FYI this article will be printed in tomorrows Sun Newspaper 4/29/2009 that is why it says the meeting is tonight.
Colton school board to consider renaming proposal
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/28/2009 03:10:10
COLTON - Colton Joint Unified trustee Robert Armenta Jr. has devised a compromise to try to settle the name debate surrounding Ray Abril High School.
Armenta wants the 67.5-acre site in Grand Terrace where the high school will be located called the Ray Abril Jr. Educational Complex. He also proposes that the school, scheduled to open in fall 2011, be renamed from Ray Abril High School to Grand Terrace High School. The complete name would be Grand Terrace High School at the Ray Abril Jr. Educational Complex.
"I think it's a good compromise," said Grand Terrace resident Letti Byrd, a leader of the parent group seeking the name change.
The school board has scheduled a special meeting at 5:30 tonight to consider Armenta's proposal.
"This renaming proposal both respects the city identity of Grand Terrace and duly pays tribute to Mr. Ray Abril Jr.'s advocacy and passion for children's progress in the classroom," Armenta said in a news release.
The board voted 5-1 in March to call the school Ray Abril High School, angering many Grand Terrace residents who wanted the school named after their city. Trustee Patt Haro voted against it, and Board President Marge Mendoza-Ware was absent.
Supporters of renaming the school launched a campaign to pressure the board to change the name.
Last week, the board deadlocked 3-3 on a proposal to put the matter on the agenda of the next meeting for a vote.
Mendoza-Ware said she thinks there are enough votes on the board to change the name.
"I think it's a win-win for everybody," Mendoza-Ware said of Armenta's proposal. "I support it 100 percent."
If the board renames the school, Byrd said the group will urge parents to make sure their children participate in a state achievement test offered in the district over the next few weeks.
Several parents signed waivers opting their kids out of the test in protest of the board's initial naming decision.
District spokeswoman Katie Orloff said the waivers can be canceled if parents change their minds and want their children to take the test.
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