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Dress code policy passes board on first reading

Dress code policy passes board on first reading
After several months of discussion yielding both scrutiny and support, the Weakley County School Board passed the standardized dress code on its first reading with an amendment.
“As you all know, we began this process, to be honest with you, several years ago. We began the discussion of a dress code and issues that we felt like should be updated in our policy. We began back in the fall, a group of administrators, we visited some schools, we have received information from various schools that have a standardized policy,” Weakley County Director of Schools Randy Frazier explained during the May session of the Weakley County School Board meeting on Thursday.
“At that point we came back and we developed a beginning preliminary plan which we proposed and presented to each community. We’ve had community meetings all throughout the county.
“We received input from all stake holders too, like the parents, students, community people have given us the input pros and cons for what we have and then we have revised and we feel like we’ve made some ratifications of what we originally had that would be good and beneficial and we feel like it’s something we can live with.
“We feel like it will be beneficial and will be enforced,” Frazier added.
Board members Barbara Trentham and Jeff Perkins raised questions regarding clarification of a few items included in the code.
“One of the things that came up in our town meetings had to do with wearing sweaters, jackets, coats, that sort of thing, in the classroom because of the varied temperatures. These jackets, raincoats – are the students going to carry them around all day?” Trentham inquired.
Frazier explained that carrying was already taking place because in most cases, placing the materials in a locker was not feasible for all schools.
“We need to ensure to the community that this (the dress code) has teeth. We don’t need to create more problems with this. We need to carry it out,” Perkins commented.
He also asked for clarification on the issue of covering up logos on shirts.
“In our original plan, that particular bullet read that shirts shall have no design or printing other than a small designer or school logo that may be covered by the requirements.,” Frazier answered.
“As we went back into our meeting with administrators, one of the issues with dress codes is the trying not to have a big discrepancy between the economic situation of the students. Sometimes the logo can kind of entail the standing of the family,” Frazier added.
Trentham mentioned having the schools provide sticker logos to place over the designer logos as an alternative.
Frazier reported that two schools had purchased mascot stickers and were selling them for $.25 each. He also reported that talks were in the works with Jamison Peevyhouse to come up with an identification system for the students possibly in the form of badges to place on the shirts.
Perkins made a motion to amend the code by saying that logos small enough to be covered by a 3 1/2” x 2” business card should be allowed, but nothing larger.
Before the vote, Chairman Gordon Morris emphasized that the policy as it is written helps administrators steer away from being judgmental.
“If we start making exceptions for that, who’s going to say that what I wear on my shirt is acceptable and what Jeff might wear is not? That puts in another layer of discrimination that they have to put in place. I don’t really disagree with what you’re saying, but it makes it a little bit more complicated for the administrators and teachers to do what we want in enforcing the policy,” Morris remarked.
The amendment passed and the newly amended dress code was approved on its first reading. The code will be placed into the policy manual if passed on its second reading next month.
The board also voted to approve the revision of School Board Policy Section Six on its first reading.
Instructional Supervisor of 6-12 Debbie Doster explained that the committee had reviewed every single policy in the section and the number jumped from 43 to 70.
If approved next month, it would become part of the policy manual.
Before the regular school board meeting, a meeting was held to discuss the federal project application and budgets for school year 2010-11 under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The application includes Title I-Part A, Title II-Part A, Title II — Part D, Title III — Part A and Title VI.
“The application process is underway and, in fact, the application has been forwarded to Nashville,” Federal Programs Director Doug Braden reported.
“Title IV — A has been zeroed out by Congress. It is no longer in the application. Title I is similar to last year. Title II – D is down again and it may be zeroed out next year. Title VI is a surprise. It carries a lot of freedom. Last year was the first year for it and this year it has several $1,000 increases. We have several options in Title VI.”
In budget transfers and resolutions, the following items were approved: 
* Transfer 0910-19 involving legal notices, travel, contracted services and staff development in the central cafeteria fund.
* Transfer 0910-22 involving the general purpose fund.
* Resolution 2010-40 involving budget amendments to the school federal projects fund for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.
* Resolution 2010-41 involving new revenue codes required by the state and/or federal budget.
* Resolution 2010-42 involving contributions to Education Edge for the purchase of laptop batteries, following of bid procedures and other line item adjustments in the special education state and local budget.
In other business, the board approved a request from Patti Nutting for her daughter to be excused from school May 11-20 to see her brother deployed to Afghanistan.
The next meeting of the Weakley County School Board will take place at 5 p.m. on June 3 at the Board of Education.       
WCP 5.11.10

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