Uniform dress code
DANVILLE — Twelve-year-old Chandler Cockrell prefers wearing jeans and a T-shirt to school.
But his mother, Jennifer, looks forward to seeing her son — and all Danville school students — in simple polo shirts and khaki slacks and looking more uniform.
"Personally, I think it's a good idea," said Cockrell, whose youngest son is a sixth-grader at South View Middle School.
She liked the idea of moving to "a uniform standard of dress" for all K-12 students, which the school board decided to do starting in the fall. And she generally likes the proposed policy that outlines what students can and can't wear, even though it would mean she'll have to buy her son some new clothes.
"It needs to be more consistent, like all solid color shirts, so it's easy to follow," Cockrell said. "It needs to be flexible, so you're not limited to wearing a white shirt. But I don't think there's anything wrong with everyone looking the same when you're at school.
"The kids aren't going to worry about what they're wearing or what everyone else is wearing. ... They're going to be more focused on learning."
School officials unveiled the dress code proposal earlier this month. It was drafted with input from staff, students, parents and community members.
Under the proposal, students could wear:
— Collared polo shirts, dress shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters and sweatshirts in solid colors.
— Dress pants, shorts, skirts and skorts in solid navy, black, gray, brown and tan.
They wouldn't be allowed to wear T-shirts, hoodies, flannel or fleece tops, jeans, sweatpants, leggings, bib overalls or flip flops.
Most board members expressed concerns but were divided on whether restrictions should be tighter or looser.
Some want more of a true uniform — limited colors of matching tops and bottoms.
Others want options — including "appropriate" jeans — that will provide some flexibility. That's needed, they say, to make the dress code more palatable to students and affordable for parents — while at the same time elevating the standard of dress and improving the school climate.
All agree there's still work to be done before they're ready to sign off on the policy. They plan to dig into it and make revisions on April 9.
For the full, detailed proposal — from "bona fide" religious exemptions to the consequences for a seventh dress code code violation — go to danville.k12.il.us.