MMSD outlines renaming process for Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Jefferson Middle School in Madison. (WMTV)
Jefferson Middle School in Madison. (WMTV)(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 8:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Memorial School District posted next steps Monday for the process of renaming of Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

MMSD explained that school principal Sue Abplanalp formally requested the renaming process to begin on behalf of the district community. That request was received by Superintendent Carlton Jenkins and the Board of Education during its regular meeting last Monday.

The first step of a name change, as outlined by MMSD, is to get official proposals from the community that meet specific criteria. The window for proposing a new name will close on April 8.

Four categories of a potential name are listed in the form for applicants to check: prominent national or local figure who is deceased, locally significant geographical region, place of local significance and idea or concept which represents a broadly respected civic virtue. Community members are then asked to explain why they chose this name based on the category they selected.

A 12-member committee made up of community members will be recommended by the Board of Education members during its special meeting on March 14. The chairperson of the Ad-Hoc committee will be chosen the Board of Education president, MMSD explained.

All members of the Madison community are encouraged to submit feedback on the name change, which the Board of Education and Ad Hoc Committee will receive and use during this process. The response form can be found on MMSD’s website.

Once the form closes, MMSD stated Superintendent Jenkins will prepare a list of the names, publicize them and provide them to the Board of Education. He will also conduct additional research, if needed, and provide it to the committee.

The committee must provide minimum of four names that meet the criteria established by the district’s renaming policy and will eventually vote on them after holding a public hearing on the proposed names, MMSD adds.

A committee voted unanimously in November to change James Madison Memorial High School to Vel Phillips Memorial High School. The change will take effect at the start of the 2022-23 school year.

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