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Community input sought for Broadus Wood Elementary naming review

An advisory committee tasked with reviewing the name of Broadus Wood Elementary wants the school community’s input as it begins the review process, according to a news release from the school division.

Broadus Wood is the sixth school to have its name reviewed following a 2018 School Board directive. The division is planning to review each of the schools that are named after individuals to ensure they reflect the division’s values, which currently are equity, excellence, family and community, and wellness. Eight schools are left.

The school opened in 1906 as Earlysville High School. Broadus Ira Wood sold and donated land from his farm for the school, which was named after him in 1935. When the school first opened, the campus also included a 10-stall stable where students could house their horses after riding to school, according to the division. Most of the original building burned down in 1934, though the middle section remained intact. The school became an elementary school in 1953 when Albemarle High School opened.

Wood was born in 1864 and was a local farmer and businessman, according to the division. He served on the Albemarle County School Board for 36 years and died in 1932.

“Broadus Wood was instrumental in arranging for the building of a school in Earlysville, served Albemarle County with distinction in a number of capacities and was a highly respected member of the community, both as an individual and as a businessman who worked to improve educational opportunities for all school children in Albemarle County,” the committee wrote in the survey.

Information about Wood can be shared with the committee through survey or via email at SchoolNamingReview@k12albemarle.org. School Board policy requires the committee to notify Wood’s family members as part of the program.

The survey is available at survey.k12insight.com/r/iTvKVI. For more information, go to k12albemarle.org/our-division/school-naming-review.

The committee’s co-chairs said in the release that they welcome any information from the public regarding the Wood family history or his descendants.

“We are eager to have robust participation by our community members,” said Katie Breaud, a Broadus Wood teacher and one of two co-chairs of the committee. “This process is most successful when those who are most invested remain engaged and involved with the decision-making.”

The 14-person committee made up of teachers, parents and community members will hold a virtual meeting Oct. 26 to review the survey results and hear further input.

Following the meeting, the committee will decide on five potential names. If Broadus Wood is one of those five, committee members will conduct research into Wood’s life before deciding on three finalists for the name and making a recommendation to schools Superintendent Matt Haas.

“We have great confidence that the voices of our students, families, alumni and neighbors will guide us to an outcome that best honors our wonderful school’s legacy,” said Ray Chrobak, a Broadus Wood teacher and committee co-chair. “We have tremendous pride in our school.”

The School Board ultimately will make a decision about the school’s name.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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