RPS asks for community's input in naming schools

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- More than $35 million of Rockford Public School's budget is being put into two new school buildings, and district leaders are wanting the community's input on what to name them.

With the closing of eight schools, the school board is in the process of buildings two - one in cherry valley at Harrison and Perryville, and the other on Kishwaukee Street in Rockford, just south of the current Kishwaukee School.

District leaders are asking members of the Rockford community to decide on a name for the two schools. Petitions were due yesterday for submitting a name.

Each petition had to have at least 50 signatures. Community members say that the names should be a reflection of the areas where they're built. District leaders tell me they want to make sure the schools have names that tell a story about the community.

"It's part of Cherry Valley, just like Baumann Park and the Fire Station and the Ball Diamond and everything else. It's an integral part of our community, and we'd like to keep it with that name," says Cherry Valley Village President Jim Claeyssen.

"The Board wants the input of the community when it makes these big decisions out there. These are schools that are gonna be anchors; that are gonna be here for another fifty, hundred years, says Chief Operations Officer for Rockford Public Schools Todd Schmidt.

The five names being considered for both locations are:
1. Constancy Renick Lane
2. Jane Addams Elementary School (Kishwaukee location)
3. Martin Luther King Junior Elementary (Kishwaukee location)
4. Cherry Valley School
5. Leonard B. Keller Elementary School

The district says it is very likely that one of the two schools will be named after Martin Luther King Jr.

The school district is holding another meeting at 6:30 tomorrow night at the Administration Building to discuss the names. The decision is expected to be made sometime in December or January.