West Rogers Park school drops its slaveowner namesake

The school becomes the third — and second named after a slaveowner — to change its name since a Chicago Sun-Times review in late 2020 found 30 CPS schools are named after slaveholders.

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Daniel Boone Elementary in West Rogers Park, which enrolls about 800 students, will be called Mosaic School of Fine Arts from now on. The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the change at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

Daniel Boone Elementary in West Rogers Park, which enrolls about 800 students, will be called Mosaic School of Fine Arts from now on. The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the change at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A North Side school that for nearly a century has been named after a former slaveowner is set to be renamed, marking the latest Chicago Public Schools building to shed its racist namesake.

Daniel Boone Elementary in West Rogers Park, which enrolls about 800 students, will be called Mosaic School of Fine Arts from now on. The Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved the change at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

Boone Elementary was named for a Quaker and folk hero who guided settlers into Kentucky but enslaved as many as seven people and fought in several wars against Native Americans. He had no known ties to Chicago but was honored with the school name when it opened in 1928.

The school becomes the third — and second named after a slaveowner — to change its name since a Chicago Sun-Times review in late 2020 found 30 CPS schools are named after slaveholders and dozens others bear the names of avowed racists.

Harriet Tubman Elementary in Lake View was long named after racist Swiss American biologist Louis Agassiz. That changed last year. So did the name of Chicago World Language Academy, which used to be called Andrew Jackson Language Academy.

Other names under consideration to replace Boone were Haven School of Fine Arts and Sarah Boone School of Fine Arts.

The school held eight community meetings about the change since January, including rounds of voting in which the entire school community could participate, the district said. The Local School Council voted unanimously in June to rename the school.

CPS has worked to create a new policy for schools looking to ditch names and mascots tied to slavery and racism, and the district’s equity office has advised communities through that process.

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