Help name new elementary school

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Online survey also seeks input on mascot and colors

By Hannah Strong

An online survey to get community input on naming the new Panhandle elementary school and picking its mascot and colors went live Monday, Jan. 8.
Survey participants have through Jan. 17 to fill out the 11-question survey. After that, the Lancaster County School District will select a committee to discuss the results.
“The survey is the first step in our forming a committee to make a recommendation to the superintendent and the board,” said Linda Blackwell, LCSD elementary instruction director. “We want our community to own and love this school, and we’re excited to continue getting community input as we go forward.”
One survey question allows participants to give the name they believe the school should have, and other questions ask what mascot and branding colors would best suit the school. Participants are also asked if they would be interested in serving on the committee to help with the process before the name, colors and mascot are presented to the school board.
The survey will be posted on the district’s website and school websites.
The Lancaster County school board will vote on the school’s name, colors and mascot during its monthly meeting in February.
The board is responsible for naming school facilities and has a policy for the process.
The policy states:
• Personal prejudice, favoritism, political pressure or temporary popularity should not be an influence in choosing a school name.
• Generally, the board prefers to name school facilities for recognized geographical areas. Community, street and geographic area should be considered in the selection of a name. Names suggested by the natural setting and habitat of the school location may also be appropriate.
• A committee will be organized to help with this process and submit recommendations to the superintendent and board.
• The committee will consist of students, staff, other community members and a board member.
• The committee will accept recommendations from persons living within the new school area, from the district at large, and from district personnel.
A committee will be selected by Jan. 19 and will meet several times before the Feb. 20 board meeting to discuss the name, mascot and colors.
In the fall, a committee of parents, community members and district staff selected the architectural colors for the school, which include green, blue and violet.
Former Harrisburg Elementary Principal Steven Puckett was named principal of the new school in November. Puckett began his new job Wednesday, Jan. 3. Puckett got his first principal’s job when Harrisburg opened about three years ago.
“I’m looking forward to working with the committee to choose the name, mascot and colors,” Puckett said. “Naming a school, choosing an official mascot and selecting colors are really important decisions, and we want to be sure to include students, parents and the community in those decisions.”
The new elementary school will open in August.
Construction began last spring on the 36-acre site, located on the west side of U.S. 521, just south of Rebound Road. The 95,000-square-foot building will accommodate more than 1,100 students.
The project is costing LCSD $24.4 million, which is part of the $199 million bond referendum.
To complete the online survey, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAI pQLS dZRCcbIs_OdWR-rAT7BUt4sdP_v_GkNy_L1g4USCfe7Sdaaw/viewform.

Follow reporter Hannah Strong on Twitter @HannahLStrong or contact her at (803) 416-8416.