Dillard Elementary School

Dillard Elementary School is located at 810 Cure Drive, Madison.

MADISON — As two schools merge in Madison, Rockingham County Schools seek input on a new name.

Next school year, New Vision School of Math, Science and Technology and John W. Dillard Elementary School will roll into one school on a hybrid calendar, a blend of the traditional and year-round schedule.

To officials, this new concept warranted a new name as the district works to bring the two Madison school communities together.

“We received over 115 different ideas, but as I said from the very beginning, we have to embrace the history that we have had at the school and the impact that Mr. Dillard had on that community,” said Superintendent Rodney Shotwell at the April 23 school board work session. “As a result, you have five names before you that could be potential names for the merged school.”

The five ideas all include the John W. Dillard name.

“Everything I learned through my dissertation process, it was about the desegregation of schools and how both white and black schools lost their identity because people didn't pay attention to traditions, and so I would be highly at fault and I would probably have Dr. Coble and several others come back and revoke my graduate degree if I didn't take that into consideration,” Shotwell said.  

All options rebrand the school as an academy.

The proposals are:

  • John W. Dillard S.T.E.A.M. Academy
  • John W. Dillard Academy for Math, Science and Arts
  • John W. Dillard Academy
  • John W. Dillard Western Rockingham Academy
  • John W. Dillard Community Academy

The S.T.E.A.M. name is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, all of which would receive special focus at the school.

The community will accept feedback through an online form up until May 3. The survey is available on the New Vision website at www.rock.k12.nc.us/Domain/716 and the Dillard website at www.rock.k12.nc.us/Domain/242.

The survey asks the community which of the five options they prefer.

Shotwell plans to return to the board with the results on May 7.

This merger follows the school board’s December vote to allow Dillard students to remain at their facility as the New Vision school program moves in.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Contact Justyn Melrose at (336) 349 -4331, ext. 6140 and follow @JMelrose_RCN on Twitter.