MPS board approves name changes for two district schools
Sheridan and Jefferson Schools in Minneapolis say the new names — Las Estrellas and Ella Baker, respectively — better reflect their student populations and values.
MINNEAPOLIS — Members of the Minneapolis Public School Board have approved name changes for two of the district’s elementary schools, according to a statement from the district Tuesday evening.
MPS says each school — Sheridan Dual Language Elementary and Jefferson Global Studies & Humanities — began their renaming process in 2020. Working groups were formed over the next two years, made up of teachers, parents, administrators, staff and community members, who were tasked with finding new names that best reflect each school.
The district says that after several meetings and polls, “Las Estrellas” — meaning “the stars” — was chosen to replace Sheridan School in northeast Minneapolis. In the district’s statement, Sheridan School principal Yajaira Guzman Carrero said students “identify strongly” with their current star mascot.
“We aim for the stars and encourage everyone in our school community to see themselves in [a] constellation of support filled with brilliance, passion and vigor.”
As for the Jefferson School in south Minneapolis, it took a renaming team of students and counselors to explore the rationale and significance of a potential change, ultimately using ranking voting to determine its new name. , Ella Baker.
Principal Holly Kleppe said in the district statement that she was “grateful” that the students were involved in the name change process, and that Ella Baker – one of the most senior African-American leaders and activists civil and human rights organizations of the 20th century – represents “a vast majority of our student population.
“The fact that our students can walk into a building named after someone who looks like them will encourage them to be themselves and strive to be as influential as she was,” Kleppe said.
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