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School Naming Process Underway for Patrick Henry Elementary Replacement

by ARLnow.com March 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

A naming process is underway for a new elementary school being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

The new school will be home to students of what is now Patrick Henry Elementary, which will in turn house the Montessori program currently at Drew Model School.

While Patrick Henry is being considered for the name of the new elementary school, which is set to open in September 2019, Arlington Public Schools has formed a naming committee to consider other name recommendations.

The committee is encouraging stakeholders to weigh in on the name via an online Community Input Form, which was published late last week.

“We are asking each Patrick Henry Elementary School parent and staff to fill out the appropriate survey,” a page on the Patrick Henry PTA website says. “Our timeline is short, so we hope you can do it soon. It should not take more than 5 minutes.”

The survey notes that while Patrick Henry was a Founding Father and Virginia’s first (and sixth) governor — remembered for his “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech — he was also a plantation owner and slave owner.

It asks respondents to consider the importance of “maintaining the current name in recognition of Patrick Henry” or, alternatively, “selecting a new name that reflects the diversity of the student body,” among other questions.

The committee is expected to submit its naming recommendation to Arlington Public Schools later this spring.

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