APS News Release

School Board Considers Draft Criteria for School Naming

Revised Policy to Guide Naming or Renaming of APS Schools

During its public meeting on May 31, the School Board considered a proposal to strengthen existing criteria for naming APS schools and facilities. Staff presented a report on the policy review process and proposed revisions to School/Facility Naming Policy 50-1.10. Based on input from a community survey, focus groups and a Staff Naming Policy Review Committee, the proposed revision to the APS policy 50-1.10 on Naming of Facilities include the following naming criteria:

  • Based on the Name of an Individual who meets the following criteria:
    1. The individual played a critical role or contributed to society in ways that supported the success and well-being of the individuals who live in Arlington County, the Commonwealth of Virginia or the United States, now and in the future.
    2. The individual’s “principal legacy” (i.e. the key activity, advocacy or accomplishment for which the individual is most known) aligns with or reflects the APS mission, vision, and core values and beliefs.
    3. The individual has been deceased for five or more years.
  • Based on Geographical or Historical Relationships, including:
  1. Names of places in the neighboring community, Arlington or Virginia.
  2. Emphasis should be placed on selecting names of landmarks or places that have historic or geographic significance to the Arlington community’s history and the site.
  • Other Naming Criteria:
    1. School/facility names may articulate aspirations of the educational outcomes for Arlington’s students;
    2. School/facility names may also reflect the instructional focus of the school;
    3. School/facility names should consider the diverse community that they serve, and
    4. Proposed names should avoid duplicating names of other schools in the region to prevent possible confusion with those schools.

Staff also provided the background or source of all current APS school names and identified only one school – Washington-Lee High School – which does not meet the proposed criteria.

The proposed naming criteria proposal is on the June 7 School Board meeting agenda for action. Upon approval, the revised policy, along with the Policy Implementation Procedures (PIP), will guide future school naming processes for all new schools and facilities, including the new middle school at the Stratford site and the Montessori program to be relocated to the building currently used by Patrick Henry, among several others. The revised Naming Policy and PIP will also guide the School Board process for renaming any schools that do not align with the revised School/Facility Naming Policy.

The full presentation, proposed revisions and supporting documentation is available online.

Additional highlights from the May 31 School Board meeting are outlined below, in order of the agenda.

License Agreement for Parking at Buck Property – The School Board approved the proposed temporary License Agreement to grant APS exclusive use of a portion of Arlington County’s parking lot, located at 1425 N. Quincy Street and formerly known as the Buck property, for parking APS white fleet vehicles and facility employees’ personal vehicles. The Term of this Agreement is for two years, beginning on July 1, 2018.  The full presentation, lease agreement and other materials are available on BoardDocs.

The Board made the following appointments:

  • Carmen de la Cruz Scales, Assistant Principal, Washington-Lee High School
  • Kimberly Jackson-Davis, Assistant Principal, Washington-Lee High School


APS staff provided an update on the following items:

  • Superintendent’s Committee on Immigration and Refugee Concerns – This was the first presentation of the Superintendent’s committee on Immigration and Refugee Concerns. Staff introduced the committee as well as their work and focused on recommendations and next steps.  
  • Office of Minority Achievement – Staff provided a report on the work of the Office of Minority Achievement, focused on advancing academic excellence for students from historically marginalized communities. The update included an overview of the minority programs and student participation rates, along with a recommended action plan to enhance the program and ensure instruction is culturally relevant across the division.


  • Change to Guaranteed Maximum Price for the New School at Wilson – Staff presented a change to the GMP for the new school at Wilson, due to the volume of contaminated soils discovered during excavation. Staff reported that the change order and final costs for all contaminated soils is $624,538, exceeding initial estimates but still within initial funding approved by the School Board.
  • English/Language Arts Briefing Report – Staff provided the English/Language Arts Briefing Report, including steps taken and recommendations to develop, revise and enhance English/Language Arts curriculum and instructional programs.
  • Revision of School Board Policy 20-3.400 Family Life Education – The Board heard proposed revisions to the Family Life Education policy. Staff clarified changes and key components of the program, including a focus on instruction tailored to student readiness, public review of materials, informational parent meetings and an opt-out process.
  • Revision of School Board Policy 20-3.600 High School Credit at Middle School – Staff presented revisions to the policy that guides opportunities for APS middle school students to study high school courses and earn high school credit. The draft revisions are intended to clarify the option for participants to either count or not count any earned credits toward high school graduation requirements, and to specify the timeframe for parent notification about the program.

More information on these items can be found on BoardDocs.

The School Board began the meeting by recognizing the APS 2018 Honored Citizens. The Board also honored the 2018 Transportation Champions. The schools were chosen by Arlington Transportation Partners.

The next School Board meeting will be held on Thu, June 7 (2110 Washington Blvd.) at 6 p.m. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.

Citizens who want to comment on any items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at school.board@apsva.us or call 703-228-6015. Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes will be posted to the website at aps2016.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.