Public School Board Wants More Input When Naming Schools

The Greater Essex County District School Board is changing the way it goes about naming or re-naming its schools.

A new policy calls for more input from the community through open houses and other public forums.

Trustee Gale Simko-Hatfield says it's an exciting change.

"I think in the past we were short sighted in keeping it to a very small, tight committee just from that particular school. It should be a time for celebration by the community. The community should be involved in naming their school."

She says it's all about community engagement.

"We've opened it up to the public. We've opened it up to the wider community. I know that there are other school boards who do this and I've read their reports which were very successful in terms of engaging the community and that's what I want to see here."

Simko-Hatfield says when naming a school it's important to get it right.

"I want to see that excitement and that level of participation from the community. Whether it's a family that has kids in our school right now or not, maybe they will in the future. But I think the name of a school is very important. The name of a school is important and that name stays there for a long, long time."

Simko-Hatfield adds the changes will also ensure the process isn't rushed.

The new naming and re-naming policy goes into effect immediately.