Alexandria, VA

The deadline is 11:59 p.m. next Wednesday (October 28) for the community to weigh in on a survey on whether Alexandria City Public Schools should change the names of T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School.

The survey is part of the renaming process for both schools, and the school board will officially vote next month on whether to change the names.

Thomas Chambliss Williams was the superintendent of ACPS for 30 years. He required that all Black students wanting admission to previously all-white schools to go through an application process. Only 75 Black students (about 3%) were allowed to transfer to formerly white schools by the time Williams announced his retirement in 1962, and that was three years after the city officially desegregated schools.

Maury was the first Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory and the first hydrographer of the U.S. Navy. He was also special agent for the Confederacy during the Civil War and has a statue in Richmond.

According to ACPS, “One of the ways that we can move forward is by acknowledging our own history, while refusing to allow that history to define who we currently are as a school division in the present.”

The short survey asks whether respondents “strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree” on having a good understanding of Williams and Maury, and whether they agree on a name change. The survey also asks for your zip code and relation to ACPS, whether as a student, staffer, parent or community partner.

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