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County school name reviews to resume via webconference

The Albemarle County school division is restarting its review of the name of Sutherland Middle School, a process postponed because of public health restrictions related to COVID-19, and beginning another review.

Similar to recent School Board meetings, the Sutherland advisory committee will use Zoom for its meetings and deliberations. The School Board added public comment to its agenda April 16, paving the way for the advisory committee to resume its work.

The Sutherland committee initially had a public hearing scheduled for March 25 to hear input possible name alternatives. A new meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet.

The division is planning to review all schools named after people. While Sutherland’s process continues, an advisory committee is sought to recommend a new name for the soon-to-be combined charter school.

“Both of those things are moving back to the front burner,” schools Superintendent Matt Haas said at last week’s board meeting.

The School Board approved merging Murray High and Community Public Charter in February into one sixth-12th grade school. Students will attend the same school next school year when the merger goes into effect.

Those eligible to serve on the Murray advisory committee are teachers and staff, students and parents of current students, one parent from both an elementary and a middle school in the county, and two residents who do not currently have a child enrolled in either school.

Those interested in serving on the committee should send an email with their contact information, relationship to the school, and reason for wanting to serve to SchoolNaming or enter this same information on the School Name Review Google form at EccP7jbd9oKCQ6.

“Selecting a new name for our school is a highly meaningful way for all of us to come together, to think deeply about the values and strengths and future of our school community, and to suggest a name that best reflects these qualities and our aspirations,” said Chad Ratliff, principal of both charter schools.


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