City of Fairfax School Board Votes to Change Name of Lanier Middle School

The City of Fairfax School Board voted to change the name of Lanier Middle School at their regular school board meeting. The school board will vote on a new name for the school later in the fall and will go into effect starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

Community members are asked to send their comments or suggestions for a new name via email through LanierComment@FairfaxVa.gov or to the City of Fairfax website at www.CityofFairfaxSchools.org. Name suggestions will be collected through Friday, September 18, 2020.

Lanier Middle School (LMS) is one of the four schools in the City of Fairfax. LMS was named after Sidney Lanier, a poet from Georgia who served in the Confederate Army, in 1959 when it was then part of Fairfax County Public Schools. After hearing requests from community members, the City School Board held public engagement from July 2020 – September 2020. Both city and county residents submitted comments online, through email and attended two public hearings.

LMS has almost 1050 students, with 55 percent of the student population coming from Fairfax County and 45 percent are city residents. Through a contract with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the City of Fairfax owns the four school buildings (Fairfax HS, Lanier MS, Providence ES and Daniels Run ES) while FCPS provided educational services, staffing, transportation and food services. Both city and county students attend the City of Fairfax schools. The City School Board is responsible for the naming of all four city school buildings.

 “I believe this is the right moment for this change,” said City of Fairfax School Board Chairman Carolyn Pitches. “We need a name that represents who we are and one that represents our entire community. I overwhelmingly heard from students that they want to be proud of their school.”