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Submitted by SMMUSD
3:37 am PDT May 14, 2019

(Editor’s Note: This is a republished letter sent to the school community)

As the close of the 2019-20 school year draws into sight and as our community looks forward to the opening of our new school at the end of this summer, it is time to finalize the school’s name. We write today to explain how that name will be chosen.

To begin with, every member of our community will have the opportunity to nominate a name for consideration. Neither Juan Cabrillo nor Point Dume Marine Science School or any combination or derivation thereof shall be permissible or considered. All other reasonable choices will be considered. The nomination period is now open and will run through Sunday, May 19. This is quick, but it is a simple task. We will be sharing the opportunity to suggest a name through Malibu media and social media, but also request that you share with your neighbors, friends and businesses you visit. Strong participation is important.

To submit, go here:

On Monday, May 20, the original Malibu Naming Task Force will be supplied with the complete tabulated results of the nominations, including all nominated names and the number of votes each name received. The task force will narrow the nominations to a short list of finalist choices at a meeting on Tuesday, May 21.

Beginning Wednesday, May 22, and ending Sunday, May 26, the current teachers, staff, and families of Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume schools will vote on the short list of names. This voting will be “ranked choice voting.” This means that each person will rank the short list names from most liked to least liked. In recognition of their importance to the future of this new school and out of respect to their long tenure before and after this merger, teacher votes will be weighted by a factor of three in the final tally.

On Monday, May 27, the results will be tabulated. The name that reaches a majority under ranked choice calculations will be announced at 3 pm on Tuesday, May 28. We will email all parents and staff to let you know the chosen name that will then be submitted to the School Board for approval on Thursday, May 30.

We recognize that this is an important decision. As such, we felt it necessary to ensure that our community has this second opportunity to have all voices heard and to choose a school name from a field of popular choices. We feel strongly that this process will be balanced and comprehensive and include the voices of our entire community.

We understand that this process has stirred emotions and reflection about the school, neighborhood and its history, and we appreciate the engagement of all stakeholders in this process. Using ranked choice voting ensures that the final name will reflect the consensus of the community in a way that traditional voting cannot. We are confident that the chosen name will reflect the values and culture of the school, staff, teachers and families. The school will continue to be a shining star serving Malibu families for decades to come.

We are excited to complete this task and move forward with the important tasks of collaborative visioning and launching of a new school in its first school year. Your new principal, Chris Hertz, will take up the next steps of selecting a mascot and school colors at the beginning of the new school year.

To all, we say thank you for your patience, your participation, and most of all for your love and support of the students, teachers, staff of our soon-to-be combined school.

Please tell all your friends to vote!

Warm regards,

Pat Cairns, interim principal of PDMSS; and Isaac Burgess IV, director of Malibu Pathway