Former first lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by UK Department for International Development/Flickr)

Members of the community were scheduled this week to discuss a proposal to rename a Richmond elementary school in honor of former first lady Michelle Obama.

Wilson Elementary School, named for President Woodrow Wilson, at 629 42nd St. is currently being rebuilt and parents with the school’s Parent Teacher Association believe the name change will help instill additional pride for students attending the revamped campus.

Students now attend a temporary location at the former campus of Portola Middle School in El Cerrito.

“The newly rebuilt school will be the District’s initiation in the 21st Century school facility design, featuring flexible learning spaces, which will allow for student and staff collaboration, interaction and flexibility,” PTA President Maisha Cole wrote in a letter to the district.

“When the students step into the new school, they will bring a positive attitude about what the future holds for them. We also want the neighboring community to see this new facility as a community resource. We want to keep our children in our school district.”

The idea was submitted to the West Contra Costa Unified School District last September and the board formed an ad hoc committee in October to study the proposal. President Stephanie Hernandez-Jarvis and member Mister Phillips represent the board on the committee.

“We feel as though a name change would be fundamental to this fresh new start,” Cole wrote. “We are prepared to testify as to why we feel that the current name does not reflect who we are as a community, as well as why the name we are proposing is much more fitting.”

Board policy 7310 outlines the process for renaming a school.

The meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23,  at Grace Lutheran Church, 2369 Barrett Ave. This is the second of two meetings to discuss and hear public input on the proposal.

Community members can also send their comments to the committee via email at