The Falls Church School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to rename Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and George Mason High School.
The vote follows a six-month-long process, which included hours of public hearings, hundreds of submitted written public comments, and a survey of the community to inform the board’s decision, the city school division said in a news release.
Jefferson and Mason were both Founding Fathers, and both owned slaves.
“The board took seriously the viewpoints and concerns raised by many students, parents, staff, and community members,” said School Board Chair Greg Anderson. “We thank everyone who shared their perspectives with us and will be mindful of your comments as we now begin selecting names that reflect the diversity of opinions in our community. Our schools must be places where all students, staff, and community members feel safe, supported, and inspired.”
The renaming process will follow the guidelines outlined by the city school building names committee. The superintendent will accept individuals’ nominations to sit on an Advisory Study Committee to the school board for each school name. The committees will recommend five names to the school board.
A timeline for the work will be announced at an upcoming meeting.
Details on the process for the name change can be found online at: https://www.fccps.org/o/fccps/page/school-renaming