The new consolidated elementary school that will be built in northern Nash County will be called the Red Oak Elementary School if the Nash County Board of Education approves the recommendation of the school district’s Ad Hoc New Construction Committee.
The committee met at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the results of a community survey conducted last week to determine the preferences of people in the area. Though the survey was directed at students, parents and staff members of Swift Creek Elementary School, Cedar Grove Elementary School and the current Red Oak Elementary School, Christine Catalano, executive director of communication, planning and engagement for Nash County Public Schools, said the survey also was pushed out on social media and by email to other community stakeholders as well.
The survey was conducted from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14, Catalano said. Roughly 836 people responded to the survey, including 333 who identified as parents, 76 as students, 131 as staff members and 323 as community members.
The survey offered three choices for the name of the new school: Red Oak Elementary School, Northern Nash Elementary School and Red Cedar Creek Elementary School, which is a mashup of all three school names.
Overall, the survey indicated overwhelming support for the name Red Oak Elementary School for the new facility. The new school will be located on the campus of the current Red Oak Elementary School and within sight of Red Oak Middle School.
Roughly 78 percent of parents who responded opted for the name. In addition, 83 percent of student respondents, 82 percent of community respondents and 57 percent of staff respondents voted for Red Oak Elementary School.
The totals for each school community were somewhat different. Still, all three school communities selected the name Red Oak Elementary School as the most popular choice.
For survey respondents who identified as members of the Cedar Grove community, 35.8 percent chose the name Red Oak Elementary School, Catalano said. Northern Nash Elementary School was a close second at 32.6 percent and Red Cedar Creek was the third choice at 28.4 percent. Three percent wrote in other options.
Roughly 72.5 percent of survey respondents in the Swift Creek community selected Red Oak Elementary School as the top choice, she said. Northern Nash Elementary came in a distant second at 13.5 percent and 7.6 percent opted for Red Cedar Creek. The remaining 6.4 percent wrote in other choices.
As expected, respondents from the Red Oak Elementary School community were most in favor of keeping the school name, with 87.3 percent selecting that option. Another 4.9 percent chose Northern Nash and 4.3 percent chose Red Cedar Grove.
After hearing the results of the survey, all members of the ad-hoc committee voted to recommend Red Oak Elementary School as the official name of the new consolidated school.
The committee also selected the tiger cub as the recommended mascot for the school based on the community survey. According to the overall survey results, 61.8 percent of respondents favored that option, which ties in with the tiger mascot at Red Oak Middle School, where most students at the school will attend once they complete elementary school. That decision also was unanimous.
Chris Bissette, chairman of the Ad-hoc New Construction Committee, said he did not like to have to make the decision for the new school mascot and colors.
“Part of me would like to have the school make the decision about (the) mascot,” he said. “But because of school construction, it makes more sense to make a decision now.”
Because the choice of school colors was left open on the survey, there was not a clear consensus on that in the community. However, it was clear that most of the respondents wanted blue to be one of the colors.
Catalano said that many respondents felt that the school colors should be a combination of the colors for Red Oak Middle School and Northern Nash High School. Both schools are in the feeder pattern for students at the new school to attend. The Red Oak Middle School colors are royal blue and orange while the Northern Nash colors are green and gold.
After some discussion, Franklin Lamm made a motion that the new school colors would be royal blue and gold. Doneva Chavis seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
School Superintendent Steve Ellis will present these choices to the full school board for final approval at the Feb. 1 school board meeting.