Return to Headlines

Learn More about the Coolidge Corner Naming Process

In May 2018, Brookline Town Meeting acknowledged that it is no longer acceptable to name a school after a person who held another human in slavery and voted to change the name of the Edward Devotion School temporarily to the Coolidge Corner School and begin the process to identify a permanent name. Through the great work of our student nominations committee, the district has made tremendous progress we’re making on choosing a name that better represents Brookline’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

The official window to nominate a new name for the Coolidge Corner School began on December 10, 2018, and closed on January 23, 2019. We received 119 unique nominations from over 250 entries. Since the beginning of December, the student group leading the nomination and initial selection process for new names has engaged in weekly team building sessions. These sessions have included an opportunity to learn from Deborah Brown and Anne Greenwald, community members involved in the initial Town Meeting warrant article petition to rename the school; Dr. Barbara Brown from Hidden Brookline; and Dr. Kalise Wornum, the Public Schools of Brookline’s Senior Director of Educational Equity. In addition, the students have learned about decision-making by consensus; a skill which they used to select a new name for their group. They have named themselves the “Bee-lievers in Change - Students Making a Difference” in keeping with the school’s bumble bee mascot.

 

The Bee-lievers in Change are reviewing all of the 119 nominations to narrow the list down to 10-15 semi-finalist names for further consideration. Principal Jennifer Buller and Vice Principal Saeed Ola, along with Superintendent Andrew Bott, are supporting the students’ research and vetting of each of the submissions. The students are using a rubric that includes the town naming criteria, the school’s core values, and whether or not the name meets any restorative justice criteria. As the group chooses semi-finalist names, the students will research each nomination and develop short background summaries for each one. In mid-March, the students who applied but were not selected to be a part of the nomatiations committee will work with Bee-lievers in Change to develop presentations about each of the semi-finalist names. These presentations will be shared with the public on Renaming Nights in April. 

 

Please see the detailed timeline below for an outline of our next steps, including opportunities to submit comments, speak at upcoming public hearings, and take part when Town Meeting considers the final recommendation. Click here for a full list of the 119 nominations recieved.


Reviewing and Narrowing of Name Submissions Phase

  • Nominations Accepted: December 10, 2018 - January 21, 2019

    • Nominations accepted through web-based form and nominations forms available at all schools, public libraries, and Town Hall.

  • Nomination Review and Selection of Semi-Finalists: February - March 11

    • The Bee-lievers in Change student committee reviews all nominations and identifies 10-15 semi-finalist names.

    • Semi-finalists further researched for viability by several members of the Public Schools of Brookline leadership staff.

  • Semi-Finalist Phase: March 11 – April 1

    • All the students who originally applied to be part of the student renaming committee will be re-engaged and invited to participate in Semi-Finalist phase.

    • Teams of 4-5 students research and develop presentations for each semi-finalist name with each team being led by 1-2 members of the Bee-lievers in Change.

    • The teams will develop printed media and presentations for each semi-finalist name. The media and information about each of the semi-finalists will be displayed at the Renaming Nights and posted on the Public Schools of Brookline website.

  • Renaming Nights: April 3 and April 11

    • The Renaming Nights will be open to the public, and the community-at-large will be invited to both events.

    • Families and community members will be able to interact with the student teams, learn more about each of the semi-finalist names, view the printed media created about each semi-finalist, and provide feedback about their preferred name(s).

    • The student committee will use input from participants when reviewing the Semi-Finalist nominations.

      • April 3 at the Coolidge Corner School - Multipurpose Room at 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

      • April 11 at the Brookline Public Library, Main Branch at 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Finalists Selection: April 24
    • The Bee-lievers in Change committee will reconvene, process the feedback from the Renaming Nights, and come to consensus on 3-5 names to send to the Brookline School Committee. 

  •  School and Town Board Consideration: May - June 
    • The School Committee will consider the finalist names submitted by the Bee-lievers in Change. After holding a public hearing, the School Committee will vote to recommend one name to the Townwide Naming Committee as Town bylaws require.
    • Following Town bylaws, the Townwide Naming Committee will consider the School Committee’s recommendation, hold a public hearing, and decide whether to submit a warrant article to Town Meeting with the recommended name.
    • Town Meeting considers warrant article recommending permanent name. (Likely November 2019)