Our Community » Lanier Middle School - Background

Lanier Middle School - Background

Lanier MS was named by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in 1959 after poet Sidney Lanier. During the 1950s and 1960s, FCPS named many of their middle schools after poets, continuing with Sidney Lanier. When the City of Fairfax acquired the land and building from Fairfax County when it incorporated into a city in 1961, the name did not change (then Sidney Lanier Intermediate School).
To read Lanier's poetry or find out more about his life, please see these suggested links. 
The City of Fairfax Schools owns the four school buildings in Fairfax City: Fairfax High School, Lanier Middle School, Providence Elementary School and Daniels Run Elementary School and are responsible for all naming of the buildings. 
On July 6, 2020 the City of Fairfax School Board voted to approve the Lanier Public Engagement Plan as presented by City Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Pajardo, due to inquiries from community members to change the name because Lanier was a member of the Confederate Army from 1861-1865. Click here to watch the meeting. In addition to Fairfax City community members, the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam wrote a letter to all the School Boards in Virginia in regards to school names after members of the Confederacy. (letter below)
Timeline for Public Engagement:
July 7 - September 10 - Public comments accepted through:
August 3 - Public Hearing #1
Community members are welcome to speak at our virtual meeting on August 3, 2020 at 5:00. Students will be allowed to speak first. You do not need to be a city resident to speak. To sign up to speak, please email PublicHearingSB@FairfaxVa.gov
September 3 - Public Hearing #2
This meeting is tentatively scheduled as an in-person meeting at City Hall in the City of Fairfax (address at bottom of page). If there are more sign ups than social distancing allows, we will move this to a virtual meeting. To sign up to speak, please email PublicHearingSB@FairfaxVa.gov
September 11 - Public Comments posted on website
September 14 - School Board Votes on Renaming of Lanier Middle School
City School Board Meeting, 7:30 City Hall