Straying from the traditional way of naming school sites, such as after streets or geographical features, the new K-8 school's principal Sonya Wrisley said she and her team of teachers chose the name to “reflect the unique learning environment” the school will have and to deflect the fact that it's a "new school."
"Communities flock to our new schools. We’re hoping to be able to change the concept," Wrisley told the board at Monday night's meeting. "Our name will help the community to understand that this is a different school."
Mixed reaction was had from the board, with some members liking it, while others were left somewhat speechless. Board member Andy Patapow said he liked that it was different, but member Todd Gutschow wasn't so sure it would catch on.
"I like 'Design,' I like 'Campus,'" Gutschow said. "It doesn’t roll off my tongue… maybe I’ll get used to it."
Board President Marc Davis offered his thoughts on the new school name a bit more colorfully: “Design 39… it’s like when my wife told me what she wanted to name our first child.”
Board member Kimberley Beatty called the name a "radical change" and was hesitant to vote to approve the new name, suggesting the board postpone the vote so it could be discussed further.
But Superintendent John Collins applauded Wrisley and her team's creativity and effort in naming School 39, which it's been known as for the past two years as it's been conceptualized and designed.
"It makes you stop and say ‘what does that mean?’” the superintendent said.
Wrisley broke down the name, Design 39 Campus, for the board to fully understand.
- Design: "Design will be a focus," the school's principal said. "Designed thinking, experimentation. Where students create, rather than consume."
- 39: "For two years, we have been School 39," Wrisley said. "We also did a quick poll on a couple hundred kids and 95 percent were much more attracted to something like this than a traditional name. We’ve been branded as 39."
- Campus: "School being a very finite place. We’re trying to convey the notion of a learning experience, rather than a learning environment," Wrisley said. "Campus seemed to open things up a little bit more than the traditional word of school."
Even amidst the hesitation and reservations by some members of the board, member Penny Ranftle moved to approve the new name with Patapow seconding the motion.
By a vote of 4-1, with Beatty opposing, Design 39 Campus became the new name for School 39 Monday night.
The new school site sits directly across from Del Norte High School on the southwest corner of Lone Quail Road and Camino Del Norte and will serve the heavily-impacted communities of 4S Ranch, Del Sur and The Lakes.
It's been designed by architect BakerNowicki Design Studio as a 21st century learning environment, with flexible instructional settings and a full range of technology tools to support individual student’s intellectual development.
Echo Pacific Construction is in the early stages of building the facility from the ground up.
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