The naming of new school facilities is guided by School Board Policy 6510, Naming School Facilities. Regulation 6510 applies only to the naming of an area of a school facility, grounds and/or program.
Naming Process for Dulles South Area Elementary School (ES-32)
A Dulles South area elementary school (ES-32), will be co-located on a 117-acre site with Lightridge High School and Hovatter Elementary School, at 41125 Collaboration Drive in Aldie. Construction has begun on the school is scheduled to open in fall 2024, for the 2024-2025 school year.
A School Board-appointed naming committee may consider geographic and historical names, as well as names of deceased individuals who significantly contributed to improving life in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), Loudoun County, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or the United States of America. The School Board will not consider naming a school facility for any individual unless the individual has been deceased for at least five (5) years.
School name suggestions should be sent to LCPS' Division of Planning and GIS Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or 21000 Education Court, Ashburn VA 20148) by Monday, April 10, 2023. Citizens suggesting a school name are asked to provide background information to aid in the committee’s review.
The elementary school naming committee meetings, which are open to the public, have been scheduled for the following dates:
- Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:00 p.m., Hovatter Elementary School Library
- Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 6:00 p.m., Hovatter Elementary School Library
Additional meetings may be scheduled at the request of the committee.
Hovatter Elementary School is located at 41135 Collaboration Drive, in Aldie.
School Board Review of School Names
In June 2020, the School Board initiated discussion on an action plan to combat systemic racism which included a review of all Loudoun County Public Schools facility names and mascots. Criteria for this comprehensive review of LCPS facility names included:
- Determine if any schools have been named for Confederate leaders or the Confederate cause;
- Determine if any schools may have been named for individuals who lived in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries during the period when slavery was a fundamental part of the economic, cultural and political systems in Virginia and Northern Virginia; or
- Determine whether any schools have been named for individuals or movements that promoted and implemented racial segregation laws in Virginia during the eras of Jim Crow and Massive Resistance in Virginia.
The school-by-school name review was divided into three phases to facilitate a more focused approach. School names reviewed in Phase 1 included those with a potential association with the outlined research criterion. Phase 2 included schools named after a person. Phase 3 includes all other schools not previously reviewed by History Matters and which have been named for places, ideals or inanimate objects.
In November 2021, the School Board requested the assistance of the Black History Committee, Friends of Thomas Balch Library, in reviewing the Phase 1 and Phase 2 names and narratives prepared by History Matters, LLC. The collaborative review effort included any recommendation by the Black History Committee for the potential renaming of a school(s) in relation to the School Board’s action plan to combat systemic racism. The Black History Committee has reviewed the Phase 1 and Phase 2 school names and has recommended ten (10) school names be looked at more closely for potential renaming.
- November 30, 2021 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
- April 28, 2022 Letter from the Black History Committee on Review of Phase 1 & Phase 2 School Names
- June 28, 2022 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
- October 11, 2022 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
- October 25, 2022 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
- January 24, 2023 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
- February 14, 2023 School Board Meeting - School Name Review
Any school renaming process will follow policy and include an opportunity for public engagement at the outset, to incorporate communities in the conversation on the respective school names. The process to consider the renaming of the identified schools should also be a teaching moment for the students attending the respective schools.
At their October 25, 2022 meeting, the School Board identified the first two names to be considered for renaming: Frances Hazel Reid Elementary School and Mercer Middle School. A Community Town Hall was held on December 8, 2022, specifically on Mercer Middle School’s name; a Community Town Hall, specifically for Frances Hazel Reid Elementary School's name, was held on December 15, 2022.
On February 14, 2023, the School Board voted to postpone the discussion on renaming Frances Hazel Reid Elementary School and Mercer Middle School until September 26, 2023.
Questions and comments on either school name, or the overall name review process, can be sent to email@example.com.