Principals from Abilene ISD middle schools will continue with a proposal to enact standardized dress for students on their campuses.
On Monday, AISD’s school board gave principals the green light to establish a committee to develop and present a final proposal in March.
Before making the decision, the board listened to a report that included feedback from parents regarding the proposal Monday.
Standardized dress was originally proposed last spring. Principals at Abilene middle schools then held six informational meetings.
The school district said approval wouldn't force students to wear uniforms. Instead, it would require them to choose from a "flexible" selection of clothing.
Monday’s report stated about 100 parents attended the meetings, including 95 in favor of the proposal. The biggest complaint was that students wouldn't have freedom to express themselves through clothing.
"There still will be diversity in what they're doing because no kid looks alike, so you don't have to worry about that,” Abilene ISD board member Dr. Kelvin Kelley said. “The kids don't look alike. They're all different. DNA has already determined that. But what you're doing is really providing an environment where students can really begin to focus on education – and that's keeping the main thing, the main thing.”
Principals said they will work with local retailers to find cost friendly options for parents. They said several school districts in Texas already use a standardized dress code. Those include Midland, Odessa, San Antonio and Dallas.
If the final proposal is approved by the board, the dress code would be enforced during the 2014-2015 school year.
Meanwhile, the board also discussed and moved forward a proposal to change the boundaries for two Abilene middle schools.
According to the proposal, Craig Middle School is overcrowded after increased enrollment while Mann Middle School's population has been unchanged.
Associate Superintendent Scott McLean is proposing moving the school’s boundaries to balance enrollments at the schools. McLean said the change would impact about 80 students.
Two public information meetings have been scheduled regarding the proposed boundary changes: 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Mann Middle School and 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Craig Middle School.