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School Renaming Project

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Richmond Public Schools will rename schools named for individuals or symbols that represent racist ideologies, including individuals who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and/or owned slaves. 

Principals of each school will lead the renaming process, which will include many strategies to inform and engage the community and receive suggestions and feedback on possible names, including at least two public hearings for each school to be renamed.

Pursuant to School Board vote on November 21 and January 2, Richmond Public Schools will rename John B. Cary Elementary School. Cary was a colonel in the Confederate Army and was the division’s superintendent from 1886-1889.

The following guiding principles will be used to select new school names:

  • School names should be relevant to Richmond, Virginia, or national history, culture, or geography.

  • School names must not discriminate and/or cause offense on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or LGBTQ+ identity.

Examples of recently chosen new school names that meet these guiding principles include:

  • River City Middle School - Since Richmond is known as the “River City” (in honor of the James River, arguably the City’s greatest geographical attraction), the Renaming Team felt this name would help bring people together and instill pride in Richmond.

  • Cardinal Elementary School - The cardinal is the Virginia state bird. The Renaming Team pointed out that cardinals are also found in Central and South America, where most current Greene families emigrated from.

  • Henry L. Marsh Elementary School - A civil rights lawyer who fought for school desegregation, Mr. Marsh is the first African-American Mayor of the City of Richmond and a former Virginia State Senator. He also attended fifth grade at the school when it was named George Mason Elementary School.

Additional Support

  • For questions regarding outreach, communications, and technical support, please contact:
  • For questions regarding engagement best practices, please contact your community hub coordinator: