Posted by Jennifer Buller on 11/20/2019 11:00:00 PM
Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends,
In May of 2018, Town Meeting overwhelming voted in favor of removing the name Edward Devotion from our school as we recognized that it was not acceptable and in line with our values to name a school building after someone who held another’s life in slavery. At that time our school was given a temporary name, the Coolidge Corner School, while a process was developed to search for and recommend a name to be voted on at tonight’s Town Meeting. Over the past year and a half we have moved through our journey in the search of a new name for our school which included a robust public process led by our Bee-lievers of Change student group. The vote tonight was the end of that journey.
Tonight, Town Meeting voted in favor of renaming our school the Florida Ruffin Ridley School effective September 1st, 2020. This decision supports our fierce commitment to educational equity and social justice. By choosing Ms. Ridley we affirm our mission to lift all voices and stories and reflect the diversity of thought, identity, and perspectives in all aspects of our school community. By naming our school after Ms. Ridley, we honor the noble profession of teaching, as she served for 8 years as a public school teacher in Boston, and signal to our community that we hold our educators in the highest regard and recognize their dedication to our students and families. We are proud of the students who led us through this process over the past year and a half, the adults who stood behind and by their sides, and of the community around us who supported this historical moment and decision. This is truly a remarkable time in our history and community and one that should be celebrated, marked, and honored.
Over the next few weeks we will share more information about the timeline regarding the official name change along with additional information about any community events to celebrate our new name. We will begin to develop a detailed plan on how we will be sharing this information with our students by gathering together a group of educators from our school and designing lessons, activities, and assemblies so that we may capitalize on this tremendous learning opportunity and unify our community under this choice. Once the group has developed this plan, we will share it out digitally and during a special PTO Coffee and Conversation. In the meanwhile, take a moment to read up a little on Ms. Ridley and the myriad of accomplishments and contributions she made to our community.
I am proud, humbled, and grateful tonight as I reflect on all of the work, dedication, difficult conversations, and action that went into this moment. I hope you will join me in celebrating our new school name- the Florida Ruffin Ridley School.