The recent release of the proposed names for the two schools soon to be built in Happy Valley has brought forth a number of questions and concerns from community members, primarily with how unpublicized criteria were applied during the selection process and the lack of public input considered.
For years the community has been aware of the possibility (and need) for new schools. With the passing of the capital construction bond in 2016, that possibility became a reality. In the fall of 2017, the school district created a process and put together a naming committee to select names for new schools being built in Happy Valley.
The City was not invited to be involved in the committee process. When the opportunity came in December to submit suggestions, city staff shared the information via Facebook, and Happy Valley’s City Council provided direct input to the committee, suggesting Happy Valley High School as a possible name.
This suggestion and an assortment of other local landmark and historical figures important to the history of the area were given during the process. We were not surprised by the desire for a community-oriented name. We have a strong community, one that is not bound by our city limits, but in the efforts through the years to build something together.
We do not want this to be a moment that divides our community, but one where we celebrate together. Schools are often some of a community’s best landmarks and we are honored that two new facilities, whose benefits will be appreciated by people inside and outside the school district, are being added to our area.
For those interested in providing input, NCSD is in the process of scheduling another naming committee meeting. Written comments for the committee will be accepted and reviewed before the meeting. There will also be an opportunity to provide public comment at the upcoming NCSD board meetings, scheduled for April 26 and May 10, both at 7:00 p.m. If you wish to provide input at these meetings, please contact NCSD for details on the public comment process.
We’ve reached out to the school district and offered our assistance in finding a solution. As the school district continues to grow, we look forward to a continued partnership serving the community together.