New school to be named the Wareham Elementary School

Sep 20, 2019

The new elementary school will likely be named the Wareham Elementary School. 

At Thursday’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent Kimberly Shaver-Hood said that the School Building Committee had decided on the name because it was inclusive, neutral, and followed the pattern set by the middle and high schools.

“We’re bringing the two schools together, and so it’s a joint elementary,” Shaver-Hood said. “Therefore, they thought that Wareham Elementary would be an appropriate name.”

The John W. Decas School and Minot Forest School will be memorialized. The third and fourth grade wing will be named after Minot Forest, and the innovation hub would be named after the John W. Decas School.

“The reason why we would recommend that the John W. Decas be the name for the innovation hub is that they’ve been so gracious in supporting technology, and that’s what our innovation hub will contain,” Shaver-Hood said.

The superintendent said that there had also been some discussion of naming the area where the younger students’ classrooms will be after the Ethel B. Hammond School, but that has not yet been decided. There has also been talk of naming a part of the building after the Oak Grove Elementary School, which was a Cape Verdean elementary school.

Shaver-Hood said she is planning on establishing a committee to help name various areas of the new school.

The school will also have space to remember the people who have passed — both faculty and students. Although the exact locations have not yet been decided, Shaver-Hood said the school will have a reflection area honoring teachers who had a very positive impact on the children in Wareham, along with a Student Memory Garden to honor students who passed.

The school had been referred to in the past as the Decas School at Minot Forest, which School Committee Chair Mike Flaherty said was always meant to be a temporary name. He expressed some dismay at the fact that Patrick Tropeano, the Chair of the Board of Selectmen, had been saying that was the permanent name of the school. He also detailed the confusion amongst officials about who has the authority to name the school. Flaherty and others think that is the School Committee’s prerogative, while Tropeano and the town counsel think that the name must be voted on at Town Meeting.

Flaherty said that the school committee would vote to name the building “Wareham Elementary School” at its next meeting and draft a warrant article for the Spring Town Meeting at the same time. That way, regardless of who is found to have the power to name the school, the committee will have followed the appropriate procedure.