GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Glens Falls City School District continues to look into the future of its school mascot, after the New York State Department of Education released new guidance late last year calling for Native American imagery and mascots to be removed from school buildings and sports teams. Glens Falls has jumped on the conversation around creating a new mascot, with detailed plans for discussions, student input and a timeline.
This week, the school district released that timeline. It starts Wednesday, with a student cabinet meeting to prepare for the process of gathering information on what a new mascot should look like and represent. It extends over the next five months, ending with the planned retirement of the current Glens Falls “Indians” name, mascot and iconography.
• Wednesday, Feb. 8: A Thought Exchange workshop will be held for grades 9-12. The workshop will look for a definition of student values and defining aspects of school identity, to be used in creating a new mascot.
• Thursday, Feb. 9: A second Thought Exchange session will be held. This one will invite the community to step in and speak up.
• Monday, Feb. 13: Student cabinet members provide an update on their progress to the school Board of Education at a regular meeting.
• Wednesday, Feb. 15: The student cabinet will meet to evaluate the resulting data from the two Thought Exchange sessions. Data will be used to create a list of values important to the Glens Falls school community.
• Wednesday, March 1: A student survey will be handed out to students in grades 9-12. Students will be given the chance to associate possible new mascots and icons with the values identified by the Thought Exchanges.
• Thursday, March 2: The community gets its turn at the survey. Community members will be invited to connect values with possible new mascots and icons.
• Monday, March 13: Student cabinet members update the Board of Education at its regular meeting.
• Wednesday, March 15: The student cabinet will gather to evaluate the results of both survey rounds. The cabinet will determine what mascots and icons gathered the most support from the Glens Falls student body and community.
• Wednesday, March 22: Student surveys will be brought to students across all grades. Grades 5-12 will be surveyed individually, and elementary students by classroom. Mascot and icon options will be ranked.
• Thursday, March 23: The community will be surveyed on mascot options. Choices will be ranked.
• Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30: The Superintendent’s student cabinet will meet. The cabinet will evaluate the results of the most recent surveys, and prepare a formal mascot recommendation to the Glens Falls Board of Education.
• Monday, April 3: The student cabinet will present its selected mascot to the Glens Falls Board of Education. A motion for approval will be made during the business portion of the meeting.
• Friday, June 30: The Glens Falls “Indians” name, mascot and iconography will be retired and removed, per state Department of Education ruling. The replacement process will begin, with the school’s new mascot and iconography introduced across the school.
In a presentation made available online at the end of last year, Glens Falls City Schools released a presentation showing the district’s history of Native American imagery used in mascots, sports teams and yearbooks. A 1970 yearbook features a dedication to Onondaga Native American Tom Two Arrows, an artist with work at the Albany Institute of History and Art.
The city of Glens Falls resides on Mohawk, Mohican, Abenaquis and Haudenosaunee land, according to native-land.ca.