Mission Hill school to keep name in JP move

Despite plans to move the Mission Hill K-8 School out of Mission Hill to the former Agassiz School building at 20 Child St., the school will likely retain its name, Boston Public Schools spokesperson Matt Wilder told the Gazette.

He said that name changes will not be considered for the schools, unless their school communities request them.

Mission Hill K-8 Principal Ayla Gavins told the Gazette last month that it is unlikely that Mission Hill K-8 will push for a change, because the school community considers the name “part of our identity.”

“The name of the school is really more about the identity of the school than the neighborhood,” Wilder said.

But for some, the two are deeply intertwined. “As a community person, I feel really upset about that, because the school was supposed to a community school. It was supposed to be serving the Mission Hill community,” Alison Pultinas, a longtime Mission Hill resident and former Mission Hill K-8 parent, told the Gazette.

City Councilor Matt O’Malley told the Gazette that he understands Mission Hill K-8’s desire to hang on to its brand. “They have had such success as the Mission Hill School,” he said. “The irony is not lost on me that the name reflects the neighborhood where the school was nurtured.”

Wilder said there is precedent for schools hanging onto old neighborhood names after they move. In the 1980, he said, Fenway High School was temporarily housed at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown.

But this time both Mission Hill K-8 and Fenway High will be moving into the middle of residential neighborhoods with different names. Wilder could not provide any examples of that happening before.

“It’s something we may reconsider,” he told the Gazette.

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