The new elementary school slated to open in September will be named for one of the first families to settle in the Clarksburg area. The Board of Education voted to name the new school, which is located on the 9.8-acre lot adjacent to the Clarksburg Village Center, the Snowden Farm Elementary School.
While the new school is located on Snowden Farm Parkway, its official address is 22500 Sweetspire Drive.
In March, the Board of Education approved a resolution requesting that four names — Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School, Harriet R. Tubman Elementary School, Clarksburg Village Elementary School, and Ida B. Wells Elementary School—be considered for Clarksburg Village elementary school. In accordance with Montgomery County Public Schools Regulation FFA-RA, Naming School Facilities, the School Naming Committee was convened by the school’s principal Yolanda R. Allen.
The naming committee collaborated with local residents, solicited feedback and input, and gathered public comments from members of the communities and parents of students who will attend the school. The committee ultimately settled on a set of six names which would contend for the moniker of the new school, the four proposed by the Board of Ed and two others generated from the community.
On April 10, the naming committee submitted a ranked list of the six names to the Board of Education. In order of preference, the names were;
1. Snowden Farm Elementary School
2. Michelle Obama Elementary School
3. Harriet R. Tubman Elementary School
4. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School
5. Ida B. Wells Elementary School
6. Clarksburg Village Elementary School
The last remaining member of the Snowden family, Joann Woodson, still lives in the Clarksburg area. She will turn 90 years old this month. She is the great-granddaughter of Thomas Snowden. She has been an active member of the Clarksburg community, serving as a founding member and president of the Clarksburg Historical Society.
This is the second new school in the Clarksburg area to be named for a local family who played a major role in the founding and expansion of Clarksburg. In 2016, the Board of Education named the new middle school after longtime Clarksburg resident and philanthropist Hallie Wells.
The new school is expected to have a capacity of 741 students in grades K through 5 and will be part of the Clarksburg High School Cluster. It will address the student enrollment growth at schools in the Clarksburg Cluster, primarily due to new home construction in the Arora Hills and Clarksburg Village communities. Revised student enrollment projections indicate that Cedar Grove Elementary School will exceed capacity by 193 students and Wilson Wims Elementary School will exceed capacity by 594 students by the 2024–2025 school year.
In November, the Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith’s boundary commendation for the new Clarksburg elementary school scheduled to open at the beginning of the next school year. Smith’s recommendation for the boundaries of the new school would reassign three neighborhood zones currently assigned to Wilson Wims ES, and reassign two zones currently attending Cedar Grove ES to Wims ES.
The new school open with Grades K–4 in September, and that students currently in fourth grade at Wims and Cedar Grove elementary schools would remain at those schools for the 2019-2020 school year, rather than move to a new school for fifth grade. Beginning with the 2020–2021 school year, the new school would serve Grades K–5.
Photo by Germantown Pulse