“All of the remaining elementary and middle schools will be going to uniforms this year, except for the high schools that will come on in the spring,” said Dr. Tony Shah, AUSD director of student support services. “We’ve made it a district-wide initiative and it was a very collaborative decision.”
The uniformity of dress codes began last year with the implementation of standardized dress on more than half the district’s campuses. Looking to finalize the uniform transition to all sites this year (Antioch and Deer Valley high schools will move to uniforms in 2011), principals and staff at each school last year worked closely with students and parents to create a community of support for the new dress code.
“Every school site has determined their own colors,” said Shah. “We wanted the safety issues (which uniforms bring) addressed, but we also wanted to give the kids a sense of individuality and school spirit, and I think we’ve achieved that.”
In an effort to get a sense of the school community’s feelings toward uniforms, the district conducted a Web site survey in February for employees and parents throughout the district. And while the responses were generally positive, Shah admits there were some mixed reactions.
“Well, we found that parents were either very much for it, or very against it,” said Shah. “But once they were invited to participate in the design of the uniforms, picking colors and things like that, their reactions were more positive.
“We (as a district) are very excited; we’re very enthusiastic. We know that change is hard for some people, but we’re going to do the best we can. We feel very excited that kids are going to learn better and feel safer and also feel more attached to their learning communities. It’s a good thing.”
For information on each school’s new dress requirements, contact the district office at 925-706-4100.