Detailed Description of Each Component of the Naming Process
The Nominations Committee will be made up of a combination of students, the principals and staff of both schools. This committee will review all of the nominations submitted by community members, assess their merit, review input from the community, identify the semifinalists, and select up to four finalists for the School Committee to consider.
The students on the Nominations Committee will currently attend both schools and be students who attended the schools and are now enrolled at O’Maley Middle School and Gloucester High. With support from teachers and administrators, this group of students will review all names that are suggested by members of the public and will be responsible for selecting up to four names to be considered further by the School Committee. Members of the Nominations Committee will also work with the Superintendent and the School Committee on the public process that will result in the full School Committee ultimately deciding on the new name.
While it may not be conventional for students to play such a significant role in an important decision-making process, with adult support, the students will be able to lead a process that will be inclusive, open, and thorough. Involving students in critical decisions about their school reflects a core part of our educational mission of the Gloucester Public Schools -- fostering meaningful student engagement and developing students’ skills and knowledge so they can participate thoughtfully in their community.
A variety of methods will be used to ensure that the naming process is well publicized so many people can choose to participate. We will use typical school methods to reach out to the existing school communities (email, electronic newsletters, school-district social media, backpack express, etc). We will also engage the PTOs of both Veterans’ and East Gloucester Schools to reach out to alumni of both schools through email lists and social media. The PTOs will organize the formation of the Alumni Group (see below). We will work with the Gloucester Daily Times to have updates on the process and publicize how community members can submit nominations.
Any member of the public will be able to submit a nomination for the school name. Nominations can be submitted through a web-based form, emailed to a dedicated email address, or in person at submission boxes that will be placed at public places in the city. There will also be submission boxes at each school for students and staff to use.
Whether a name gets nominated once or numerous times, it will still be considered equally by the Nominations Committee. All nominations will be considered by the Nominations Committee.
Identification of the Semifinalists
The Nominations Committee will review all nominations and assess their merit against the naming criteria. If necessary, the Nominations Committee will break into smaller groups to research any historical significance of nominations. After reviewing all nominations, the committee will select up to 10 semifinalists to move forward. Small groups of the students will develop short presentations on the merits of each semifinalist to be shared publicly (see Public Input on the Semifinalists)
Criteria for Evaluating Proposed Names
Supports and symbolizes the core values of the two existing schools
Helps in bringing the two school communities together
Recognizes the shared and diverse history of the City of Gloucester
The name can help inspire, connect, build community, and/or provide the basis for ongoing learning among school children
Public Input on the Semifinalists
Any community member who would like to provide input on the semifinalists will have the opportunity do so in a variety of ways including:
Naming Nights - Nominations Committee presents the Semifinalists to the community through presentations.
Input provided at School Committee meetings
Electronic forms to submit input
Email or written input sent to the Nominations Committee
Alumni Group Input - A Committee of Alumni from both East Gloucester and Veterans’ Schools will be formed to consider the semifinalist names. This committee will provide their input to the Nominations Committee
A volunteer group of adult alumni of the Veterans’ and East Gloucester Schools will be organized by the PTOs of the schools. The Alumni Group will meet to discuss the semifinalists and provide their input to the Nominations Committee. This input will be considered along with all other input from community members.
Identification of the Finalists
The Nominations Committee will consider all input on the semifinalists submitted by community members. Using the selection criteria, the committee will identify up to four finalists to recommend to the School Committee.
School Committee Consideration and Final Decision
All of the public process and input is ultimately being done to help the School Committee make a final decision on the school name. The final steps will include:
Presentations by the Nominations Committee about each of the finalist names
Public input on the finalist names that will be collected and considered by the School Committee
A public hearing on the finalists names
Deliberation and discussion by the School Committee
School Committee votes to select the school name