LCPS Schools Renamed; New Computer Science Internship for Students

On Oct. 11, the Loudoun County School Board held their second Tuesday meeting, where they discussed the renaming of 19 schools, a cooperative computer science internship opportunity, and options for next school year’s calendar.


Amelia Chen

The board discussed renaming 19 schools, a new internship offered by elementary schools, and new calendar options for 2023-2024 school year.

Melissa Waas and Nidhi Manchala

On Oct. 11, the Loudoun County School Board held its second Tuesday meeting. The school board introduced new opportunities for high school students who wish to pursue a computer science career while helping out an elementary school. Additionally, in an effort to combat systemic racism in the county, the school board established new criteria for naming schools. Because of this, 19 schools will be renamed in order to fit these new guidelines. 

Options for the new 2023-2024 school year calendar were released, which differ in when breaks start and end. Although some welcomed extra holidays and breaks this year, numerous people had complaints about the amount of holidays given to students, which interfered with their limited work-days off. LCPS introduced new calendar options to get opinions.

Computer Science Internship Program

The Computer Science and Digital Innovations and the Department of Digital Innovation presented their internship program for highschoolers that want to follow the path of a computer science career. This new program allows high school students to volunteer at elementary schools to assist the staff and students with technology issues they face in the mornings. Seven LCPS high schools are represented in this program, including Rock Ridge.

In the four-month program, students go to elementary schools two days a week in the mornings, before their school day starts. While in the building, students help staff out with technology issues, like troubleshooting computers, clearing paper jams or replacing printer toners. Students not only work with staff, but also are there to assist elementary schoolers when problems arise, such as helping them to set up complex passwords. 

Sophomore Aneesha Koninty was one of the 11 students that got into the program and was assigned to Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School. “Mostly, I am just helping out teachers improve the learning experience they have for students,” Koninty said.“I really like going into classrooms and helping them.”

Renaming of LCPS Schools

In accordance with new school naming criteria, 19 LCPS schools are being looked at for renaming. The modification was recommended by the Black History Committee and Friends of Thomas Balch Library, in order to terminate the systemic racism in Loudoun County. 

The new criteria includes renaming schools named after a Confederate leader or clause, figures who lived in the 17th, 18th, or 19th century (due to the prominence of slavery in the time), and if they were “named for” supporters or promoters of racial segregation laws, including Jim Crow. The process includes going through three different phases with these schools. The first phase is for schools that don’t meet the criteria, the second is for the schools named after an individual, and the third are for schools named for places, ideals, and inanimate objects.

Due to it being named after a figure in the 19 century, Rock Ridge feeder school Rosa Lee Carter Elementary is one of the schools up for renaming. Freshman Pranathi Purushothamaiah went to Rosa Lee Carter for six years and was shocked when she heard the news. “I really didn’t expect that,” Purushothamaiah said.“[The school] had a picture in the front hall, [which] basically kind of signified it, saying ‘oh this is named after Rosa Lee Carter’. I don’t really want them to change [the name] because it has been that way for a really long time.”  

Purushothamaiah also believes that Rosa Lee Carter having a new name will probably confuse a lot of people. “I feel like people won’t really recognize it,” she said. “A lot of people know Rosa Lee Carter by the name that it has.” 

2023-2024 Holiday Calendar

The Human Resource and Talent Development staff discussed the 2023-2024 Student Holiday Calendar. The staff presented three options of different calendars that all have 174 school days, but have different distributions of student holidays and variations of when the school year and breaks start and end. 

Sophomore Blessing Amuga enjoys longer breaks more than multiple smaller breaks or days off scattered throughout the school year. “I prefer longer holidays because it gives people a chance to travel more,” Amuga said. “Having short breaks in between the weeks messes up schedules, and if you have projects you can’t really work on [them].”

Recently, LCPS has added more holidays to the student calendars in order to include more religious festivals into the school year. This sparked various opinions among parents and students. Some parents are worried that their jobs won’t be able to cover all the days their students get off. Amuga thinks that the added holidays should stay. “There [are] a lot of cultures in this school [and LCPS] and I feel like taking away the break[s][or these holidays] would kind of take away a piece of [those] cultures,” Amuga said. 

The next school board meeting will take place on Oct. 25, 2022.