If these renaming issues were to be raised again, he added, he would like a more solid process to be put in place. Sheppard said the current policy is “just a shell of something, so we were developing a process as we go.” He added that the district is making changes based on community feedback the council receives.
Sheppard also said he would like an independent entity involved that can delve into these issues without personal attachments or biases, “to focus the conversation and work with the community and work with the board.”
“If it comes up again, I want to have a solid process in place that involves an outside group monitoring and guiding the discussions,” he said.
In assessing the results of the district’s surveys on the matter, Sheppard said the 2,600 survey responses represent a small portion of the district’s overall population.
âI think the next step should be to have a more in-depth discussion on the issue and generate focus groups, and just have a larger and broader discussion,â he said. “I think that’s the biggest part is broadening the discussion.”
Regarding respondents’ concerns about the potential costs of a name change, Sheppard said the district had asked Lisa Green, its business manager, to review its documentation on costs when East Middle School and West Middle School merged to form Auburn Junior High School several years ago, as well as when the district administration building was named after Tubman. But records of these expenses should not be kept beyond seven years, so the district could not find detailed documentation.