Wilton education board changes facility-naming policy

The Board of Education approved to change the school district’s policy on the naming of district facilities — buildings or school grounds managed by the education board that are used for educational purposes — during its Nov. 19 meeting.

Superintendent Kevin Smith said a new policy was being proposed because “there [were] some questions and concerns about the process and philosophy on naming.”

He said Policy 1331’s related regulation is still being drafted.

“We don’t want to close the door, per se, on naming opportunities,” said Smith, “but we want to spell out in the regulation some criteria and a standardized process.”

The new policy, which is significantly shorter than the old one, says the Board of Education “discourages the recognition of individuals or contributors through the naming of facilities or parts of facilities” and instead “encourages the recognition of outstanding educators, alumni, volunteers, or contributors who have made a significant contribution through such means as placement of plaques, recognition ceremonies, Halls of Fame, etc.”

According to the revised policy, procedures for such recognition will be established by the school district.

Old policy

Under the old policy, a district facility or portion of one, could only be named after someone who “attained prominence at the local and national level for his/her participation in and success as a public servant.”

The policy also allowed the Board of Education — which was required to “act as a committee of the whole in determining whether or not to name any facility or other area under their jurisdiction” — to “consider naming portions of their facilities and other areas under its control for individuals and/or organizations that, through their significant endorsement, have made possible the construction of said facilities or areas.”

If a district facility were to be named after a local landmark, it had to have “historical or educational significance.”

The revision to Policy 1331 can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1MYVoPK.

The Board of Education’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., in the Wilton High School Professional Library.