Thames Valley board seeks input to rename pair of London schools

BlackburnNews.com File Photo of the Thames Valley District School Board office.

The public school board for the London-area is getting ready to accept suggestions to rename two elementary schools.

During a meeting Tuesday evening, Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) trustees supported plans to change the names of Sir John A. MacDonald Public School located at 1150 Landor Street in London and F.D. Roosevelt P.S. located at 560 Second Street, also in London. The board is moving to rename the schools due to the historical ties of racism and discrimination linked to their namesakes.

“This winter the Board will invite school and community members to submit suggestions to replace the names of both schools,” a statement from the TVDSB read.

The board said it will have a selection committee made up of trustees as voting members, advised by school administrators. The school board said the superintendent for the area, the human rights and equity advisor and the Indigenous education advisor will then create a list of three potential names.

After that, the names will be put forward to the affected school communities to vote on. the name with the most votes through the community poll will go back to the board for approval.

“Once the board approves new names for either school, Thames Valley will begin the process of updating any references to the name, such as signage, logos, and documents,” the board said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, trustees voted unanimously to defer plans to seek community input on whether 12 schools should be renamed. The board said it is deferring these plans until a financial implication report can be produced by the December 20 board meeting.

“The board’s decision follows its motion to conduct a review [of] all Thames Valley facilities named after individuals in 2021 as well as a report from the School Name Review Committee that trustees heard last spring,” the school board said.

It went on to state that it is working to ensure that all schools within the TVDSB named after individuals “reflect its commitment to promote human rights, equity, and inclusive learning environments.”

The schools up for renaming with community input include:

• Lord Elgin P.S.
• Lord Nelson P.S.
• Lord Roberts F.I.P.S.
• Prince Charles P.S.
• Princess Anne French Immersion P.S.
• St. George’s P.S.
• McGillivray Central P.S.
• Victoria P.S.
• Sir George Etienne Cartier P.S.
• Lord Dorchester S.S
• Montcalm S.S.
• Sir Wilfrid Laurier S.S.