Naming a school facility is an important matter that deserves thoughtful attention. Personal prejudice or favoritism, political pressure, or temporary popularity should not be an influence in choosing a name for a school, a portion of a school, or a portion of school grounds. Whenever possible, the wishes of the community, including parents/guardians and students, should be considered in naming school facilities.

The School Committee has the authority to approve the naming and renaming of buildings, structures, and facilities located on school property. The School Committee also has the authority to name subsections of existing structures or facilities, such as classrooms, auditoriums, and gymnasiums.

Names and/or wording associated with school facilities shall be consistent with school district policies and promote messages aligned with the mission, vision and goals of the school district. To the extent possible, names and/or wording should be designed not to restrict the use of a space or inhibit changing the function of the space should that become necessary in the future.

When the opportunity to name or dedicate a new school or school related property, structure or facility is forthcoming, an orderly procedure will be communicated at the next available School Committee meeting. The Committee's agendas should clearly reflect the intent to consider, review, and vote on naming opportunities.

Submission of a name for a school space may be made by any resident or by the Superintendent, in writing, and should be made to the School Committee Chair. If a name is being initiated at the local school level, the Principal must take reasonable steps to include the School Improvement Team or School Council and PTA/PTO in the nomination of the name before submission to the Superintendent.

The written request should specify the intent of the requestor and the reasons why this particular name would fit the facility. It should offer appropriate background information on the person or organization after which the facility will be named. An offer of a financial contribution to the School District may accompany the naming request, but the School Committee is not obligated to accept or reject a name based upon financial considerations alone. Philanthropic contributions in support of the School District are encouraged by the School Committee. The School Committee may acknowledge generous donors by designating appropriate spaces within the School District's facilities consistent with the level of financial commitment.

Following the submission of a naming request, the School Committee Chair will specify a consideration period that allows for public comment, following which the Committee will deliberate and vote on the name.

SOURCE: MASC August 2016