Archive for Friday, January 14, 2011

Lawrence school board seeks new names for middle schools

January 14, 2011


Lawrence’s four public junior high schools could start the next academic year with more than new missions.

The schools — already set to become middle schools by welcoming sixth-graders to campus and leaving ninth-graders to high schools — now will get a chance to get entirely new names, members of the Lawrence school board decided Thursday night.

On a 4-3 vote, the board opted to forego simply changing the school’s names from junior highs to middle schools.

Instead, the board will appoint a name-recommending committee for each school whose members will be responsible for coming up with names to replace the directional labels — Central, South, Southwest and West — that have been familiar for years.

Board members plan to make the final decisions.

“The directions are not accurate anymore,” said Mary Loveland, who has spent 20 years on the school board. “What are we going to call (a school on) the land we have out west? West Squared?

“Seriously, this is an opportunity to do it right.”

Unless, of course, the committees favor the familiar.

“If they decide to keep the same names, I guess we’ll just have to swallow that,” Loveland said.

Loveland joined fellow members Marlene Merrill, Rich Minder and Vanessa Sanburn in approving the pursuit of new names — but not mascots — for the junior highs, which officially will become middle schools July 1.

Administrators had recommended retaining the school’s directional names, but replacing “junior high” in each case with “middle.” Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer, said that principals had acknowledged already having plenty of other issues to deal with, given upcoming changes to curriculum, enrollments, schedules and other matters related to the switch to middle schools.

Mark Bradford, the board’s vice president, criticized fellow board members for even considering making such major changes, which could require new signs, stationery and sports uniforms. The state is looking to cut $1.2 million from this year’s budget and up to $4 million for next year.

“I just think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money at this point,” Bradford said.

Besides, he said, “We’re going to confuse the hell out of everybody.”

Scott Morgan and Bob Byers had indicated support for changing direction at only one school: Central, which would have relied on its building’s original name — when it had been a high school — to become Liberty Memorial Middle School.

That name could well emerge, but it will face a committee approach. Superintendent Rick Doll plans to ask principals for potential nominees — likely to be taken from site councils and student councils — so that board members can form the committees Jan. 24.

Minder, for one, is looking forward to students, staffers, parents and others in the community rallying around the renaming efforts.

“Goodwill is hard to come by in hard economic times,” Minder said. “This is something that may be worth the effort.”


Chris Golledge 7 years, 3 months ago

I've always thought the current names showed as much imagination as naming your dog Dog.

It's not a big deal one way or the other, but as far as familiarity being useful, meh, IMHO, it'd be more useful if South didn't mean East, etc.

I like the idea of using historical figure names; one can only imagine the rivalry that names like Lane and Quantrill would inspire. Of course, your as likely to get something named Quantrill in this town as you are to get something named Jayhawker Lane in Osceola. Pelathe would be pretty safe.

Jimo 7 years, 3 months ago

Geographical names are a bit boring. (I suppose we can be thankful we've never adopted Soviet naming conventions: Middle School No. 1, Middle School No. 2, etc.)

There's nothing wrong with Presidents but (a) most people probably find that boring and predictable, and (b) all people are fallible and who want to continue sorry bickering about Jefferson and slaves or hear idiotic ranting about Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson?

One might avoid many human shortcomings by identifying saints. (Yeah, that would go over swell.)

Or an animistic approach: Bison, Rabbit, Cottonwood, Frog, etc.

I would suggest adopting names based on principles, as there's a long naval tradition for doing .....

Liberty Endurance Courageous Reliant Enterprise Intrepid

Are not these characteristics that we could agree we hope future generations keep present in their minds and adopt as personal ideals?

pinecreek 7 years, 3 months ago

So just how much would this 'name changing' cost? Stationary, signage, uniforms, and on and on......when the state is cutting budgets everywhere.

The 'majority' that voted on this one must be delusional--they need to look out their windows and realize that money isn't so free and easy anymore. But then this is the same group that spent $15 million on athletic stadiums in the teeth of an economic recession, isn't it?

voigtlorenzo 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank blows my mind even the thought that!

Amy Bartle 7 years, 3 months ago

I completely agree that they should leave the school names alone. My thought when I read this was that they obviously do not have enough to do or worry about already. Already we have to provide kleenex, hand sanitizer, paper towels to the school as part of school supplies. And very often the school runs out of paper and can't make copies. And now there is a COMMITTEE to decide on NEW Names for the schools?! Give me a break. It will be soooo expensive for new signage, stationery, plus all the school apparel won't be able to be recycled to new kids coming into the schools. Plus the uniforms for sports teams, websites, equipment, and all kinds of other things that bear the school name. I'm with Bradford on this one. And to Loveland, the new school can be named Northwest. not West Squared. If people want to invest energy to change Central, be careful about doing so because in 5 years someone will determine that the building is not up to code or too small, so it likely will be abandoned for another purpose, and the kids will be moved to other schools. All the school board members will be getting a letter from me.

beebo 7 years, 3 months ago

The taxpayers of this community should absolutely be informed (and demand to be informed) of the expected cost of this BEFORE another step in this direction is taken. The Board is in a fiduciary position with regard to our money and is therefore required to appropriate it in a reasonable manner. Our current economic situation is already resulting in cuts to the Kansas education budget, so why waste precious resources on signage when we may need it for the electric bill or books???

Better idea: sell the rights to the name to the highest bidder (just kidding but I wanted to beat someone else to the punch!)

EarthaKitt 7 years, 3 months ago

Frito-Lay Middle School PepsiCo Middle School Staples Middle School (That one's not too bad!) Castrol Middle School

This is fun.

Brad Greenwood 7 years, 3 months ago

While we're at it, why don't we rename the elementary school(s) we'll probably have to close next year to Brownback Elementary.

Laura Smysor 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm with Bradford. There are way more important matters!

Brian Hall 7 years, 3 months ago

Just keep the directional names until a new middle school is built out west/northwest or out east replacing Central. The only people who care about the names are the ones who live in Lawrence or a planning on moving to Lawrence and want to see where the school is located--they don't care that West is more central than Central.

EarthaKitt 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope you're joking about closing Central. East Lawrence bears the brunt of all cutbacks. Those are wonderful neighborhoods, but they'll surely lose families if we keep closing schools over there. Let's invest east of Massachusetts instead of ignoring the area while we expand farther and farther west.

booyalab 7 years, 3 months ago

Golden Fleece Middle School Pork Barrel Middle School Democrat Middle School Free Love Middle School (the last one should piss off parents, which will inspire lots of finger wagging about eliminationism and angry rhetoric from the Democrat Middle School, funding diverted from Pork Barrel when it loses taxpayer approval, and an award from Golden Fleece. Thus resulting in more unity and awareness for everyone.)

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a joke, right? Brownback is proposing to cut school budgets 7% - and we're spending away. I would be much, much more worried about class size than renaming buildings. I'm sure that what they are proposing will end up costing at least a couple hundred grand. That amount could fund a lot of teaching, or equipment to teach with. I'm sure that our kids will really benefit from new signs (SARCASM). When is all this ridiculous non-essential, non education related spending going to stop? ARGGGGGG!

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 3 months ago

Would the people who know what is important to our kids learning environment, please stand up and run for the Lawrence Board of Education.

voigtlorenzo 7 years, 3 months ago

If the board feels the need to have something named then get a pet!!! So the schools may not have the most exciting of names but it is what it is! I think it's very sad that the people that make up our school board (with the exception of Mark Bradford) are the ones that are lacking the educational value of a dollar and the economy!

jkelly6214 7 years, 3 months ago

Stop spending time and/or money on this! With all the budget woes I can't believe they are even bringing this up let alone seriously considering it. Good grief!

somedude20 7 years, 3 months ago

why don;t they sell the rights to naming the schools and make some mad loot at the same time. Target Middle School, Buffalo Wild Wings High, The Outhouse Schoolhouse are a few ideas

Go Steelers!!

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't think the board members who voted for this have clue as to what changing the name of a school will actually cost. Rebranding is REALLY expensive.

Clevercowgirl 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, the more I think about it, this would probably cost $500K plus. Signs are expensive to buy and install.

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

It's not just the signs. Every single document in the entire school district with contact information would have to thrown out, updated, and reprinted with the new information. Add the expense of the design work for each school and yes, you are looking at about $500K plus.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

How bout "Loveland Center for Folks Who are not Developmentally Disabled but Merely Stupid."

janinks 7 years, 3 months ago

Leave well enough alone and concentrate on our children's education. The name's were good enough for those of us who attended the schools back in the 50's and 60's so why change it now..we didn't have the carpeting and air-conditioning either and we got an education. I think the schoolboard needs to get back to reality and forget the things that aren't "broken".

Gene Wallace 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, let's see. Mt. Oread Middle School. Sounds good, but the Oreads were mountain nymphs in Greek mythology. Hmmm! the "Fighting Fairys".

SouthWest is on Inverness which is the mouth of Loch Ness in Scotland. The Inverness Middle School "Nessies" named after the famous monster. Of course, they could be called "Highlanders".

Louisianna Middle School .... Mass St. Middle School (Inmates?)....

Gene Wallace 7 years, 3 months ago

Getting serious:

Wisdom's Way Hallowed Halls ( of Learning ) Three Keys ( Awareness, Knowledge, and wisdom ) Liberty and Freedom Golden Path (to Knowledge ) Amber Waves ( of Grain )

sweetiepie 7 years, 3 months ago

I do think that changing the names of these schools is an enormous waste of time and money. Particularly right after we went through the near closing of several grade schools. Unfortunately, it is likely that they will go ahead and change the names anyway (no matter what the public wants) and then next year, they'll complain that they don't have enough money to run the schools.

nphariss 7 years, 3 months ago

It's a waste of time and money. Perhaps later, if money becomes available.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Best comment on this message thread.,

whats_going_on 7 years, 3 months ago

sounds like someone needs a "to-do" list at the school board...these tangents are getting a little out of control.

doggymom 7 years, 3 months ago

Aren't the names going to have to change anyhow - From junior high to middle school? So I think choosing new names is appropriate, especially since the current geographical names aren't accurate anymore.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

Why is geographical accuracy so important? Please explain how a more accurate geographic description, or 86ing the geographical names, would change things, even in small ways.

Also, changing the name from, for example, West Junior High to West Middle School will not have an impact on things such as athletic uniforms, as they pretty much simply say "West," not "West Junior High." However, changing the names to more accurately reflect geographic location, or opting for non-geographic names, will require new uniforms, etc. Do you think that makes sense right now when money is tight?

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

The directions are not accurate anymore,” said Mary Loveland, who has spent 20 years on the school board. “What are we going to call (a school on) the land we have out west? West Squared?

How is it that we have complete idiots in charge of making educational policy?

Oh, that's right, it's called democracy.

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

Cesar Chavez Middle School Barack Obama Middle School Neil Armstrong Middle School James Naismith Middle School

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

Kathleen Sebelius Middle School Amelia Earhart Middle School Sonia Sotomayor Middle School Bernadette Gray-Little Middle School

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

Charlie Parker Middle School John Lennon Middle School Big Joe Turner Middle School Billie Holiday Middle School

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

not sure how many suggestions we are each allotted...

KU_cynic 6 years, 7 months ago

Let's pander without shame and name one of them Brownback Middle School ... perhaps one Charles Koch Middle School . . . . David Booth Middle School.

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

OK I've whittled it down to four

Charlie Parker Middle School (inventive, spontaneous, rippin') Sonia Sotomayor Middle School (sounds great when you say it) James Naismith Middle School (this is what Lawrence is all about after all) Cesar Chavez Middle School (representing the free spirit of Lawrence)

I hope these names will be given due consideration by the committee.

Zero 6 years, 7 months ago

Derek Zoolander Center For Children Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too

SofaKing 6 years, 7 months ago

Their West Middle School They're South Middle School There Central Middle School

4getabouit 6 years, 7 months ago

Take this dated article off the site. The school names were confirmed several months back. What a bunch of Idiots.

RiverCityConservative 6 years, 7 months ago

Never given in. Keep the conversation going! Si se puede! Yes we can!!! If you build it they will come. :)

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