Once known as Darnall E-Charter School, the elementary school has dropped the ‘E.’ But the letter remains on the school’s main sign, befuddling visitors and parents — and me.

I included the school’s original name in the draft of my article on charters and unions (Darnall is a rare entity, a unionized charter school) and was asked by my editor Andy Donohue what it meant. Thus the phone calls began.

“I could tell you what it stands for, but I’d have to kill you,” joked Steve Seaborg, president of the school’s teachers union, when I called him at home Wednesday night. “No, really, I don’t know what it stands for.”

As it turns out, nobody does — and no one ever did, Darnall principal Cinda Doughty said. The ‘E’ originally stood for “‘experimental’ or ‘excellent’, or any number of ‘e’ words,” Doughty wrote.

“The lack of definition was part of the culture of the school; we took pride in not fitting the mold,” she wrote via e-mail. “We have dropped it from our name because it has been associated (with) ‘e-mail’ and ‘east’ and confuses people.”

Visitors still stop by the central office, asking where the school’s west campus is, Seaborg said. Andy, spotting the E-Campus name in my draft, wanted to know if this exceptionally wired school had a physical campus.

“Unfortunately, some of the state websites have been unable to update our name and it is still on our school,” Doughty said.


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