Amid work to shift perception, Moore seeks to drop 'traditional' from its name
Moore Traditional School is seeking to drop "traditional" from its name. Instead, it wants to return to its namesake and be called the Marion C. Moore School. It is among many changes officials there are trying to make at district's largest school, located off the Outer Loop in south Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Saying its name becomes confusing and conveys incorrect expectations for students, parents and community members, Moore Traditional School is seeking to drop "traditional" from its name.
Instead, it wants to return to its namesake and be called the Marion C. Moore School, which would pay tribute to one of the four original counselors in Jefferson County Public Schools who also served as a teacher and principal.
The proposal is up for consideration at Tuesday's Jefferson County Board of Education meeting and is one of many changes school officials there are trying to make at district's largest school, located off the Outer Loop in south Louisville. Approximately 2,100 students in grades 6-12 attend Moore.
"The name change is kind of superficial, but it goes back to what I have been trying to do since I first arrived here," said Rob Fulk, who started as the school's new principal in July. "We are trying to build this school up, overcome some of the negative perceptions that are out there and be honest about the kinds of programs we really offer."
Moore does not follow the traditional program, like the district's other well-known traditional programs like Louisville Male and Butler. In addition, while the school once had a strict dress code, a few months ago it switched to a relaxed dress code -- one designed by a team of student leaders.
"I think a lot of people see the 'traditional' part of the name and expect us to be like Male or Butler," said Glendale Zell, a social studies teacher at Moore who also serves on the school's site-based council. "We would be at the JCPS Showcae of Schools and already be digging ourselves out of a hole, trying to explain why we weren't Male or Butler."
fulk says Moore has a lot of great programs that he wants the community to know more about, including courses in the medicine, health and environment professional career themes. It is why he started the #KnowMoore campaign on social media shortly after school began in August.
"We want people to know more about our kids and what they are doing," he said. "We know that our image has not been the greatest and we also recognize that most of that has been deserved based on things that have happened here in the past. Re-building the culture in this school has been important because it makes people feel better."
The school also changed its logo at the start of the school year as part of its re-branding efforts.
James Greenlee, a social studies teacher who has been at Moore for three years, says morale is on the uptick at the school.
"It's been a complete change from last year at this time," he said.
Fulk replaced Vicki Lete, who was found by the state in March 2016 to not have the capacity to lead turnaround efforts at the middle school level at Moore. She is now an assistant principal at duPont Manual High School.
It was Moore's middle school that was identified as a persistently low-performing school in 2015 and led to the state review.
Fulk is awaiting the final approval of a $1.97 million school improvement grant from the Kentucky Department of Education that will help boost academics for his middle school students.
"We are planning to add three full time teachers who will teach half of the day and spend the other half of the day working as a resource teacher in math and reading," he said.
Greenlee and Zell say Fulk's arrival at Moore has been one of the best things to happen at the school.
"He is everywhere," Zell said. "Instead of having his office tucked away where no one can see him, he moved it to the middle of the building. His door is always open, the blinds to his windows are always open. He's always out in the building. We had kids who didn't know who the principal was before."
The name change proposal will be voted on during the school board's regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Van Hoose Education Center, 3332 Newburg Road.
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.