04/27/07 — Schools sending home dress code survey

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Schools sending home dress code survey

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 27, 2007 1:45 PM

Parents will get a chance to weigh in on possible changes to school dress codes next week, when surveys are sent home with students, officials announced.

At its March 26 meeting, the Board of Education approved the "higher standard dress code" as a means to alleviate issues of oversized or inappropriate clothing worn by students. The dress code will be determined by parents in the 31 schools.

To be adopted, at least 70 percent of parents who respond at each school must support the proposed changes.

School officials said the surveys will be sent home on Monday, explaining the proposed clothing requirements and including a sample price list of items. Parents will have until May 4 to return responses to the schools.

Everyone with a child in public school is encouraged to complete a survey, said Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of schools.

"The surveys will allow parents to have input on whether their child's school adopts the new Higher Standard Dress Code policy," he said. "Parental involvement in important school issues is vital to successful implementation of such new initiatives."

If 70 percent of surveys returned to a school favor the recommendations, the policy could be implemented in the coming school year. If that criteria is not met, the current dress code will remain.

Tallies will be collected by district officials, then results will be made public.

"We plan to notify all parents before the end of the school year, so they have ample time to secure appropriate clothing for their children," Taylor said.

Several aspects of the survey approach are being addressed by the district, said Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability and student services.

"One sticking point comes from the highest grade at any school, because they will be moving on to another school next year," he said. In those cases, surveys will be directed to the school the student will be attending rather than the one where he is currently enrolled.

In the case of feeder schools where student populations will be split into different schools in the fall, appropriate surveys will be distributed to each student, McFadden said.

Further reminders will be made over the weekend, when the school system will activate its Honeywell Instant Alert system with the announcement about the surveys.

The proposed dress code includes a list of approved clothing items that can be worn by students. Among the criteria, shirts, pants, skirts, shorts, jumpers, dresses are acceptable in such solid colors as tan khaki, blue, dark green and pink. All must be free of labels, graphics and embroidery of any kind. Shirts must be tucked in at all times and pants can have no more than six pockets. Overalls and coveralls are not acceptable.