Woodson High School Renaming

Woodson High School Renaming

School Board Approves New Name for W.T. Woodson High School

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously voted to rename W.T. Woodson High School during their meeting November 9. Starting in school year 2024-25, the school will be known as Carter G. Woodson High School. The vote comes after two months of public engagement.

“First I want to thank the Woodson community for their robust and heartfelt participation throughout this process,” said Braddock District School Board Representative Megan McLaughlin. “Through multiple community meetings, public hearings, and online feedback forms, we have engaged in rich discussion and gained a deeper understanding about our shared history.”

Renaming school facilities is a School Board authority. According to policy, the Board may “consider a change in the name of an existing school or facility to ensure an inclusive, respectful learning environment as outlined in our adopted One Fairfax Policy or when the Board deems it appropriate…”

The renaming process includes two phases. Public engagement is a priority throughout the process. The public had opportunities to share thoughts and questions at two community meetings, two public hearings, and two distinct online feedback forms. 

W.T. Woodson High School, which opened in 1962, was named for FCPS’ second longest-serving superintendent who led the district from 1929-1961. W.T. Woodson’s views on segregation have been revealed in historical documents, thus initiating requests from community members to rename the school.

Students and community members who raised concerns about W.T. Woodson’s legacy also advocated renaming the school in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. C.G. Woodson is a nationally renowned scholar, author, educator, and journalist. Widely consider the “Father of Black History,” he founded the Assocation for the Study of Negro Life and History, the scholarly Journal of Negro History (now called the Journal of African American History), and the creation of “Negro History Week,” the precursor of Black History Month. His legacy is also honored by the University of Virginia’s “The Carter G. Woodson Institute'' for African-American and African Studies.

As the son of former slaves, Dr. C.G. Woodson overcame childhood hardship before earning degrees from Harvard University and the University of Chicago. Following a career as a journalist and educator, he later became a faculty member and Dean of Howard University's College of Arts and Sciences.

In honor of his contributions and historic achievements, and with an outpouring of support from the public, the School Board chose to rename the school Carter G. Woodson High School.

Fairfax County Public Schools staff will now proceed with the logistical planning needed to implement the new name Carter G. Woodson High School for the 2024-25 school year. 

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About Carter G. Woodson

Bio of Carter G. Woodson

Past Engagement and Information

10/23/23:  Community Meeting

10/13/23 - 11/9/23: Online Feedback Form (View All Submissions)

10/12/23:  School Board Meeting

9/15/23 - 10/12/23: Online Feedback Form (View All Submissions)

10/10/23:  School Board Public Hearing

10/4/23:  Community Meeting 

9/12/23: School Board Forum


Policy on Naming School Facilities and Dedicating Areas of School Facilities or Grounds
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Procedures for Naming School Facilities and Dedicating Areas of School Facilities or Grounds
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