The Austin ISD Board of Trustees approved the renaming of Sidney Lanier Early College High School to Juan Navarro Early College High School at their March 25 regular meeting. The motion was contingent upon the name clearing criteria identified in Austin ISD policy.
The board voted to rename the campus after more than a year of discussion and community engagement surrounding campus names that had ties to the Confederacy. This is the fifth AISD facility connected to the Confederacy to be renamed, following Anita Ferrales Coy Facility, Lee Elementary School, Northeast Early College High School and Sarah Beth Lively Middle School.
In the 2018-2019 school year the following schools were renamed and the new name will take effect in the 2019-2020 school year: John T. Allan Facility renamed to the Anita Ferrales Coy Facility, John H. Reagan Early College High School renamed to Northeast Early College High School and Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School renamed to Sarah Beth Lively Middle School. Robert E. Lee Elementary School was renamed to Russell Lee Elementary School in 2016.
About the Renaming Process
AISD administrators in November 2017 introduced the topic of renaming five district sites named after individuals who were associated with the Confederate States of America’s Army or government. The five sites are of the John T. Allan Facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus and Sidney Lanier and John H. Reagan early college high schools.
The board asked for more information and community engagement on the topic, which was fulfilled through months of meetings with principals, campus advisory councils, student groups and community members. The district also created a website for the engagement process where community members could learn more and provide input.
The board voted in February 2018 to initiate the renaming process for the five sites. However, Eastside Memorial requested an extension in April because of the modernization process the school is undergoing as part of the 2017 Bond.
Name submissions for the sites were fielded from the community, and options were selected as they aligned with the renaming criteria, outlined in district policy. Further criteria were also developed through a school renaming task force and were used to advise the campus renaming committees in choosing final name recommendations. The task force was made up of community members, teachers, students and staff.
Recommendations for names were presented to the board in October.