January 5th, 2022
With the new year, comes a new name!
The secondary school located at 650 Laurelwood Drive in Waterloo has begun its renaming process. We invite our entire Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) community to submit a school name, along with why you have chosen that particular name and how the name honours reconciliation. That’s right, students, staff, families, community members, advocates, etc. can participate!
In particular, we want to reach out to Indigenous communities who have been harmed. We want to honour the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today and work towards reconciliation.
Why are we renaming the school?
In June 2021, it was determined that the current name of the school did not align with the Board’s commitment to Indigenous rights, human rights, anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-discrimination and equitable and inclusive education.
“We acknowledge that since 2004 there has been ongoing pain and harm with the school named for Sir John A. MacDonald. While we cannot imagine the feelings it must inspire, we understand that this pain is heartfelt and urgent. We recognize the ongoing genocide and erasure of culture committed by the nation and people of Canada against the First Nations peoples of this land. We are committed to the formulation of a new policy for Naming and Renaming Schools, which respects all Human Rights considerations and the importance of Reconciliation.” – Trustee Kathleen Woodcock, Ad Hoc School Naming Review Committee Member, Statement June 8, 2021
Suggesting a School Name
As a school board committed to Truth and Reconciliation, reviewing the names of our schools is an important part of our commitment to creating safe, welcoming and inclusive learning spaces for all our students and staff.
Please note the following considerations when suggesting a name. These guidelines are set out in Administrative Procedure 4865 and will be used by the school renaming committee:
- As of June 2021, WRDSB schools and facilities will not be named after individuals or families
- WRDSB schools and facilities shall be given a name that is meaningful, reflects local historic events and/or places and distinguishing characteristics of the area
- Only submissions that adhere to the WRDSB’s commitment to Indigenous sovereignty, equity and human rights will be considered
- In no case will any school or facility be named after a corporation or business
Remember: every idea counts and your submission may be the basis of the school’s new identity.
What Happens Next?
In February, all of the suggested names submitted will be reviewed by the Renaming Committee, and a shortlist that meets the naming criteria will be shared with our community for further input.
Once public consultation is complete, the committee will select their top three choices, along with their one recommended name. This shortlist will then be brought forward to the Board of Trustees, who can choose to accept their recommendation or choose another of the other top three names instead.
If you have any questions about the school renaming process, please refer to the following:
- Administrative Procedure 4865: Naming and Renaming of Board Facilities
- Board Policy 4020: Naming and Renaming of Board Facilities