picture of Murray HS

The community advisory committee that will be recommending a name for the school division’s charter school has developed a list of 10 possibilities that will be the subject of a community-wide online survey next month.

The naming process began last spring following the School Board’s approval in February of the merger of the division’s two charter schools—the Community Public Charter School, a middle school, and Murray High School. The process to select a name for the new school began in May when school community volunteers serving on the naming advisory committee held their first meeting.

Two developments led to a pause in the committee’s work—the pandemic, which shifted all meetings online, and a reconsideration of the committee’s initial suggestion, which was Rose Hill Community School. That decision followed reports that Rose Hill once was the name of a plantation.

In July, the advisory committee said reconsidering its suggestion was the best course of action in lieu of those reports. “This will allow us to dig even deeper into our local history, to learn more, and to continue to engage all voices. We specifically want to hear more from the residents of our neighborhood about perhaps the most prominent and historic building in their community, and we want to hear more from our own students,” the committee said.

Stephanie Passman, the school’s lead teacher and the advisory committee chair, said this week that reviewing the local community’s history and values has been an important part of the curriculum for students this fall. “Their passion for this project and for our school has been both strong and thoughtful,” she said. “We heard from a large outpouring of student voices about what was most important to them about our school experience and strengths. The concept of community was a landslide choice,” she added, noting that eight of the 10 names now under consideration include the word community.

Those 10 names include Albemarle Collaborator School; Community School for Creativity; Community School of Albemarle; Community School of Innovation; Dogwood Community School; Hillside Community School; Lab School of Albemarle; Murray Community School; Rivanna Community School; and Rolling Hills Community School.

These suggestions will be the subject of an online community survey next month to determine those with the most support. The committee will use this data to select three names as finalists, which in turn will be the subject of a public meeting in February during which participants will be invited to offer their views on the three names.

The community advisory committee includes parents of students in the school, school staff, students, parents from feeder schools, and members of the community who do not have children enrolled in the school. Information on the committee’s meetings and resources can be found on our School Naming Review: Murray High School web page.

Questions or comments about the naming process for the charter school can be emailed to SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org.

In addition to the naming review for the charter school, a separate community advisory committee is conducting a naming review of Virginia L. Murray Elementary School and also is expected to conduct an online survey next month to solicit naming suggestions for their school. In its earliest days, charter students were temporarily housed in Murray Elementary School and relocated to the charter school’s present location on Rose Hill Drive when that space became available. For continuity, the division kept the Murray name for its charter school students.

In October of 2018, the School Board directed that all schools in the division named for individuals should be subject to a community naming review. The review is to ensure that the career of a school’s namesake exemplifies the division’s four values of excellence, young people, community, and respect.

Information about the School Board’s policy on the naming or renaming of schools and the status of all reviews can be accessed on the division’s School Naming Review site.

CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049