Vance Elementary School announces task force meetings, updates on renaming process

Press release from Asheville City Schools:

Good Morning Media Partners,

I hope your Wednesday is off to a wonderful start.  Below you will find our latest communication regarding the renaming of Vance Elementary School.  As you will see, a task force – made up of current Vance students, Vance alumni, teachers, staff members, families, future families as well as community members – has been created and four virtual town halls have been set.  Thanks, and please let me know if you have any questions!


Good Morning Vance Students, Staff and Families.  This is Dr. Gene with an update about your school community.

As we move forward in Vance’s renaming process, I think it’s important that we agree from the very start that there’s a big difference between a museum’s purpose and that of a  school’s.  A museum is a place to remember, reflect and learn; whereas, I believe the name of a school is an important place of honor.  Our purpose in renaming Vance Elementary School is not about erasing history but instead about finding a way to express a new image for the building that reflects the current values of Vance’s students, staff, families and greater community.

This process is not one I take lightly.

Please know that renaming Vance Elementary School will not be a decision solely made by one or two people; instead, I want it to be a collaborative effort that includes feedback from as many stakeholders as possible.  That’s why a task force has been created.  Representing a wide array of perspectives that make Vance Elementary School such a unique place to work, learn and grow, the task force is made up of representatives from current Vance students, Vance alumni, teachers, staff members, families, future families as well as community members.

At this point, the task force has held two meetings.  They have come up with a projected timeline, which is estimated to conclude with the Asheville City Board of Education making their final decision in February 2021,  as well as discussed ways to engage with additional members of the Vance community.  In order to do just that, please join the task force at one of their upcoming virtual town halls.  Each one will take place over Zoom.  Although you are more than welcome to attend any meeting, please know that their meeting on September 24th is specifically geared toward Vance staff and families.

Thursday, September 24th @ 5:30 PM (Meeting details can be found here.)
Thursday, October 1st @ 5:30 PM PM (Meeting details can be found here.)
Tuesday, October 6th @ 10:00 AM (Meeting details can be found here.)
Tuesday, October 6th @ 5:30 PM (Meeting details can be found here.)

During the meeting, you’ll hear more from the task force about its operations, their projected timeline and why they believe racial equity/justice must be at the forefront of our decision-making process.  Additionally, you’ll be able to rate guiding principles by their importance, share what category of names you find most appealing as well as bring your own recommendations before the taskforce.

Thank you for your continued support of both our district and Vance Elementary School.  We look forward to seeing you during one of our upcoming virtual town halls.

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