School Board votes on name for new Mark Twain Elementary School

The Bettendorf School Board voted 4-3 on Monday, April 1st for the name of Mark Twain Elementary School to remain the same once construction is completed next year.

Close to a dozen people came out to the school district's administration center Monday evening to hear how the school board would vote on whether to keep or change the school's name.

The school board voted to consolidate Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain elementary in 2018.

The board decided to keep the name on the expanded Mark Twain Elementary School after it merges with Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

A survey was sent out to the community asking for feedback.

Most of the nearly 1,300 people surveyed voted to keep the name the same.

However, many people in the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School community were hoping for a name change.

“Everyone says its just a name, but, it’s not just a name! It’s a history, traditions, its all of these things that encompass the school, it’s the school culture," said Joanna Doerder who has a four-year-old who will attend the new school when he goes to kindergarten.

"It is not simply rebuilding an old school, its merging two groups of communities. That is significantly different than renaming an old school. We are asking to name a new school," she said.

Superintendent Mike Raso supported the boards decision to keep the name the same.

"I believe a name change at this point in the process will not heal anything, but add to the numbers of upset people." Raso said. "We need to continue to move forward and work on real top items that will move forward and bring the two communities together."

Now that decision has been made, parents like Doerder are stuck with the decision.

"That is probably something the community is just going to have to accept. Just like the consolidation, just like closing Jefferson," said Doerder. "I don’t think it is going to be as fine as the district thinks it is going to be."

The new school will open, as Mark Twain Elementary School,  in the middle of the next school year.

Students will begin the next school year in class at Ross College as construction is completed.


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