The Greater Victoria School District is releasing an online survey to gather input on whether or not to change the name of George Jay Elementary School in Fernwood. The consultation is in response to concerns in the community regarding the name of the school, which refers to a historic figure who championed segregationist policies with regard to Chinese Canadian students while he was Chair of the School Board from 1907-1934.
“Our District recognizes and values the diversity of our school population and in no way condones the racist historic practices by some of our predecessors,” said Board Chair, Jordan Watters. “As we develop a better understanding of institutional racism and the role of the education system, it’s essential that we have conversations as a community in order to determine the best way to address historical wrongs and forge a positive path forward.”
The District is encouraging students, staff, teachers and community members at or in the area of George Jay Elementary, as well as members of the Chinese Canadian community, to participate in the survey. In addition, an open house will be held on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 from 6:00—8:30 p.m. at George Jay Elementary in the gymnasium to collect input from the community.
Public input is an important part of the decision-making process. The District will bring forward the results of the survey and the input collected from the open house to the Board of Education to help inform and guide the next steps.
“Fostering a collaborative culture that aligns with our vision of One Learning Community is essential for us, and we welcome the input from the community to help make decisions regarding if we should change the school name,” said Superintendent, Shelley Green. “Whatever decision is ultimately made by the Board of Education has to be consistent with our mission, vision and values.”
For more information on the School District’s mission, visions and values, please visit: www.sd61.bc.ca/our-district/about-us/greater-victoria-school-district-strategic-plan/
The survey is open for two weeks. It will close on October 31st, 2019 at 4 p.m.