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Policy 6050 – Naming and Renaming of Schools

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and standards for the school naming and renaming process.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County is responsible for naming and renaming schools in a manner that is consistent across the county. The Board requires that all schools will be named for geographic terms related to areas of the county served. It is the intent of the Board to involve students, employees, a geographer and/or historian, and interested citizens in the process of naming schools.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and standards for the school naming and renaming process.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Cultural Proficiency – T he ongoing process of becoming knowledgeable of one’s assumptions, biases, values, beliefs, own cultural identities, as well as the cultures of others in order to foster an appreciation, understanding, and respect for varying cultural expressions that exist in the actions and interactions of an organization.

  2. Geographer – A person with the responsibility of providing historic and geographic maps of the area surrounding the school to be named/renamed.

  3. Geographic Terms – Names used to describe topographic features on the earth’s surface, including human geographic features and physical geographic features.

  4. Historian – A person with the responsibility of providing background information about the area surrounding the school that is being named/renamed.

  5. Human Geographic Features – An attribute related to human interaction with the physical environment such as the names of communities, towns, cities, streets, and local landmarks.

  6. Physical Geographic Features – An attribute related to the natural topography of the earth’s surface including water and landforms.

  7. School – A learning environment where students are educated and counted as enrolled, specifically, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and educational centers.

IV. Standards

  1. The provisions of this policy apply to the naming and renaming of schools only.

  2. Other buildings and structures in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will not be named. This includes ancillary school facilities or structures such as gymnasiums, libraries, auditoriums, cafeterias, stadiums, fields, or other facilities.

  3. Citizens who are a part of the local community will be involved in the naming or renaming of schools through participation on school naming/renaming committees.

  4. Geographic terms, both physical and human geographic features, will be used in selecting the specific names for schools. Schools will not be named after a person.

  5. The duplication of names for elementary, middle, high schools, or special schools will be avoided.

  6. Schools will be named with consideration of cultural proficiency.

  7. The school naming process does not include naming school mascots or establishing school colors. This is to be done by the students and local community that the school serves.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Board will determine the names of public schools in Howard County.

  2. The Superintendent/designee will convene school naming/renaming committees.

  3. The Superintendent/designee will provide the School Naming/Renaming Committee recommendations to the Board for approval.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop appropriate procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • (none)

B. Other Board Policies

C. Relevant Data Sources

D. Other

  • (none)

VIII. History

ADOPTED: January 13, 2005



REVISED: February 9, 2012, May 14, 2020

EFFECTIVE: May 14, 2020