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Renaming of T.C. Williams High School to be Considered by School Board

Alexandria, VA — Updated July 11 at 1:30 p.m.: Yesterday the School Board voted unanimously, 9-0, to move forward with name-changing process of T.C. Williams High School. New names will be presented in spring of 2021 as planning for the fall term amid pandemic is top priority.

Earlier: Alexandria City Public Schools announced today that this Friday, July 10, the Alexandria City School Board will begin the process of officially considering the request to change the name of T.C. Williams High School.

T.C. Williams was named after Thomas Chambliss Williams when it opened in 1965. Thomas Chambliss Williams, who was the superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools from the mid-1930s until 1963, resisted desegregation and argued that black and white students learned differently and should remain in separate schools.

Today, T.C. Williams High School is proud to educate students from 120 different countries, with 121 different languages spoken. Alexandria City Public Schools views our diversity as a strength. Ensuring racial equity is at the heart of the school division’s Strategic Plan: Equity for All 2025. While we still have work to do inside our schools, the school’s name does not align with who we are as a community.

The decision to start the process follows a community petition that was sent to the School Board in June 2020. When the School Board meets on Friday, their agenda will contain a motion to begin a robust public engagement process regarding consideration of a name change this fall in line with School Board Policy FF (PDF) and Regulation FF-R (PDF).

The Alexandria City School Board and Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. will discuss the scope and process required in a work session on August 27, 2020. A public engagement process will begin in the fall of 2020 and the superintendent will present a report with recommendations to the School Board in the spring of 2021.

ACPS is committed to launching a robust community engagement process in the fall to allow for ample time to engage all members of our community with plans to conclude the engagement process in spring 2021. This process will be shared publicly after August 27.

View the full motion by the Alexandria City School Board (PDF).

Watch the School Board meeting at noon on July 10, 2020.

See the Frequently Asked Questions and follow the public engagement process on the T.C. Williams website.

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