EKEES renaming process begins

EKEES renaming process begins
Posted on 10/21/2021
Image of renaming graphic

Now that the school year is well under way, work on the renaming process for École Kingston East Elementary School (EKEES) has begun.

The Limestone District School Board will convene a Renaming Committee that will oversee the appropriate methods of consultation with all school community stakeholder groups to select renaming options for EKEES. The Renaming Committee, which will include representation from students, families, staff and community members with a particular emphasis on ensuring the membership includes Indigenous peoples and voices.

The selection of the Renaming Committee will take place over the next couple of weeks and will be comprised of voting and non-voting members. Voting members will include:

  • 1 Principal
  • 1 Teacher
  • 1 Non-Teaching Staff
  • 1 Student(Immersion Programming)
  • 1 Student (English Programming)
  • 1 Student who self-identifies as Indigenous
  • 1 Parent/Guardian (Immersion Programming)
  • 1 Parent/Guardian (English Programming)
  • 1 Parent/Guardian who self-identifies as Indigenous
  • 2 Community Members who self-identify as Indigenous (from the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee)

Non-Voting Members include the Area Trustee, Indigenous Student Trustee, Vice Principal of Indigenous Education, Elementary Indigenous Student Support and Engagement Teacher and School Superintendent who will support the work of the committee.

The renaming process will follow a process like that used in previous school naming processes but with an emphasis on how and why the former name was harmful, and what name attributes would respect and honour the Indigenous experience. The board’s Indigenous Education Team will support a significant and age-appropriate education component for EKEES Kindergarten to Grade 6 students during early November which is also Indigenous education Month in Limestone. Families and community members will also be provided with an education component to support their understanding of the renaming process.

An initial call for names will be open to students, families, staff and community members via an online submission process (accommodations will be made for those who cannot participate in an online format) in mid-November. The Renaming Committee will review all submissions and narrow the submissions to a short list that honours equity, diversity, and inclusivity, and ensures all students, families and staff feel safe and welcome. In early December, stakeholders will be invited to submit their top three choices from among the short list. More information and specific dates will be shared shortly. The Renaming Committee will again review the feedback and select three to five names including rationale to submit to the Board of Trustees for consideration in February 2022. The final choice rests solely with the Board of Trustees.

Trustees of the Limestone District School Board voted unanimously to initiate a renaming process in June 2021. At the time, LDSB Board Chair Suzanne Ruttan said the Board acknowledges the ongoing pain and harm the former name had caused within Indigenous communities. “Changing the name of this school will have a powerful impact on how Indigenous and racialized students see themselves,” said Chair Ruttan. “Renaming this school is one small step to demonstrate our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, and having all students see themselves in Limestone.”