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Prince George’s school district trustees to debate four Kelly Road naming recommendations

The final decision could go one of four ways
The new building under construction in March 2020. (via School District No. 57)

School District No. 57 (SD57) trustees will debate four different options for the proposed renaming of the new Kelly Road school building.

The district has released its agenda for the board meeting on Tuesday night (April 28) when the board will come to a decision over whether or not the school will be renamed in the spirit of reconciliation.

The agenda includes four different Kelly Road naming recommendations each brought forward by a different trustee.

The first recommendation was brought forward by Trustee Ron Polillo:

“That the Board of Education dual name the new school building to Kelly Road Shas Ti Secondary.”

In the rationale for the recommendation, Polillo states, “By combining the names in the new school, this will tell both stories and legacies of Kelly Road and Shas ti. As we read in the engagement survey, it was very important for the 2,700 plus respondents to honour both legacies and come together as a community and move forward in a positive and respectful way.”

The second recommendation was brought forward by Trustee Sharel Warrington:

“That the newly constructed replacement for Kelly Road Secondary School retains its name Kelly Road Secondary School.”

Warrington’s recommendation continues stating, “And that the board support and encourage the leaders and elders of Lheidli T’enneh together with students and staff of Kelly Road to begin a process ton ways to incorporate the ancestral history of the Lheidli T’enneh, the ancestral history of Shas Ti and the Dakelh language within, around and on the outside of the newly constructed replacement school.”

The third recommendation was brought forward by Trustee Betty Bekkering:

“That the Board of Education approves the name of the new school to be Shas ti Secondary School and that the board supports and encourages the students, staff, leaders of the school and senior administration to begin a process to determine ways to incorporate the history of Kelly Road Secondary School into the new school.”

The fourth recommendation was brought forward by Trustee Trent Derrick”

“That the name of the newly reconstructed Kelly Road Secondary School be changed to Shas Ti and to honour the history of Kelly Road Secondary School, the gym should be called Kelly Road Gym.”

The question about what to name the newly constructed school first arose back on Feb. 25, when Derrick put forward a motion at the regular public board meeting, to “engage in the process to rename the newly constructed KRSS to Shas ti, which is Dakelh for 'grizzly bear trail,' reflecting the history of the area.

The results of a public engagement survey, where over 2,700 people responded, were released on April 22.

The survey found that 68 per cent of respondents want the name of the school to remain Kelly Road, while 85.5 per cent of respondents also answered that both histories/stories of Kelly Road Secondary School and Shas ti can, and should both be acknowledged together in the spirit of reconciliation.

Now that the Trustees have had time to review the data and table recommendations, the future name of the school will be decided at the Tuesday night board meeting which begins at 6 p.m. and will be live-streamed on the school district’s website.

The newly constructed school is set to open in September of this year.

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