Charlottesville City Schools pauses name changes for two schools

Venable Elementary School in Charlottesville, VA
Venable Elementary School in Charlottesville, VA(wvir)
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 10:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many schools in Charlottesville often double as polling locations. But with some schools undergoing name changes, there are concerns this could cause confusion come election day.

Clark and Venable Elementary Schools are moving ahead with their new names. However, Charlottesville City Schools is putting a pause on the renaming of Burnley-Moran and Johnson Elementary Schools, but not for the reason you might think.

“We wanted to get more community input for Burnley-Moran and for Johnson. There was a lot of interest in those two schools specifically,” Beth Baptist with Charlottesville City Schools said.

There was some speculation the pause was related to the upcoming elections, but Baptist says it’s nothing more than a coincidence.

She says the real reason behind the pause is because people were unsatisfied with the current name choices -- Cherry Avenue Elementary for Johnson and Blue Mountain Elementary for Burnley-Moran.

“The names just were not really what we wanted it to be when you’re thinking about it being a long-term name. Blue Mountain -- there really is not a blue mountain around,” Baptist said.

The district is now working to collect more options for the two schools to present to the board.

“We’re just trying to do something that will have a lasting image for our community that meets our values of the school system and the greater community, while looking at place and purpose,” Baptist said.

CCS says it’s unsure when the name changes for any of the schools will be made official.

“Venable and Clark are both polling locations, and those are the two that we know their names will be changing. They may be changed by the November election, though not the June primary,” Amanda Korman with Charlottesville City Schools said.

The schools are prepared to work with the city to ensure the names for the polling sites are clear.

“We want to make sure everybody exercises their right to vote and knows where they need to vote. So, we will certainly collaborate and work with anybody we need to,” Baptist said.

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