Schools to keep local names after moves

December 9, 2011
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Despite plans to move the Mission Hill K-8 School out of Mission Hill and move Fenway High School to the Hill, those schools will likely retain their names, Boston Public Schools spokesperson Matt Wilder told the Gazette.

He said that name changes for the schools will not be considered for the schools, unless their school communities request them.

Mission Hill K-8 Principal Ayla Gavins told the Gazette last month that it is unlikely that Mission Hill K-8 will push for a change, because the school community considers the name “part of our identity.”

“The name of the school is really more about the identity of the school than the neighborhood,” Wilder said.

But for some, the two are deeply intertwined. “As a community person, I feel really upset about that, because the school was supposed to a community school. It was supposed to be serving the Mission Hill community,” Alison Pultinas, a longtime community resident and former Mission Hill K-8 parent, told the Gazette.

Wilder said there is precedent for school’s hanging on to old neighborhood names after they move. In the 1980, he said, Fenway High School was temporarily housed at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown.

But this time both Mission Hill K-8 and Fenway High will be moving into the middle of residential neighborhoods with different names. Wilder could not provide any examples of that happening before.

“It’s something we may reconsider,” he told the Gazette.

David Taber

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