To our school community:
In a monumental moment in our school’s history, the Advocates for Arts Based Education board voted this morning to change the school’s program name to The Willow School. Countless hours were dedicated to this process, which included community input among multiple stakeholders.
Last November, the board considered multiple program names, including Willow Charter School, but did not come to a consensus at that time. The Renaming Committee was formed and charged with adding new names for consideration. The committee determined three parameters for the selection of a name. An outside consulting group assisted with engaging the community, analyzing results of previous surveys and meeting with the advisors and focus groups. At its April 13th meeting, the Renaming Committee put forth four new names to recommend to the full board for consideration. Those names were shared with the community via a survey that yielded nearly 750 responses.
While none of the four names brought forward by the Committee were ultimately chosen, the process led the board back to “Willow,” with today’s motion to adopt “The Willow School” as the program name. Willow is significant in our history, as that campus forms the roots of our school’s program. There would be no middle or high school, were it not for the Willow campus.
The school’s administration will move forward with the branding and marketing aspects of this process. They will engage an outside professional branding group.
I would like to thank the school’s Renaming Committee, its chair, Rachel Wisdom, and committee members Brenda Bourne and Alysia Loshbaugh, for their tireless efforts throughout this process. Thanks also to our board, the school’s staff, faculty, students, parents, and alumni, and the greater community for their input and involvement.
We will keep you apprised as we move forward. We believe that this important step marks a healing opportunity for this great community. Thank you for your support.
George Wilson Jr., AABE Board President
The Willow School is a Kindergarten through 12th grade New Orleans Public Charter School located in uptown New Orleans and operated by the non-profit Advocates for Arts-Based Education Corporation.
For the past several decades, The Willow School has been in the vanguard of innovative and successful educational institutions in Louisiana. Using a collaborative site-based leadership structure, Willow faculty has implemented cutting-edge reforms in arts-based education, monitored and integrated the latest developments in neurological and brain research, designed positive discipline programs to build a strong school culture, and implemented a research based systematic approach to literacy and numeracy instruction.