Policy Details Page
As set forth in Policy No. 6970, it is the policy of Tacoma Public Schools that Board approval be obtained for all decisions to name or rename a building or district facility.
1. Initial Naming of a Building or District Facility
a. The opportunity to name a new building comes about as a result of new construction. Replacing an existing building (either at the same or a new site) is not considered new construction for the purpose of Policy 6970 or this Regulation. When a building is torn down and replaced, either at the same location or a new location, it should retain the same name unless the procedure for changing a building name is followed.
b. A building or facility will be named as soon as feasible after its construction has become a financial reality, the site has been selected and the architect appointed.
c. Names of new buildings and facilities should:
i. Be known to, and significant to, the people of the district;
ii. Not conflict with the names of other schools or facilities in the district or surrounding districts; and
iii. The use of names of living persons will be avoided unless the circumstances warrant an exception.
d. Whenever the opportunity to initially name a building or facility is presented, the Superintendent will designate an appropriate District administrator to meet with community residents and other interested individuals to discuss the naming opportunity. If a name is proposed centrally, the anticipated new school community will be asked to review the proposed new name. Otherwise, the anticipated new school community will be asked to recommend a name or names.
e. The designated District administrator will prepare a written report summarizing recommendations for the proposed new building or facility name or names. The report should be submitted to the Superintendent, who will present the recommendation(s) to the Board for approval.
f. The Board will accept or reject the proposed name(s). When a name is approved, the Superintendent or designee shall send a notification of the name to the appropriate federal, state, and local offices, locations, and persons, as necessary.
g. In recognition of the efforts of those involved in the development of a new building, a plaque containing the following information shall be attached in an appropriate place at the site:
i. Building name;
ii. Completion or dedication date;
iii. School board members, in alphabetical order, in office at the time of board authorization of the contract for construction;
iv. Superintendent at the time of board authorization of the contract for construction; and
v. Architectural firm.
2. Changing the Name of a Building or Facility
a. The person(s) proposing the name change should present the proposal to the Superintendent.
b. If the Superintendent believes that the name change should be considered, the Superintendent will advise the principal of the building at issue meet with staff, parents, students, alumni, and community residents to discuss the proposed change.
c. The principal will prepare a written report summarizing school and/or community support of and/or opposition to the proposed change. This report should be submitted to the Superintendent.
d. If the building at issue was previously named after a distinguished individual who served the local community, reasonable efforts must be taken to contact and seek input from the individual after whom the building was named or their family regarding the proposed change. The principal’s written summary should include a description of what efforts were undertaken and what input was provided.
e. The principal’s report should be submitted to the Superintendent, who will present the recommendation to the Board for approval if the Superintendent is in agreement with the proposed change.
f. The Board will accept or reject the proposed name. If a name change is approved, the Superintendent or designee shall send a notification of the name change to the appropriate federal, state, and local offices, locations, and persons, as necessary.
3. Modification of Building Names to Reflect Curricular Focus
The modification of an existing building name to reflect a specific curricular focus shall be within the authority of the Superintendent, so long as the modification does not remove the initial building name.
4. Program Names
The naming programs, including the ability to change the name of a program, shall be within the authority of the Superintendent.
Approval Date: 11/12/2013
Revised Date: 11/14/2023