It will be almost a full year until the Arlington School Board decides whether Washington-Lee High School will remain named after two slave-owning national icons. Discussions about the school’s name come up over the years, but the effort to rename them gained force as part of a national dialogue around confederate iconography in 2016 and 2017. The name has staunch defenders and opponents, who will have the opportunity to discuss it as part of an upcoming year-long public process.
The name change was part of Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s update to the 2017-2018 action plan presented at the Feb. 1 School Board meeting. According to the report, throughout February and March the school staff will develop a naming criteria proposal, continued in April and May through an ad hoc committee. In addition to Washington-Lee High School, the committee will develop criteria used for the naming of the new middle school at the Stratford site, the new elementary school at the Drew Model School site, the county’s new Montessori school, and a name for the building at the Wilson site that will house H-B Woodlawn and the Stratford Academy.