Although no decision has been made, the following ideas for names were thrown out at a recent board meeting: Laurel Lower School and Laurel Upper School; Laurel at Edge and Laurel at Elliott; and Laurel Menlo Park and Laurel Atherton.
The board decided last year that the existing Laurel, which will enroll K-2 students once the new school is opened, and the new school, with grades 3-5, would be one school community (named Laurel), but that a secondary, informal identifier would be given for each campus.
But why not simply give each campus its own name? Tacking the Laurel name on both sites dilutes the name of each school. We can see parents getting confused and forgetting to tell friends which Laurel school their son or daughter is attending.
The school district community — the parents, teachers, students and administrators — all will know that a second-grader at the existing Laurel will "graduate" to the new school (on the old O'Connor site) for grades 3 to 5, and to Hillview for grades 6-8.
The Menlo Park community has known the Willows campus as O'Connor for many, many years. It was named after the nearby O'Connor Street. Please don't confuse us by pasting a Laurel label on a school many, many residents will know only as O'Connor. In all Almanac stories leading up to the bond issue, the campus was labeled "the O'Connor school site." Names tend to stick to sites like O'Connor even if a new school is built on them.
We hope trustees will reconsider their plan to confuse the community with two Laurel schools at different sites. It would be much easier for everyone if Laurel remained Laurel on Edge and Ringwood, and the district bowed to tradition and named the new 3-5 school O'Connor. It would make all our lives easier.
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