Le Conte Elementary School Name Review

In May 2017, the Le Conte Elementary School community submitted a petition to the Superintendent to initiate a name review process. The petition was reviewed and accepted by the Superintendent, who initiated a review process beginning in the fall of 2017.

As specified in the Administrative Regulation, a meeting was held to gather input from parents/guardians and staff. The meeting with parents/guardians of Le Conte Elementary School was held on September 20, 2017, and a meeting was held with Le Conte teachers and staff on September 27, 2017. Neighbors were also invited to a meeting on October 16, 2017, and information was shared with the Le Conte Neighborhood Association and posted on the district website.

The agenda for the meetings has included:

  • Getting to Know the Le Conte School Community – values, pride, strengths
  • Review of the Policy, Process and Timeline for name change decision-making
  • Joseph Le Conte – why chosen for school name in 1892, past and present controversy, including the Sierra Club decision to rename a building
  • Table Talk – opportunities and challenges in changing the name
  • Straw Poll – leaning for, undecided, against name change, and why
  • Process suggestions, next steps

Both the parent/guardian and staff meeting straw polls showed strong support for changing the name, with the primary reason being the desire to have a name that is more reflective of the values, civic ideals and educational goals for the school. Concerns have included how to reach consensus on a new name, whether the name should represent a person, group, place, thing or idea; and how to maintain the sense of continuity for alumni with a change of name.

The Superintendent is recommending that the Le Conte Elementary School name be discontinued. The recommendation is going to the Board at the School Board meeting on November 15, 2017. The Board item is #12.1 in the online agenda.

If the School Board votes to accept the recommendation, an advisory committee will be formed to work with the Superintendent and community to review potential new names for the school. That process is expected to conclude by the end of the current 2017-18 school year. Further updates will be posted here.


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