Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The city’s four new schools will ultimately get real names to replace the current placeholders, Superintendent Jeffrey Young said Monday.

While not exactly on topic, councillor Ken Reeves’ question about the names at a school budget hearing was the night’s easiest to answer and possibly the one bothering the most people: Are Cambridge’s four upper schools always going to have such dull names?

Due to open Sept. 4 after being created wholesale as part of the controversial Innovation Agenda, “perhaps the biggest fundamental change in the district’s history,” according to district chief operating officer James Maloney, the campuses are identified merely as the Cambridge Street Upper School, Putnam Avenue Upper School, Rindge Avenue Upper School and Vassal Lane Upper School — based on the easy to understand rationale that’s where the schools are.

“At some point do we intend for the schools to have names?” Reeves asked, breaking from the string of school construction-based questions making up the rest of the meeting’s two hours.

Young stepped forward to answer, saying the issue of renaming the schools would be taken up in the fall, especially as some school officials and students had been asking about running contests to do just that.

“The street names were meant to be placeholders,” Young said. “We looked at it as the one element of the Innovation Agenda that would not be controversial.”