Saturday, May 30, 2009
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CONYERS - Inappropriate attire that some students may have gotten away with wearing this past school year may not be so widely accepted next school year.Gene Baker, executive director of School Improvement at Rockdale County Public Schools, told members of the Rockdale County Board of Education during its monthly work session Thursday night that high school administrators from each of the high schools and the Rockdale Career Academy met to discuss how to enforce the high school dress code."It's an effort to make sure we are prepared for next school year," he said. "It's us wanting to make sure we are uniform in enforcing the dress code at all of the schools."Baker said he emphasized that the school staff should correct all instances of dress code violations and that the correct dress code should be emphasized from the beginning of the school year and every day thereafter."We will focus on teaching the correct way of wearing clothes in schools," he said. "It's a teaching opportunity."He said the school dress code helps schools be more safe and allows for a better instructional climate."That's the focus, and we can't lose that focus," he said.Also at the school board meeting, Superintendent Samuel King announced that the RCPS Community Relations Department plans to send out a school uniform survey later this year.King said school officials want to collect information from parents, students, school staff and others on their level of interest in a required school uniform program, based on discussions officials have heard at public forums and other school meetings. "This is something that will not work if there is not overwhelming support and interest," King said.He said sending out a survey to a wide audience will help "dot some i's and cross some t's" and will help determine if there is a large enough interest in a systemwide dress code.No set uniform guidelines have been determined, but according to a sample survey, the uniform will have style, color and seasonal options such as khaki pants and shorts and navy blue golf-type shirts or blue slacks and shorts and burgundy golf-type shirts. Students also will be required to tuck in all shirts and have all pants fit at the waist, as with the current RCPS dress code.Cindy Ball, director of community relations at RCPS, said her department plans to send out the survey sometime in July. Although she has not yet finalized the format of the survey, households may be sent a phone survey and also may be invited to take a survey online.Once data is collected, officials plan to analyze the data and report the findings to the board, perhaps in the fall, Ball said.Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.