Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Renaming To Proceed

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Renaming To Proceed

An open letter to the community.

The Fairfax County School Board voted last night [July 28] that the name of J.E.B Stuart High School be changed no later than the start of the 2019 School Year. The School Board further directed staff to start the renaming process this fall and that as part of that process — in the spirit of compromise and in recognition of the need to minimize costs as well as the desire for continuity by alumni — request that the Stuart community consider “Stuart High School” as the new name. The Board further directed staff to create a mechanism for private funding with the expectation that private funding will pay for a substantial portion of the costs.

I’ve met with both sides on this issue and it has yielded strong feelings and strong passions. Now that the Board has spoken, we will continue to follow the process as outlined by the School Board regulation for name changes. We will execute the renaming process in a fair, transparent, and expedient manner.

In this spirit, I invite you to join me on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m., at J.E.B Stuart High School, where we will hold an open public meeting — per Regulation 8170 www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fairfax/Board.nsf/files/A6Z2RN6CA270/%24file/R8170.pdf — to gather names for consideration along with the opportunity for presentations, questions, and discussion. We will share further details with you ahead of the meeting.

As outlined in the regulation, voting for the school name will be limited to those participants residing in the school’s attendance area and a weighted point system will be used to determine the top three choices. Voting will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16, at J.E.B Stuart High School and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After review of the community’s recommendations, the Division Superintendent will formulate a recommendation consisting of one or more of the most popular choices according to community input. The Division Superintendent shall then transmit the recommendation to the School Board for consideration and action.

The deadline for the Division Superintendent to submit a formal recommendation to the School Board shall be three weeks prior to the date scheduled for School Board action.

It is clear that this issue has impacted our community and it is my hope that we can work together to find common ground and embrace the diversity of our friends and neighbors to strengthen our bond around what we all hold true — that every student succeed and that we provide them the support necessary to be successful.

The most important name, I think we can all agree, is that of the teacher in front of them, and we are committed to ensuring whatever name is chosen that we have the best possible education for every student.

Scott Brabrand


Fairfax County Public Schools