New Trier Township High School District 203 will now allow facilities to be named after major donors. New Trier school board approved the policy change unanimously at the June 4 meeting.
Until now, the district’s naming policy for both its and was that facilities could only be named for employees who had made extraordinary contributions to the district and who had been retired or away from the district for at least five years.
With the policy change, the board can now consider naming facilities after donors who give at least half the cost of a major project, although the policy does not require the board to accept any naming proposals.
The policy, which covers advertising on school property as well as donations, starts with a statement of philosophy making it clear that the district does not want any advertising or donations to impact what students are taught:
“The intent of the district is to minimize the impact of commercialism on students. Donations or commercial advertisements should never influence curriculum or instruction at New Trier, nor should teachers feel pressure to present viewpoints or beliefs as the result of a donation, gift, or advertisement. There should be no appearance of impropriety as a result of a donation, gift or advertisement.”
A committee formed to discuss the policy actually spent more time talking about the advertising section, which prohibits any commercial messages that students would be exposed to during the school day. Some limited, preapproved advertising – say, in a sports program – would be allowed at extracurricular events.
The policy has drawn some public opposition at a May school board meeting where it was discussed. The board approved it June 4 with no further comments.
Want to follow similar articles in Winnetka, Glencoe and Northfield? Sign up for Winnetka-Glencoe Patch's newsletter.
Want to follow similar articles in Wilmette and Kenilworth? Sign up for Wilmette-Kenilworth Patch's newsletter.