. The current school was built in 1966 at
100 Pleasants Lane.

If all three elementary schools were to be renamed, the estimated cost is about $18,000 total for all three schools. This estimated cost includes changing lettering on the buildings, updating outdoor signs, replacing the top section of stage curtains, replacing door mats and removing the name from Lee’s gym floor.

The School Board values community participation and is seeking input on school names from Petersburg families, teachers, school employees, community partners and members of the public. An online survey is available through Jan. 17 at this link: https://goo.gl/forms/33BRsC85LXS1E5Tj2. For members of the public without internet access, a paper version of the survey will be available at three school-based meetings and in the lobby of the Administrative Offices of Petersburg City Public Schools 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays through Jan. 17 (except Jan. 15 and any snow days when school offices are closed).

Meetings are scheduled at the schools to share information and to hear feedback:

·        6-7 p.m. Jan. 8 in the A.P. Hill Elementary library

·        6-7 p.m. Jan. 9 in the Robert E. Lee Elementary library

·        6-7 p.m. Jan. 10 in the J.E.B. Stuart Elementary cafeteria (This meeting was postponed from Jan. 4 because of snow.)

The School Board will hold a public hearing on school names at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the cafeteria of Petersburg High. People who wish to speak may sign up at the public hearing and speak for no more than 3 minutes.

While the Petersburg School Board seeks and values public input, it is the board’s responsibility to determine the names of schools under Policy FFA. The policy states that no school will be named for a living person or anyone who has not been dead at least 10 years.

A vote on whether or not to change the names of A.P. Hill, Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart elementary schools and, if the names are to change, what the new names will be is on the School Board’s agenda for Feb. 7. Any change in school names would not take effect until July 1, 2018.