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Naming or Renaming of Schools

Section 302.2 | Board Report 03-0326-PO04 | Date Adopted March 26, 2003

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Amend Policy on the Naming or Renaming of Schools. This amendment will clarify that the name of a school may be something other than the name of a person.


The naming or renaming of schools may occur under the following circumstances:

  • When a new school is built;
  • When two or more schools have the same name (for example, an elementary school and its upper grade center), one school may request a new name while the other retains the original name;
  • When a school and its branch have the same name, the name of the branch may be changed; however, it is the recommendation of the Board of Education that the names of main schools and their branches, and the unit numbers for the school and branch both remain the same to better facilitate identification;
  • When a school is administratively divided into units with separate principals, separate local school councils, and separate unit numbers, one unit shall apply to have a distinct name within the school year following separation;
  • When a new facility is built to replace an existing facility which will be closed, pursuant to this policy, the Local School Council may propose a new name or retain the existing name. If a new name is proposed, procedures must be followed pursuant to this policy; and
  • When an educational facility is erected on the grounds of an existing facility and the new facility serves a function distinct from that of the existing one, the new facility shall be given a new name pursuant to this policy.

A proposed school name may be a person, a place or a thing.

Proposed names shall not be a person whose primary identification is of a religious nature.

Persons proposed for the school name must have been deceased for at least six months and should have made significant contributions to society.

Persons proposed for the school name shall not be a relative of any employee or local school council member associated with the school, as that term is defined in the Chicago Board of Education Ethics Policy.

The names and name changes which have been approved for presentation to the Board of Education will be combined into one omnibus Board Report, prepared by the Office of Schools and Regions, to be presented to the Board of Education annually in the month of March. All new names which are approved by Board action will take effect at the beginning of the subsequent school year.

After approval by the Board of Education, a new school name or a changed school name cannot be changed for ten years.

Additions, annexes, other associated structures, campus parks and playlots are a part of the school property and shall bear the name of the school.

  • New Schools

    At the opening of a new school, a name shall be assigned. In the event that a new school does not have a sitting council, input may be sought from a sitting advisory group or a group of parent and community members. Proposed names must be approved by the Area Instructional Officer and thereafter submitted to the Board of Education for approval.

  • Existing Schools

    Changing the name of a school is to be a considered decision, and should not be made arbitrarily or in haste. Members of a Local School Council wishing to establish a name change in accordance with these guidelines shall solicit the participation of the Area Instructional Officer of the region in which the school is located.

  • Process for Determining a School Name

    A Local School Council may propose a school name change at a duly convened open meeting at which the consideration of a school name has been announced as an agenda item.

    Prior to selecting a school name or changing an existing school name, the LSC shall designate dates and times for convening two school -community meetings, subject to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. The purpose of such meetings is to allow school-community input regarding suggested names and to facilitate discussion concerning the basis for a proposed change of school name.

    The Committees and the school-communities may receive guidance and technical assistance, upon request, from the Office of Schools and Regions.

  • Vote At the Local School Council Meeting

    After the two school-community hearings have been convened, the Local School Council may include the issue of the name or name change as an agenda item at the next regularly-scheduled meeting or special meeting. The vote must be an affirmative majority of the Local School Council and must include three names, in order of preference, in order to recommend a name to the Board.

  • Sequence of Recommendations/Approvals

    Once the Local School Council has approved a name or name change list of rank-ordered names, the principal and the chairperson of the council are to co-sign a letter of recommendation addressed to the Area Instructional Officer. This letter is to explain the rationale for the names or the name change, and shall include: biographical sketches of the proposed individuals on the list of three if any of the proposed names are names of people; the dates of the hearings; the list of names; and the results of the Local School Council vote, specifically, the names of council members and how they voted. The principal is also to prepare a Board Report and to include the paper (draft) copy of the Board Report and the disc in the packet of materials forwarded on to the Area Instructional Officer.

    The Area Instructional Officer is to review the materials and to make the decision to recommend or not recommend the proposed name or name change. If recommended, the written recommendation is to be forwarded along with the school=s supporting documentation to the Chief of Schools and Regions.

    The Office of Schools and Regions, in consultation with the Law Department, may do a background check on any name on the list of three, and shall, pursuant to this policy, make the decision to recommend or not recommend the proposed name or name change to the Chief Education Officer and the Chief Executive Officer.

    The Chicago Board of Education, the Chief Executive Officer or the Chief Education Officer may approve or disapprove a name change submitted by the Local School Council.

  • Omnibus Board Report

    If the Local School Councils of two or more schools have selected the same name as their first choices, and these first choices have been approved pursuant to this policy, the Office of Schools and Regions is to determine by dates of the Local School Councils= affirmative votes which Local School Council selected the name first. That school=s choice will be included in the omnibus Board Report; the other schools will be notified and asked if they wish to continue the process with their second choices.

Amends/Rescinds Amends 00-1025-PO2
Cross References 00-0823-PO2 Rescinds 91-0522-PO1
Legal References  
Public Comment  

Policy and Procedures

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