Middle School now Community School

Cottonwood Middle School Principal Matt Schumacher asked the Cottonwood-Oak School Board on Tuesday to consider renaming his school Cottonwood Community School. The school, which currently serves students in grades 6-8, will become a K-8 school beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Cottonwood Middle School Principal Matt Schumacher asked the Cottonwood-Oak School Board on Tuesday to consider renaming his school Cottonwood Community School. The school, which currently serves students in grades 6-8, will become a K-8 school beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. (Photo by Bill Helm)

COTTONWOOD – Tuesday, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board unanimously voted to support Principal Matt Schumacher’s recommendation to rename his school Cottonwood Community School.

“There’s no better situation moving forward than to position ourselves as the community’s school,” Schumacher told the board before its 5-to-0 vote.

As Schumacher and other community members explored options to come up with a new name for the soon-to-be K-8 school, they considered a few questions.

“What do kids want to see? What do parents want to see? What do teachers want to feel?” Schumacher said. “The pillars that emerged were partnership, community and real-world and relevant curriculum. Children want real-world curriculum. This idea of community is what really addressed that.”

Choices

At one point, board member Eric Marcus asked Schumacher if the committee had considered using the name Cottonwood Elementary School, the name of the school that will close as a result of the realignment that will see Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School and the now-named Cottonwood Community School become K-8 schools.

“It’s still an elementary school,” Marcus added.

Wanting to “create a new image, a new vision” is the reason Schumacher said the committee did not consider the name of the soon-to-be former school.

“Was there a second choice?” board member Jason Finger asked?

Not only were there no other formal suggestions, Schumacher said, but the community members were “100 percent” in support of Cottonwood Community School, he said.

“And we had some very vocal parents,” said board member Mary Valenzuela, who was part of the committee that came back with the new school name.

“You’ve done a great job,” Finger told Schumacher. “It was a big decision.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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