• Board Votes 6-0 for Staunton High School

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 11/13/2018

    The Staunton School Board voted 6-0 on Monday, Nov. 12 to name the city's high school Staunton High School. The change will be effective July 1, 2019. View the motion to rename the school.

    Staunton High School is the original name of the school. It was changed to Robert E. Lee High School in the spring of 1914 by the School Board.

    The School Board will not be involved in decisions on the new school mascot and school colors, as they are school governance matters. Middle and high school students, faculty and staff will work together to select those.


    Monday's vote came after a 4-2 decision by the Board on Oct. 8 to change the name Robert E. Lee High School to a different name. The Board then accepted name ideas from the public until the end of October via a public survey and discussed the results in a Nov. 2 work session, an open meeting.


    The decision follows a yearlong diversity and inclusivity process during which the Board heard opinions from residents both for and against the name change who participated in focus groups and listening sessions and made public comments during regular School Board meetings.


    Throughout the process, the Board has provided fact sheets about the issue, including information about the estimated costs to change the name, the process for renaming the school and frequently asked questions about the issue, as shown below:

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  • High School Name Survey Results

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 11/1/2018 8:15:00 AM

    The Staunton School Board has released the results of its public survey for a new high school name. The survey closed at 4 p.m., Oct. 31 with more than 4,000 submissions.


    A digital copy of the complete survey results can be obtained by contacting the Superintendent's office at 540.332.3920.

     

    The School Board is scheduled to review and discuss the results of the survey in a work session on Friday, Nov. 2. The Board is then expected to vote on a name during its Nov. 12 regular meeting.

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  • School Board Releases Survey After Vote to Change High School Name

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 10/9/2018 11:30:00 AM

    The Staunton School Board voted 4-2 to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School at its Oct. 8, 2018 regular meeting. The Board expects to vote on a different name at an upcoming School Board meeting this year. 

    The Board is now releasing information regarding the change and opening a public survey to receive input from students, staff, faculty and the public regarding a different name for the high school. 

    Online Survey

    An online survey is now available for the public to submit name suggestions to the School Board. The survey will remain open until Oct. 31, 2018.

    The public may submit suggestions through the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MPL2JVD.

    After the survey period, the Board will review name suggestions in one or more work sessions in November. Work session date(s) will be announced when available.

    For more information on how the renaming process will work, read the fact sheet.

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  • Happening Oct. 8: Discussion & Consideration of High School Name

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 10/5/2018 4:15:00 PM

    The Staunton School Board will discuss the name of Robert E. Lee High School on Monday, Oct. 8 during its regular meeting and could take a vote on whether to keep or change the name following the discussion.


    Because of the community’s considerable interest in the outcome of this issue, the School Board has moved the location of its Oct. 8 meeting to the Gypsy Hill Gym in Gypsy Hill Park, to accommodate a broader audience. As is required for any School Board meeting, all attendees are expected to conduct themselves with civility.


    Review of VCIC Report

    The School Board met on Sept. 28 for its scheduled retreat, an open meeting, to review and discuss several subjects in depth, including the report from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) on diversity and inclusivity in Staunton City Schools.


    Because a significant portion of the VCIC report involved the name of the high school, School Board members’ discussion of the report focused on that topic and included the following:

    • the sharing of feedback Board members have received from constituents directly and through the VCIC report;
    • current viewpoints of each Board member on the matter;
    • Board members’ readiness to take a vote on the name;
    • how the Board and school administrators might engage students, staff and the public in helping to decide the issue and heal divisions, as recommended by VCIC;
    • how the Board can honor the complete history of Staunton’s high schools, as recommended by VCIC; and
    • possible names for the high school if there is a majority vote to change the name.


    The retreat agenda was posted on the school division’s website and a meeting notice was provided to the media on Sept. 21.


    School Board Chair Bill Lobb was absent from the retreat due to illness.

     

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  • VCIC Report Covers More Than High School Name Issue

    Posted by Dr. Garett Smith on 9/10/2018 3:00:00 PM

     

    Dr. Garett Smith The school division is looking forward to hearing from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and planning the appropriate next steps to further develop the inclusive and welcoming environment we’ve been cultivating in our school division.


    Tonight is all about listening and learning. The Board has no plans to take action on the name of the high school this evening.

    The Board and school administrators plan to take some time after VCIC’s presentation to carefully review their findings and recommendations and determine a course of action for creating a more inclusive and diverse school division through a strategic planning process. We’ll also post the report online at www.staunton.k12.va.us/diversity for the public to review after tonight’s presentation.

    It is important to note that VCIC’s work with Staunton City Schools over the last 12 months involved much more than gathering the community’s opinion on the high school name. From diversity training with all school employees to focus group discussions with students and staff about how they feel in Staunton’s schools, we anticipate learning significant information that will influence the Board’s and school administrators’ decisions for years to come.

    We also anticipate receiving a report on the community’s sentiments regarding the name of the high school. The collection of feedback we receive through this report and the input shared with the Board over the last several years will continue to inform the Board’s decision-making process. As stated last month, the Board plans to decide on the name before the end of the calendar year.


    Dr. Garett Smith, Superintendent
    Staunton City Schools
    540.332.3920

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  • What’s the Breakdown of the Estimated Cost for a Name Change?

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 8/17/2018 12:20:00 PM

    Fair question. While the Staunton School Board hasn’t yet voted on whether to keep or change the name of the high school, the school division wants to be transparent about the potential costs of changing the name.


    First, here's a little background on how uniform replacements work at the high school level. Currently, athletic uniforms are replaced on a four-year cycle. The school alternates uniform purchases from year to year, and all athletic uniforms are not ordered at once.


    For example, home uniforms for boys basketball are scheduled to be replaced this year, but other basketball uniforms are not. Also, junior varsity teams wear hand-me-down uniforms, while varsity teams receive new uniforms.


    Uniform costs are typically funded through school activity funds and the high school’s booster club. However, if the school name changes, funds to replace all branded athletic apparel and equipment at once would come out of the school division’s budget instead.


    Here's a breakdown of the estimated cost

     

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  • FAQs: High School Name

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 8/9/2018 3:10:00 PM

     FAQ

    To help the public understand the process the School Board is undertaking regarding the high school name, SCS is answering some frequently asked questions concerning the cost, timeline for making a decision and the validity of a referendum on the issue. Please download the FAQs for more information. 

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  • School Board Chair Explains Next Steps for High School Name

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 7/12/2018 10:00:00 AM

     

    bill lobb

    We are proud of our citizens for the decorum and civility they demonstrated on Tuesday as they came together to share their opinions on the name of our high school. We’re also grateful to the community for taking the time to respectfully participate in the listening process led by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and hear contrasting points of view about a subject that is deeply emotional for so many.


    We encourage all citizens to continue the shining example of civility demonstrated on Tuesday. It is vital that each of us makes every effort to build relationships with our neighbors – and not only with those who look, think and live like us. Let us sincerely listen and learn from one another, demonstrate humility, and, most importantly, empathize. These qualities will only make us stronger as a community.


    Our yearlong process will soon culminate in a strategic planning process for diversity and inclusiveness in our school division, and the school board will ultimately decide on the name of the high school. However, that decision won’t occur until we’ve first received and evaluated a report from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities on their findings. The organization began working with our school division nine months ago and has since collected significant feedback from students, teachers, school staff and Staunton citizens regarding the name of the high school and other matters concerning diversity and inclusivity.


    After we receive VCIC’s report in August, we’ll take time to carefully review and evaluate their findings and weigh all the implications of any potential decision, including the economic impact. In the meanwhile, we remain open to your feedback. Please visit www.staunton.k12.va.us/diversity to learn how you can continue to share your comments with us on these important topics.

    Bill Lobb, Chair
    Staunton School Board
    540.332.3920

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