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Haight Renaming Essay Contest


Over the last year, different adults have have debated whether or not Haight Elementary School should be renamed. But what do young people think? Should Haight School be renamed? Why or why not?


To hear more student voice on the topic, the Haight Renaming Committee is hosting an essay contest in partnership with the Alameda Sun. The contest is open to all Alameda Unified School District students.


The Haight Renaming Committee invites you to write essays/letters sharing your thoughts. Letters should be directed to the AUSD Board of Education. The contest is open to all AUSD students. Prizes will be awarded at elementary, middle, and high school levels. Winning entries will be printed in the Alameda Sun newspaper.


Deadline: April 5, 2019 at 5 pm PST. Please note: the District Office is not open on April 5 so submissions that day will need to go through the online portal.


Submission Guideline

Essay submission online or at the AUSD main offices (2060 Challenger Drive, Alameda).


Elementary School
Grade Word Count
TK-1st grade 10-25
2nd-3rd grade 75-200
4th-5th grade 150-300


Entries will be judged based on focus, grammar, capitalization, spelling, and sentence structure. Letters should also include the date, salutation, and closing.


Middle School

Essays should have:

  • 250-400 words
  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Clear focus
  • Supporting evidence from at least one primary and one secondary source 
  • Conclusion

All essays should be double spaced in 12-point font with one-inch margins and page numbers.  


Essays will be evaluated based on thesis, organization and focus, use of evidence/examples and reasoning, capitalization, grammar and punctuation, and spelling.


High School

Essays should have:

  • 300-500 words
  • Title
  • At least five paragraphs
  • Thesis statement
  • Supporting evidence from at least one primary source, one secondary source, and one other source or anecdote (three sources in all)
  • Conclusion
  • Citations and a bibliography

All essays should be double spaced in 12-point font with one-inch margins and page numbers.  


Essays will be evaluated based on the strength of thesis statement, grammar and punctuation, use of examples/evidence, and details, and inclusion of a title.


All entries will be read for judging purposes. Entries may be disqualified for exceeding word count, inappropriate language, and/or not following guidelines.


You can find information and opinions about Henry Haight on our Renaming Process website.


Judges will choose up to three (3) winners: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and up to 3 honorable mentions for each level. All decisions by judges are final.


Announcement of Winners

The winners will be announced first via phone and email. The winners will later be announced through AUSD and in media. All winners will receive scholarship prizes in the mail (or at a special event/ceremony). Winners names may appear on this website, as well as other places, including but not limited to email and social media announcements, press releases, and news articles.



All approved essays may be publicly posted onto the Haight Renaming Committee  website. Entries and essays cannot be modified or deleted after submission nor removed once posted. Please confirm all information on registration form is correct before submitting.


Contest Copyright and Privacy

The essay author retains all copyrights to works submitted. At the discretion of the Haight Renaming Committee, the submitted pieces may be published on the websites of AUSD or our media partner, the Alameda Sun. You consent to the publication of your work and for the Haight Renaming Committee to print the work in various media, including but not limited to, publicity pieces, exhibitions, flyers, and other formats at the discretion of the committee.