The Waterloo Community School District school board voted to update the student dress code at December’s school board meeting. The new student dress code will take effect when students return after winter break, on January 3, 2023. The updated policy aims to give students more options and flexibility with their attire while at school.
“I feel good about the process we have taken to arrive at this updated policy,” said superintendent Dr. Jared Smith. “Not only did we receive 4,500 survey responses, but we are also close to 50 people involved on the Dress Code Committee. I believe this updated policy will best meet the needs of the students and families in the years moving forward.”
At the start of the semester, Waterloo Schools sent out a survey soliciting input on the dress code from the surrounding Cedar Valley community. Then, a committee comprised of staff members, parents, students, and community members, was created to spearhead the discussions and guide the direction of the dress code policy changes.
“We worked hard to fit everyone’s needs and expectations [into the new policy,]” said Hannah Smith, committee member and high school student at East High School. “I am very happy that I got the opportunity to participate in this experience, and help make changes that help students feel comfortable when coming to school.”
The school board voted 5-1 to adopt the following dress code policy:
|Student Dress Code Revised 504.2R|
As a school district, we recognize that how students choose to dress is often a choice based on personal and cultural expression, as well as comfort and economic means. The spirit of the Student Dress Code policy is to respect these individual rights and circumstances and identify only those areas that impact academic learning and are factors in the overall physical and psychological health and safety of the student body and the adults who serve them. While the policy strives to provide as much clarity as possible, educator discretion is reserved in unique circumstances, especially in cases where physical and/or psychological safety is in question.
With this in mind…
Do wear clothing appropriate for school:
Clothing serves the purpose of privacy
Clothing covers the back, chest, stomach, bottom, and private areas
Close-toed shoes are required at the elementary level at all times (no slippers or house shoes). Middle and high school students may wear open-toed shoes (no slippers, house shoes or flip flops).
Do NOT wear clothing or accessories that:
Are a disruption to the learning environment, including:
Clothing that displays obscene material, profanity, vulgar statements, gang symbols, hate messages, sexual innuendos, suicide, intolerance, violent messages, references to subversion or other messages which may be interpreted as being inappropriate or offensive.
Sagging pants, bottoms shorter than mid-thigh, shorts that expose any portion of the buttocks, clothes/jeans with rips or holes above mid-thigh, midriff- or abdomen-baring tops, open mesh clothing without proper clothing underneath, or tank tops with exposed undergarments.
Are intended to be undergarments or sleepwear.
Examples: a-shirts, undershirts, camisole tops, pajama tops, pajama bottoms
Promotes illegal use by minors such as alcohol, tobacco or drugs
The following accessories are NOT permitted:
Any headgear, including hats and hoods worn over the head, unless approved by the administration.
Headgear worn as part of religious expression is exempt from this section of policy per administrator discretion.
Sunglasses may not be worn in school unless prescribed by a doctor.
Dressing in any manner that presents a health or safety hazard or is a disruption, or could reasonably be expected to cause disruption, to the educational environment in the school will not be accepted. Administrators will enact the required and optional range of responses in situations where a student is not meeting the expectations of the dress code. The goal is to resolve the situation in the moment and prevent it from occurring again.
Ongoing issues with compliance to dress code expectations may result in a parent meeting being held. If students further refuse to comply with these requests, they will be retained in in-school suspension (ISS) until they are in compliance with our dress code.