2013-06-27 / Editorial


Naming our Jamestown schools

The Jamestown School Committee has decided to take up what could be a tremendous and time-consuming task; naming Jamestown’s two public schools.

For years we’ve called the schools by their locations. The elementary school has been the Melrose Avenue School and the middle school is referred to as the Lawn Avenue School.

But neither school has an official name. There are no plaques hanging at the school entrances. Some say that official names are needed to bolster the spirit at both schools which is already quite good.

Before the elementary school was built, the island had just one school on Lawn Avenue. That building was called the Jamestown School.

With two school buildings, it’s not quite so easy.

Of course the obvious choice would be to continue with tradition and keep the official names for the schools simple. Just keep calling them the Melrose Avenue School and the Lawn Avenue School.

Or the School Committee could make things complicated. Perhaps the middle school could be named the Jamestown Middle School (that is if the school is really a “middle school”). The elementary school could be called the Conanicut Island Elementary School.

There are many other possibilities for school monikers. The schools could be named after important figures in island history, such as a couple of original island settlers.

United States history is another source for school names. We could call one of the schools the George Washington School, in honor of our nation’s first president who at one point rode or walked across the island on his way to Newport.

The School Committee could open the process to the public and ask that suggestions be submitted for consideration. When a decision is made and the buildings are named, we could have a big ceremony with a ribbon cutting at each school and pictures for the sake of history.

My vote is that we stick with convention and officially name the schools what everyone is used to and what everyone would most likely continue to call them: the Melrose Avenue and Lawn Avenue schools.

— Jeff McDonough

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